Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Governor Henry Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has described the current spate of violence and killings by gunmen across the nation and particularly in the Northern part of the country as the biggest ever existential threat to the nation’s cooperate existence, since after the civil war.
The Nigerian civil war had ended in 1970.
Dickson also singled the lopsided federal structure, dysfunctional Nigeria structure as well as the over centralization and politicization of law and order as threats to contemporary governance in the country.
A press statement signed by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Francis Ottah Agbo, quoted the governor as having disclosed this over the weekend in Abuja while delivering a lecture titled: “Cultural Values, National Security and Challenges of Contemporary Governance: Perspective From Bayelsa State Experience, organised by Institute of Security Studies (ISS).
Governor Dickson condemned the recent killings and warned that the country would cease to have a future if President Buhari fails to urgently mobilize the peoples of Nigeria to build a non partisan consensus to avert the nationwide senseless killings.
He lamented that politicians were using the security structures of the country to torment innocent citizens for their selfish ends and by so doing, causing national insecurity and instability.
The governor maintained that the wind of insecurity blowing across the nation and particularly the killings of innocent Nigerians in the Northern part of the country were fuelled by the Imbalance in the country’s security structure and the politicisation of security by members of the ruling party.
According to him: “It is very clear that Nigeria’s lopsided federal system and over centralisation of security powers and the politicization of security by several agencies are a major clause of instability and poses a threat to National stability.
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“I was talking the politics of insecurity and the insecurity of politics occasioned by the abuse of Nigeria’s federal system and the ease at which those who control powers at the federal level undermine law and order in parts of our country and make it difficult for our citizens to feel safe and to feel protected under the law.
The Bayelsa governor added that although the military has made appreciable progress in its fight against Book Haram, recent events in the country shows that the war against terrorism was far from over.
Dickson maintained that what was going on in Nigeria was more than the historical herdsmen and farmers’ clashes, saying the country have lost too many innocent souls to the killings.
He said, “Who are the farmers having clashes with herdsmen in Sokoto, Zamfara and other places. We must call a spade a spade for the good of our country. We are dealing with a calculated attack on our country.
“We are dealing with machinery of violence against innocent Nigerians. Yes we have historical incidence of herdsmen and farmers clash but what is going on is far more than that. All Nigerians and people of good will should show patriotism and let us interrogate this issue properly.”