Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM



Repeated killings across the country show that the Buhari APC government and capitalist ruling elite lack the capacity to maintain security and peace in Nigeria

The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) condoles with the people of Plateau state over the brutal killing allegedly carried out by herdsmen over the weekend in which at least 86 people lost their lives while many were injured and houses razed. This is one killing too many.

According to reports, this latest brutal attack is said to be a reprisal for recent killings of herdsmen and rustling of cattle. The SPN condemns killings on both sides. We also condole with families of the herdsmen and others who lost their lives in the cycle of violence.

We call for the unity of herdsmen and farmers as the only basis to find solutions to what is essentially a conflict over use of natural resources. As a basis to begin to build such unity and to prevent future violence, we call for the setting up of multi-ethnic and multi-religious defense committees composed of elected representatives of herdsmen and farmers, and armed if necessary, to prevent violent attacks on human, farmland and cattle.

The herdsmen and farmers clashes have gone on for far too long and the lack of a solution to the issues by the Buhari APC government is sickening. Rather than address the core issue of the conflict, the government is instead engaged in blame game. Even the recently announced plan to build ranches, which is coming rather late in the day, is yet to take off the ground, all of which shows that the Buhari government lacks a sense of urgency on this issue. But ranching on its own is not the solution. To stop herdsmen and farmers clashes will require the modernization of agriculture (both crop and livestock) and development of the rural areas in terms of providing basic infrastructures and social amenities something which requires massive government/public investment but not possible on the basis of self-serving profit motive that drives the Public Private Partnership (PPP) approach of the Buhari government.

That security operatives were powerless, clueless and unable to anticipate or stop this killing, just like many other killings that have occurred, is a clear wakeup call to the reality that the Buhari APC government is incapable of guaranteeing the protection of the lives of Nigerians. While the Buhari government is spending billions of Naira on security, all we get as a result are more and more dead bodies. This is unacceptable. Indeed if the security operatives were doing their job, the latest killing in Plateau state is a killing that should not have occurred. According to information, the killing was expected given recent attacks on herdsmen as well as repeated cases of cattle rustling. Unfortunately rather than do something to prevent the attack, the security agencies merely went to sleep.

All of these facts call into question where all the monies voted for security are going. The SPN demands a public probe by an independent panel involving elected representatives of trade unions, community association, farmers and herdsmen groups and other civil groups to investigate the way and manner security votes over the last three and a half years have been expended in order to unravel why despite billions budgeted, insecurity is not abating while the security operatives continue to prove useless and clueless in the face of this rampaging violence.

Nonetheless, the SPN strongly holds that law and order as well as heavy security spending alone cannot stop killings arising from resource conflicts. This is why we support the call for ranching of cattle with government intervention, which will eliminate or significantly reduce such physical contact between herders and farmers that usually result into clashes including mindless killings, as part of investment in the modernization of agriculture in general.

There is no doubt that Nigeria has become an open air mortuary under the watch of the President Buhari and the ruling APC. But the PDP has no moral right to even make any public commentary on issues of insecurity. Under its 16-year rule Nigeria was equally a killing field. The reality is that both APC and PDP have failed abysmally to guarantee the lives of Nigerians. So far, these kind of pro-rich political parties with their inherently profit-first policies continue to rule, the cycle of violence will not stop.

Only the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) has an effective programme to make Nigeria a truly democratic country that guarantees the democratic rights of all minorities (ethnic, religious etc.) on the basis of a socialist economic programme of collective ownership of the key sectors of the economy, wealth redistribution and social programme like free and quality education, free and quality healthcare, jobs for all, payment of living wage etc., in order to ensure that all Nigerians regardless of religious, ethnic or other division live a contented, happy and fulfilled life.

Abiodun Bamigboye
Acting National Chairperson
Chinedu Bosah
National Secretary