Buhari’s visits: ‘troubled communities need better security’
Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari rounded up his tour of areas affected by gruesome killings and kidnappings to Yobe state after a visit to Benue State, two months after the January 1, 2018 attacks by herdsmen, which left at least 73 Benue indigenes dead. While critics have dubbed his ‘belated’ visit a political rather than public-spirited one, the president has maintained that his government was deeply worried about the incessant attacks on rural communities. For Nigerians, who spoke to Williams ABAH and Edrina EMMANUEL, their concern is that the president needs to beef up security in those troubled communities and end the bloodletting. Excerpts:
ISAAC BENJAMIN: the visit is a normal thing the president ought to have done a long time ago. So I think it's commendable.
However, visiting alone is not enough. Let them find a way to secure the people by either increasing security presence or any other means possible. Let them find a way to put an end to the killings of innocent citizens of Nigeria. It is so unfortunate that in this part of the world people don't have respect for human lives.
Abroad, a stray dog is enough for an entire police detachment to be deployed, and a human life is worth even more. God is not happy with the killings in this country. So I'll urge the president to look for a way on how to provide a lasting solution to this crisis.
AHMED ABU: Mr. President’s visit to troubled states is a welcome development. But my worry are the killings that took place after his visits. Look at the Killings in Plateau, immediately after he visited. For me, the president needs to call his Kinsmen together and caution them.
A situation where a state government enacted a law to protect the lives and property of its people and the secretary of Miyetti Allah cattle Breeders Association came out boldly that he will frustrate the law, and render it ineffective, would lead the entire country into anarchy.
I was even expecting the president to reinforce the earlier order given to arrest the secretary of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, but up till now, nothing has been done. And that is why the killings continue. The visit of Mr. President to this crisis areas would not stop the Killings, except the president takes a drastic action against those who are perpetrating these attacks.
KEN SYLVA: It is a good step in the right direction. But I think this visit would have been done earlier than now. It is expected that when crisis like the Killings in Benue State take place, the president should go there immediately and commiserate with those who lost their loved ones.
But that has never been the case since this genocide by the Fulani Herdsmen started. He has taken action maybe an afterthought, but that is not enough. Many homes have been destroyed, and people have nowhere to lay their heads.
For the past three months since the killings by the herdsmen became more serious, I have not heard where the federal government distributed relief materials to the victims. The relief they sent through various government agencies to the IDP, has been siphoned in different quarters.
There was a case sometime last year where people in the Camp died of cholera and malaria, as a result of poor sanitation. The president needs to give hope to those who are in the camp by providing necessary facilities, and reconstructing their houses.
MARY AKPAN: It is saddening that Nigeria has become a bloodletting country, with killings everywhere. As we speak, no place is safe in this country. And I don't think the visit of Mr. President to those crisis areas will bring any positive change because the action he is taking now, supposed to be proactive at all times.
During his visit, he was even comparing himself with former President GoodLuck Jonathan; that his response to Dapchi Kidnapped school girls was more prompt than Jonathan's response during the 2014 Chibok school girls’ abduction.
Until now, I have not seen the impact of his prompt response to the Dapchi school girls as he claimed. As we speak, no single person among those Kidnapped in Dapchi has been released. For God’s sake, this is human life that is being wasted and those who are to protect them are busy competing with predecessors.
When I heard about the visits, I was not surprised because they are part of the calculations for 2019 polls. I think the president needs to give hope to the millions of Nigerians who voted him into power by doing the needful and giving everybody a sense of belonging.
ABDUL BATURE: I believe that some of these government agencies have hands in what is happening. The president is very open. He appointed the IG of police and now he said the IG is disobeying his order. So the President should take action.
Those working under the president are not following his agenda. If he was monitoring them, these things would not be happening. For me, the President is too slow in taking actions and that's why he is visiting Benue and other places at this time.
I also believe it's because of the upcoming elections that he is finally doing what needs to be done. All he needs to do now is to increase security in every state.
BITRUS OMEGA: Well, it's good that he has finally decided to visit them but I believe he is quite slow in making decisions and it's really affecting the country.
The president should have done this earlier and increase the presence of security personnel, instead there are even more attacks on the people. When I heard it, I felt so bad. I believe it's only God that can help us. He should provide security, so we can feel safe in our homes.