AN OPEN LETTER TO VICE PRESIDENT KASHIM SHETTIMA ON FAILURE TO CURB THE EPIDEMIC OF INSECURITY IN NIGERIA!
You will recollect that when you were campaigning for votes during the 2023 Elections, you boasted of your Security Credentials, and promised to keep Nigeria safe. To paraphrase you: “If elected, Tinubu as President will be in charge of the Economy, and I as Vice President will handle Security.”
The purpose of this letter is to remind you of your promise and to let Nigerians know that it is you that must be held accountable for the failure of government to deal with the alarming increase in the number of abductions, armed robberies ,kidnappings for ransom, ritual killings, genocidal displacements of indigenous peoples and violent land grabbing.
Recently, Civil Society Groups through the ‘Civil Society Joint Action Group’ reported that since you took office on 29th May 2023, over 2,000 people have been killed, and another 1,000 abducted.
Whether one agrees with these figures or not, it is irrefutable that the activities of terrorists and bandits have increased exponentially during your administration. Everyday, we hear of the abduction and or killing of all types of people: doctors, University professors, Teachers and pupils, Military personnel, Security operatives, Politicians, Traditional Rulers, Government Officials,University Students in their hostels, Whole family members from private Estates and Commuters traveling on the highway. Anybody can fall victim at any time of the day, and at any location.
Disappointingly, your security agents hardly succeed in apprehending these evil criminals. All they seem able to do is help to deliver ransom which the unfortunate victims have to come up with themselves. Your Agents escort the victims home, and then pretend that they have rescued them. Meanwhile, the abductions and the killings continue unabated.
Strangely, Mr Vice President, you have remained silent in the midst of all this carnage and destruction to life and property of citizens. Now, concerned observers are beginning to read ominous meaning to your apparent cavalier attitude to the county’s tragedy. Notably among these commentators is Hajia Najaatu Mohammed, a former Director, Civil Society Organizations, APC, Presidential Campaign Council.
According to Najaatu Mohammed who was a prominent member of your Party’s , All Progressives Congress (APC), 2023 Presidential Campaign, “the illegal mining operations, the bunkering and oil theft , the cases of ethnic Cleansing – land wars and displacement of traditional land owners going on in Nigeria today is a man – made multi billion dollar industry designed by powerful government officials who exploit the unstable situation for financial gains.”
This year, on National Television, Hajia Najaatu was bold enough to name you as the leader of those prominent and powerful people behind this deadly multi dollar billion industry. To buttress her case against you, she reminds us of your close association with the notorious Boko Haram kingpin, Kabiru Sokoto, when you were governor of Borno State, and recently of your solidarity with a Police Officer, wanted for drug trafficking crimes.
Till date, you have not denied these allegations, and you have shown no real concern for the growing insecurity which is threatening to destroy the Nation.
While you remain silent, and unmoved by growing menace of kidnappings, abductions, disappearances and killings, some patriotic citizens are seeking solutions to the problems.
Most of the solutions suggested revolve around the need to restructure the Nation’s security system in order to enable individual States to assemble their own police force.
It is the general conviction of Restructionists that a devolution of security powers to the Federating Units will improve security at all levels; state,the local Government,and the neighborhood.
In conclusion, Mr Vice President, I put it to you that your nonchalant attitude in these times of growing insecurity is disturbing. And that your refusal to rebut allegations of complicity in crimes against the Nation is disheartening!
And that if you insist on maintaining your well publicized stance against the Restructuring of the Nigerian Federation, an ideology which has the potential to alleviate the problem of insecurity and failing economy, patriotic citizens will have no choice but to agree with your critics who portray you as an enemy of peace and progress; as incredible as that might seem!
Stay blessed, Your Excellency , and may God have mercy on the Federal Republic of Nigeria!
Dr Adetokunbo Pearse, PhD.
8th February, 2024