From Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
The Senate deputy Minority Leader Senator Emmanuel Bwacha representing Taraba South at the Senate has said that leaders in the country must become more proactive rather than reactive to curb the trend now before it becomes too late.
Bwacha who said this in Jalingo while interacting with journalists said that leaders at various levels have shown a lack of political will to tackle insecurity head on and have resorted to been reactive when there are challenges thereby emboldening the criminal elements to do more exploits.
The senator who was reacting to the worsening security situation and escalating tensions in the country, noted that insecurity is not perculier to Nigeria as it is a global issue but if leaders are proactive enough, they will mitigate the extent of damage and send clear messages to the criminal elements from a perspective of strength and not weakness.
“Let me say that everyone is really worried at the deteriorating security situation in our country, in our dear state Taraba. However, we all know that this is a global challenge and many countries are battling with insecurity in various forms including even the most advanced countries of the world.
“However, I think if leaders are more proactive rather than reactive, we will do more especially in sending clear messages to the criminal elements from a position of strength. Waiting for them to strikes so that leaders would come up with all kinds of empty rhetorics only helps to embolden the criminals to do even more.
“So it is very important for leaders at various levels to rise up to their mandate and protect the lives and property of their people. It is very important and if they can not, then they have no business being in leadership positions”.
Bwacha noted that the constitutional negligence of the role of traditional institutions and rulers has further complicated the security challenges in the country and insists that until traditional rulers are given clear constitutional powers, security challenges may simply persist.
“As a member of the constitution review committee, I have remained a strong advocate for the role of traditional rulers and their powers to be guaranteed by the constitution. We have seen how very effective they were during the precolonial and colonial era in administering their domains.
“Unfortunately, we deviated from that and now they have to take orders from very small boys who are elected as local government Chairmen and stuff. And so naturally they feel that okay if you think you can come in with small boys and protect the places, then go ahead since they do not also have any constitutional rights to do anything serious.
“This is the scenario that has snowballed into what we have today. Traditional rulers are the ones who really know their domains, have the respect and near reverence of their people and not the politicians. And so when you give them the constitutional backing to take care of their Chiefdoms as it were, they will know when an outsider comes in to ferment trouble and will be able to fish out those and even their collaborators from within. That is the only way we can effectively police every nook and cranny of this country including our borders. Every community, every village, every border town, every hamlet in the country has a traditional rulers who can take things up at that level and escalate it when necessary” Bwacha said.
He urged Nigerians to “turn back to God with sincere hearts and true love for one another irrespective of ethnic, religious, political and regional differences so that God will listen to their prayers and heal the land”.