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Friday, August 12, 2022
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The unknown gunmen this time couldn’t find Policemen or Army to maim and slaughter, nor Police vehicles to loot or raze. They couldn’t find their way to the Divisional Police Headquarters or to any Army checkpoint. So, they unleashed their wrath on members of the community Vigilante Group.

By the time they were done, about five vigilante members lay cold, the vigilante office razed down and the community in disarray.

Women were suddenly turned to widows, children became fatherless and siblings were heartbroken at the loss of their beloved brothers and maybe, breadwinners of the family.

These vigilante personnel are part of the community’s most trusted security set-up. They would always be at ready to protect the community against any “invasion” by Fulani herdsmen or any external aggressors. They are the community’s best intelligence outfit, who complements the efforts of conventional security outfits. But they were killed, presumably, by those who told us that they are only interested in safeguarding our farmlands from encroachment from Fulani herdsmen, those who told us that their only interest is in protecting Igbo land.

No matter the robe we want to dress any group of armed bandits in the South East, the truth remains that they forebode no good for our communities. Any group of people whose aim is to upturn all authorities and impose their own will on the people, forcefully, should not be supported by the citizenry. When they are done removing the obstacles mounted by legitimate state actors like the Police and Army, they will definitely come after soft targets.

Boko Haram is today kidnapping innocent children, slaughtering farmers, raping people’s wives and daughters, setting entire communities on fire. Yesterday, they told these communities that they were out to protect them. Businesses are suffering in the Northeast, the children can’t go to school without fear of being abducted and farmlands are abandoned, making food scarce and more expensive than it would have been. May such fate never befall Igboland.

Our religious leaders, politicians, activists, journalists, scholars and anyone with some level of influence must come out to denounce the activities of these gunmen.

If we think that we are protecting ourselves by keeping away from that topic, then, we are deceiving ourselves, because no one is safe under the rule of angry and uncontrolled men with guns.

Let us be wise.

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