An Open Letter To President Buhari By A Northerner
By Mukhtar Jarmajo
As Your Excellency is aware, the primary responsibility of government is to protect the lives and property of the citizenry.
This simply means that a government, especially democratic one, should go to any constitutional extent in the quest to ensure the safety, peace, harmony and general wellbeing of its people as to allow for their social and economic prosperity.
This, Your Excellency may wish to recall, was one of the points you so much stressed in the campaigns ahead of the 2015 elections in response to the northeast insurgency which had then threaten the nation`s territorial integrity.
Your Excellency may wish to agree with me here that one of the reasons why the APC got majority votes especially in the northeast was the belief that a Buhari-led administration will curb the insurgency that had ravaged the sub region.
Quite commendably meanwhile, this administration has today considerably reduced the strength and firepower of the insurgents.
There are enough evidence that the northeast insurgents have been boxed into a corner and that through time and with continued commitment, both the war and the peace will be won.
However, while we commend Your Excellency`s efforts at wresting the northeast insurgency, we must also express dismay over the farmers/herdsmen clashes, kidnappings, armed robbery and killings that have been going on in the north-central and the north-west.
Your Excellency, the security situation in these sub regions has since assumed worrying dimensions.
As the chief security officer of this country, I am sure the president knows this better than anyone else.
It therefore disturbs most Nigerians that the atrocities in the north-central and north-west have been allowed to linger for so long as if this administration isn’t the one giving Boko-Haram a run for its money.
Our expectation has been that the killings especially in Zamfara state would have since been stopped. What most Nigerians expect was that things like this wouldn’t be allowed to last this long under a Buhari led administration.
As it is however, the killings, kidnappings and armed robberies are ongoing and Your Excellency has no reason whatsoever, for not protecting the lives and properties of the citizens in these places.
There have been conspiracy theories that the disturbances are mostly sponsored by opponent politicians who are committed to pulling you down ahead of the 2019 elections.
This and any other excuses are unacceptable as reasons for the loss of lives of many innocent Nigerians. Nigerians in all corners of the country must be protected by the government.
And government should also be seen, not just heard, to have protected its citizenry. Therefore in doing this, it must adopt effective measures and use efficient tools in responding to crime as well as preventing its future reoccurrence.
It is on the news that the presidency has directed the deployment, last Sunday, of one thousand officers and men of the armed forces to Zamfara state as one of the measures to halt the incessant killings going on there.
While that was a good move, the federal government must understand that it cannot succeed in doing this alone. State governors must wake up to their full responsibilities as chief security officers of their respective states if Nigeria is to be secured.
Security is not just about men and ammunitions, it is also about intelligence gathering and synergy between agencies as well as states governments.
Jarmajo is the Managing Editor, Pearl Magazine.