It has been observed that a solution to any problem(s) regardless of who committed it is justice, because only justice can bring peace in the society.
The primary duty of government is the protection of the lives and properties of its people. That is why every leader strives to leave good legacies on security matters. And if a leader fails in the sector, he will be heavily criticised.
The conflict in the Niger-Delta started in the 1990s between foreign oil companies and the minority ethnic groups, especially the people Ogoni and the Ijaw.
Ethnic and political unease continued throughout the 1990s despite the return of democracy and the election of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s government in 1999. The violence contributed to Nigeria’s ongoing energy supply crisis by discouraging foreign investment in new power generation plants in the region.
The administration of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in August 2009 granted amnesty to the Niger Delta militants on condition that the.lay down their arms, and that was the end of the violence to date.
Although there is no specific date on when killer herdsmen became bandits, but we may say the crisis began.after the 2015 general election. However, based on the statement by one of their leaders, “TURJI”, during the visitation of Sheikh Dr Mahmud Gumi to one of the Zamfara state forest, they became bandits because they are tired of losing their wealth worth billions of naira, and countless lives to cattle rustling, and it’s obvious government has insight on those behind the mess.
The Niger Delta crisis is a crisis regardless of its level or who committed it. It’s said respect is a reciprocal and to be respected, you have to respect others.Furthermore, Nigerian constitution grants every citizen right to movement, although with some limitations. But of the numerous tribes in Nigeria only the Fulani herders are denied freedom of movement. Why?
Based on what’s revealed to us on how powerful and dangerous bandits are, government can’t fight them and they are not ready to lay down their arms unless amnesty granted to them.
Historian has shown that nothing can stop terrorism except amnesty, Niger Delta is a reference point. If government fails to negotiate with bandits, then my biggest fear is that time will come when bandits will attack us one by one.
Abubakar Muhammad Sani,Kaduna[email protected]