A veteran journalist and former Editor-in-Chief and General Manager, Nigeria Standard Newspapers, Jonathan Ishaku, has cautioned the Federal Government against playing politics with the myriad of security issues in the country, ”especially the herdsmen attacks”.
Ishaku stated this at a Colloquium tagged: “Herdsmen Violence: The Politics of Security Management in a Fragile State”; organised by the Plateau Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in collaboration with the Plateau State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), in Jos.
He urged the Federal Government to adopt more stringent measures to tackle insecurity in the country.
“Insecurity has become a major threat to the country, but the measures adopted to tackle the menace are very weak; government must get more decisive,” he said.
The Veteran journalist who is also a Mass Communication lecturer at the Plateau State University, Bokkos, maintained that, “In my opinion, one area the nation has been playing politics with, is national security management, especially the issue of herdsmen terrorism.
“The Nigerian government’s response to security threats is weak, that is why it spread like wild fire and engulfed all states in central Nigeria. Today, the menace has engulfed even the southern part of the country.
“If the current laxity continues, it will be difficult to stop the killings. It will be difficult to secure the rural areas,” he said.
Ishaku said insecurity had turned the country into a fragile state, saying, “Nigeria’s corporate existence had never been so threatened”.
“Inspite of assurances from government that the Boko Haram insurgency has been defeated, the insurgents have continued to demonstrate strength in the North-East”, he lamented.
“Kidnapping, which was associated with just one part of the country, is now a nationwide menace with the usually secured Federal Capital Territory (FCT), also hit.
“The ugly trends have continued because government has failed in its responsibility of curbing insecurity,” he stressed.
The former Editor-in-Chief accused government of not treating all sides of the country equally, saying that the magnitude of government’s interest had always depended on who becomes the victims of the attacks.
“The situation is so bad that the military has been accused of colluding with the attackers. This is a dangerous dimension that should interest everyone,” he further stressed.
Ishaku cautioned against the politicisation of security, warning that the trend could lead to anarchy if not checked.
He said that victims of attacks in rural communities were running out of options for survival, and opined that self-help would be inevitable if no help was forthcoming from government.
The Veteran journalist maintained that the herdsmen violence had festered for too long, and challenged the media, as setters of national agenda, to serve as a platform for the generation of ideas toward ending the killings.
In his earlier address, Chairman of the Plateau Council of the NUJ, Paul Jatau, said the event was targeted at creating a forum for journalists to contribute to a topical issue.
Jatau said, “Hope that this series of lectures will contribute in finding enduring solutions to the many problems that stare us in the face as a country and provide an avenue to unleash the great potentials which abound in our great country”.