From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Former Governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha on Wednesday warned that Nigerians will begin to have sense of insecurity in their own land if the currently spate of insurgency and terrorism continues.
Okorocha stated this in a chat with newsmen in Makurdi, the Benue State capital against the backdrop of last Saturday’s massacre of rice farmers by Boko Haram in Borno State.
The former governor who described the killing of rice farmers in by Boko Haram insurgents as an insult to the entire country called on government and leaders of the country to step up action to stem the tide against insecurity.
While listing poverty as well as lack of unity of purpose among the leaders and elites as the two major factors responsible for insecurity in the country, Okorocha noted that if Nigerians; both leaders and the led, youths and old are united, the security problems in the country, particularly insurgency would soon be defeated.
“Security of life and property is primary constitutional provision for any government. We have a duty as government as leaders to step up action because to me, the manner those people were killed, butchered is an insult to mankind, insult to the entire people, insult to the entire government.
“And nation can go to any extreme to ensure that such ugly situation does not repeat itself because if such thing happened in Nasarawa, and happened in that number in Borno, everyone will begin to a have sense of insecurity. And the worst thing to happen to any nation is to have sense of insecurity in your own father’s land. It is a torture.
Okorocha however advocated the inclusion of traditional rulers with specific roles in the constitution as one of the ways to mitigate against the rising spate of insecurity in the country stressing that the much talked about the community policing would be a mirage if traditional rulers are not involved.
He opined that traditional rulers by virtue of their position as custodian of culture of the people at the grassroots, can help to identify criminals in their environment.
“There is need to urgently give traditional rulers sense of belonging. The traditional rulers should have sense of ownership responsibility. So, I advocate that traditional rulers be given a space and power in the Constitution on issues concerning security.
“Because no one knows the community better than the owners of the community let us give them some power and see whether they can not see when strangers come to the place (environment) and go out of the place (environment).
“They (traditional rulers) should be made the Chief Security Officer of there community, the community policing without the traditional rulers involved it is not going to work if the youths of the area are properly empowered and united, I think they can fight back,” he said.