The urgent need for a holistic and integrative security in the North Central Zone is as important as life and the food safety of the zone itself. Many strange things are happening in the zone which requires concerted teamwork and brotherhood to conquer and overcome. One state can not do it alone because their boundaries are not detached.
That’s why the 17 states of the Southern zone had to come together to confront their common security and other challenges. It is obvious that the federal government cannot help, or has refused to help. This has left the 36 states and the FCT at the mercy of their own efforts, hence respective zonal measures being adopted to address the respective but similar situations.
In the central zone, insecurity has gone beyond banditry, insurgency, armed robbery, Boko Haram, to crop and farmland destruction where grown up crops are cut down by herders so that cows and other animals can freely graze on them. Crops that are planted by suffering farmers who struggle to buy fertilizers and other agricultural consumables to strengthen their economic base are made to go through pains and sorrow while the government watches. The only effort of the government is to keep condemning the several acts and giving endless assurances while the circle continues. No arrests have been made and no attempts to arrest anyone while farmers keep grieving.
The economy of the farmers keeps dwindling while famine stares everyone in the face. It is very devastating to watch crops at various stages of maturity being hacked down mercilessly by heartless people whose desire is to torment their fellow human beings. This is very sad and unimaginable. On the Plateau for instance, it’s a daily occurrence by herdsmen destroying farmlands from Bassa, Riyom to other parts of the state.
It baffles many that even where the federal and state governments cannot diversify into agriculture to create more survival alternatives for the people, it has also failed to protect the personal efforts of the suffering citizens of the nation. It is the duty of government at all levels to provide for the people, and where it cannot do so, it should encourage the personal individual efforts of the people who are struggling under tough conditions to help themselves.
But the present situation is ridiculous as the government has not only failed to provide for the people, but has equally not been able to protect them and provide a safe and conducive environment. This is satanic and ungodly. Government exists for the people, to maintain law and order and provide the people with the good things of life. But the current APC government has failed totally in almost all ramifications.
In 2015 when they took over, they bragged of plans to diversify into agriculture, mining and tourism, etc. A check at all these critical sectors has revealed massive failure. Because the people must survive, the cheapest traditional mode remains agriculture where one can utilize the obsolete antiques within his or her disposal to provide for his subsistence needs.
While the Southern states comprising the West, South and East have since met and gone far with plans to secure their areas and people, the entire north comprising Central, West and East have done little or nothing to help their people. Even though the zone is the most affected by insurgency, banditry and other violent crimes, their governments are the most unconcerned about security. They designed the most bogus budgets and the highest security votes for themselves, exploiting the joint accounts of their local governments, yet there is nothing to show after 6 solid years. What a disaster!
It is out of humanitarian concern to address this situation that Senator (General) Jeremiah Useni, former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT and some respected elders of the central zone took upon themselves to bring the people and their governments together to find lasting solutions to the escalating situation in the zone. They have met and are meeting with relevant stakeholders to identify the security gaps and proffer solutions to them. To this end, they have mobilized key leaders within the zone and conscientised them about the need to establish joint security surveillance that could protect the zone and help market its laudable potentials for massive benefits. The zone is rich in agriculture, mining and tourism, sports, trade and commerce but only at the level of individuals and small communities because governments in the zone have not shown interest nor have they done anything to encourage farmers, miners and tourism operators. Therefore the coming together of our elders and stakeholders to have such a Forum to bring to fore the plight of the people of the zone is not only commendable but an eye opener to every lover of peace, security, progress and stability.
The Publicity Secretary of the Forum, Rt Hon Sule Audu Dekison said prominent leaders from the zone including all retired security chiefs and experts are all expected at the strategic meeting to appraise the security situation and aggregate various stakeholder views and measures within the security and intelligence sectors, and how to jointly implement them for a safer North Central Zone.
Advocates of this Forum are concerned about the backwardness of the zone and therefore aim to advance the cause of the zone by uniting all the six states and the FCT and create the opportunity to present a united front for every political, economic and security endeavor . This is to achieve the goals of peace, stability, rapid industrialization and the exposition of the abundant potentials of the zone in areas of mining, agriculture, infrastructure, power, youth and gender empowerment and safeguarding the territorial integrity of the zone.