Time To End The Bloodshed
Anyone with humanity still in him will be appalled enough to condemn the bestiality of the massacre in Southern Kaduna. It was carried out with so much hate, bile and venom that one cannot but wonder at what might have led to such descent to the Hobbesian state of nature where in the struggle for the survival of the fittest, life becomes brutish and short. Some have blamed it on the quarrel between herdsmen and farmers in the area while others claim it has a tinge of religion, Christianity and Islam, involved. The truth many are overlooking is that the parties engaged in that mission of mutual self-destruction are both either farmers or herdsmen, Christians or Muslims, brothers and sisters as well as yes, in-laws who have been living together over time. Others have also alluded to the fact that it could have been a vengeance mission. Revenge for what? It is trite to conjecture at this time how neighbours decided to throw away the fellow feeling of the past, choosing to resort to animalistic tendencies. Whatever might have been the case, it is our view, that contending issues did not justify the cruelty that was visited on women, children and the aged by a marauding gang of blood thirsty hounds from all sides.
If it was done to score a religious point, then God himself will disapprove. If it was to attain superiority of one group of farmers over another, then the level of carnage vitiates whatever goal that was set out to achieve.
But what is so disheartening, in our opinion, is the lethargy noticeable among the powers that be who were in a position to not only check but also stop it from happening at all. This is not the first time such grave calamity is befalling the nation and it gets swept under the carpet and no one will be held responsible and life goes on until another ugly scene crops up again in another part of the country. As an eminent Nigerian noted, there was nothing new about it.
The United Nations, according to reports, is about to investigate the whole incident. A futile exercise, we dare to say, because it will end up as research material for academics. At the risk of sounding pessimistic, we have no reasons to believe that the outcome of the investigation will not end up as a report that will gather dust on the shelf. The reason is simple; no one is likely to summon the political will or the moral courage to implement its recommendations by way of punishing the perpetrators of the act. We are assuming that the investigation will be concluded at all. Very few people in the past have been prosecuted for religious violence or armed banditry for whatever reason. And that is why it keeps repeating.
The danger is that, soon, it will assume such a dangerous dimension that will attempt to pose a threat to the corporate existence of the nation. Our worry is that these wrangling, rivalries and controversies across religious divide, affect only the innocent who are made to pay the highest price with their lives.
It is pertinent to point out that on matters of security that put the lives of Nigerians in palpable danger, the argument over constitutional separation of powers is too arcane to be relevant. In such a situation, what is needed is a decisive action to nip the crisis in the bud.
In the case of what has just happened in Southern Kaduna, we commend the security agencies especially the military for moving in to quell it even if belatedly. Sadly, again, the police and the intelligence community in the country failed in their assigned duty of making sure incidents of the kind that happened in Southern Kaduna were neutralised before the perpetrators had time to execute their evil plan. By their training, they are expected to be proactive because even non security people can clean up the mess after the deed is done. But more importantly, governments across the three tiers must say never again. The bloodshed is becoming inexplicable.
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