Yakubu Busari, Jos
Dean, Faculty of Arts at the University of Jos, Professor Tor Iorapuu, has expressed worry over the spate of killings being experienced in some parts of the country and cautioned that they might lead to the truncation of democracy if the right answers were not found .
He cautioned that the killings going on in Benue, Kaduna, Adamawa, Taraba, Nasarawa states in the North Central zone may gradually spread to other parts of the country, stating that during the governorship of Jonah David Jang in Plateau “these people criminalised him as a war monger, now in Benue, Enugu and Taraba states we need to be very careful. To me this is a total failure of Nigeria democracy .
Tor Iorapuu, who is also the CEO of Youth, Adolescent, Reflection And Action Center, YARAC, an NGO based in Jos, spoke with our correspondent on Thursday evening at the NUJ premises in Jos. He said the killings in Benue communities by marauding herdsmen could set the country on fire.
” I have fought for the return of democracy and lost my scholarship but when democracy returned I stood for Buhari for his past records of achievement while he served as GOC, 3 Div for dealing with Maitasine and sending them back to Chad and Cameron.”
According to him, President Buhari has disappointed many Nigerians, including himself, for deliberately not doing well in the management of the security of the country.
“I am particularly disappointed with him because the Buhari we used to know could not demonstrate the qualities we saw in him before we voted him into power.
“From my students union politics I kept supporting Buhari because when he was the GOC in 3rd Armoured Division, Rukuba, in Plateau state we were overwhelmed with the action he took when he stormed Cameron to stop invaders into the country.
” In fact some of us paid dearly for supporting Buhari, I was made to lose scholarship because of him, but let me tell you, because of the qualities I saw in him I supported and voted for him all the times he had contested to be the President of this country and until he eventually emerged in 2015.
“But now I am disappointed with with what he is doing, particularly the way and manner he is taking the security situation in Benue State where I come from.
“The game plan as we heard it is that the he doesn’t want the anti grazing law to succeed, so he refused to take action so that when the killings continue, and there is massive reaction from Benue natives, he will slam a state of emergency on the state, where a sole administrator will be put in place to work out ways of repealing the law”.
” And one thing he fails to understand is that as he is dragging his feet in curtailing these killings, using his good office as the Commander- in -Chief, the last resort would be that the people will one day come out to say, No!, this is enough, and this could lead us to another civil war.
He debunked the insinuation making the round by the security chiefs and the Myiatty Allah Battle Bleeders Association that, the security situation in Benue is a communal clash, saying they are just using propaganda to achieve selfish interests.
He however blamed the civil society organisations for not rising up to their responsibility to rapidly approaching the authority to see the need to stop the violent extremism being perpetuated in Benue state by armed herdsmen.
“” Except the civil societies organisations are saying we dividend, if not I cannot not see any good in them as far as the attack on the Benue communities is concerned.
“When Jos was on fire, I saw the representatives of CEOs of Civil society organisations that thronged Jos to perform one function or the other, but the case of Benue is different, and I ask, are we divided?.
“ I drew the attention of people of the middle belt to the systemic attack, yet nobody listened to me ,I said that this crisis started with bow and arrow, transformed to the use of guns and bombing, now it is gradually leading occupation”.