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Political violence and state of insecurity in Nigeria

Since the enthronement of the current democratic process in 1999, the nation has witnessed series of senseless ethno-religious killings and brutal assassinations of a good…

Since the enthronement of the current democratic process in 1999, the nation has witnessed series of senseless ethno-religious killings and brutal assassinations of a good number of high profile Nigerians over trivial political differences. Some of those who were killed were innocent victims and those who wanted to identify with the efforts to eliminate vestiges of injustice in the land.

Inspite of the deluge of condemnations that have greeted the increasing orgy of ethno-religious and political violence and insecurity in the country, the social vice has remained almost intractable like a monstrous spectre. Even outside the frontiers of the nation, many world leaders have condemned in unmistakable term the prevailing political scenario in the country and described the development as a big threat, not only to democracy but also to the corporate existence of the nation.

Democracy is all about collective articulation of germane ideas aimed at achieving utilitarianism and social justice. It must also be predicated on the principles of the rule of law. Certainly, no political philosophy has advocated the killing of innocent citizens as a developmental stratagem. Throughout human history, no meaningful democratic culture has ever thrived in an atmosphere of insecurity, intolerance, hatred, marginalization, brutality and bloodshed.

But here in Nigeria, we seem to have entrenched political devastation and ruthless decimation of human resources all in the name of partisan politics, religious bigotry and ethnic jingoism. Essentially, democracy encourages group participation in governance and decision-making process.

Criticisms and constructive opposition are also the vital ingredients of a viable, progressive democratic dispensation. It is against this backdrop that the political and ethno-religious crises being unleashed on the citizenry in a seemingly people-orientated milieu, becomes highly ignoble, retrogressive and unmitigatedly barbaric.

The task of nation-building demands patriotism, unity and oneness. Therefore, we should begin to see the ugly trend of political and ethno-religious crises pervading the nation in the past few years as a danger signal. There is no doubt that a country where the citizens have little or no regard for the sanctity of lives or give themselves to political terrorism, cannot have a place in the annals of history.

Having smarted for so long under military dictatorship and other excruciating crucibles in the course of our national transformation, time has come for all Nigerians to rise up in unison against all forms of political and ethno-religious killings.

Fidel Agu is of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Abuja

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