Away from the burning issue of transmitting election results from the polling units to the central server, Melting Point this week, looks at the laudable efforts to address the protracted insecurity in the North Central zone of the country.
We believe that the needless controversy over the transmission of polling results will soon be rested. Thanks to the ever sensitive and conscious Nigerian public that has come to provide the needed checks and balances to the legislative and executive excesses of government. The Nigerian public has provided adequate surveillance to the activities of both the legislature and executive in recent times that no governmental decision or action is allowed to go without scrutiny. This has helped in no small measure to curtail democratic tyranny with unpalatable outcomes from government. What we need now is not anything less than adding value to GEJ’s electoral reforms.
The ongoing debate between those in government and the general public on the proposed amendments to the Electoral Act has been one national concern seeking to improve on the integrity of the electoral process. While those in government are more concerned about how to personally benefit from the process by protecting their present offices at all cost, the general public is worried about the continued manipulation of the electoral process that has rigged many undeserving representatives into office, culminating into manipulative legislative inputs and actions.
Let’s suspend talk on that for now and see how it goes, as the national assembly still has enough time to correct itself and save itself from ridicule. Some of the legislators were shamelessly exchanging blows and fighting dirty in the hallowed chambers just to protect the flawed and dirty processes that smuggled them into office. The people are however, very ready for them like never before.
This week, yours sincerely takes a look at the proposed Security Summit being planned by the North Central Peoples Forum, NCPF, to address the lingering security concerns of the North Central zone as it keeps escalating. Thanks to the efforts of the forum under the leadership of Senator(General) Jeremiah Timbut Useni and other respected leaders of the zone.
The South West, South East and South South geopolitical zones have called the attention of their zones to the urgent need to halt the insecurity in their areas and make life easy for themselves. The entire governance structure in the Southern part of the country has called their people to the escalating security situations in their various areas and agreed on common positions. They have gone far in X-raying the situation and adopted far reaching resolutions on how to keep their areas and people safe. They have agreed to ban open grazing and gave themselves timelines on when to put in place common laws for implementation. The entire people of the South are strongly and stoutly behind their Governors in this life crusade.
But the North, where the situation is more pervasive and biting, is yet to do a similar thing even when it’s supposed to be more worried. Key stakeholders in the Southern zone, led by their elected governors have been sleepless seeking to find solutions to kidnapping, abductions, herder/ farmers clashes, etc and in spite of ethnic, religious and other differences, put aside partisanship to save the lives of their people. The absence of such a commitment and determination by the northern block has made the North Central Peoples Forum to draw the attention of its people to the challenges on ground.
It beats the imagination of many that our governors in the north continue to watch and listen to their Southern colleagues deliberate fervently on insecurity of their areas without saying a word or coming together to discuss the same matters affecting their zone. It also shocked the nation that while the laxity continues , some prominent northern stakeholders have been criticizing the South for working to create a safer environment for their people while they do nothing about their situation. It is rather unfortunate if such an attitude continues.
The truth remains, that the north should be more committed towards stabilizing the security of its zone instead of complaining on what others are doing for themselves. The south does not take permission from the north to protect its people and therefore the latter should be more challenged to do something to halt its escalating security challenges instead of talking.
Commendation to the stakeholders of the north central who have taken the bull by the horn and agreed among themselves to come together irrespective of political, ethnic and religious differences to map out strategies to contain the rising security challenges in the region. It will be interesting the resolutions to expect from this strategic session of critical like minds.
The north central, being the host of the nation’s capital Abuja and having in its historic record three former Military Heads of States, Generals Yakubu Gowon, Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar is worried that being at the centre, it must ensure a peaceful and secured environment for its own development and that of the nation, by addressing the increasing wave of violence and other criminal activities which has threatened the zone and slowed down its growth and progress.
The first session of the security summit is billed to take place in Abuja soon with all the 6 governors of Benue, Plateau, Kwara, Kogi, Niger, Nasarawa and the representative of the FCT Minister expected to be in attendance alongside the leadership of the Police and other security agencies, civil society organisations, traditional and community leaders.
Speaking with General Useni in his office a few days ago, the elder statesman said the security summit will bring together all hands on deck to ensure a robust discussion and adoption of a strategic action plan to confront the challenges on ground.
General Useni, the Sardaunan Plateau and Nasarawa States added that already, all the 6 state governors are being visited in their respective states and mobilised for the historic event. He assured that the outcome of the strategic gathering will bring a lot of changes in the direction of security, peace and general development of the region and create a conducive environment for the exploration of the vast potentials of the region in the areas of agriculture, mining, tourism, commerce and trade, sports other vacations known in the respective states.
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.
The North Central, coming from behind, looks set to catch up with its Southern counterparts in proffering practical solutions to the issues. While the South West has created the Amotekun and the South East its own version, the North Central is surely coming up with its own security apparatus that is unique to its interest. The issue of the North Central Development Commission, NCDC is also on the table of the Forum which is a governance structure that can subsequently serve as an umbrella for the realisation of the laudable goals of peace, security and development of the region.