Politics of Militancy, Terrorism and Banditry: Personal Opinions on the Instances of Nnamdi Kanu, Sunday Igboho, the Fulani Herdsmen
By: Olusegun PETERS Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Incessant political unrest in a state is not not expected, it is (in a way) part of the dialectic processes scholars of politics explain as the cause of social change; this means a state has to continuously have parts of it that would be in contradiction with each other for any kind of change to occur—good or bad. So it is understandable if in a state like Nigeria political unrests are rampant and they are always snowballing. Also, in any state, this continuous contradiction would always come with politics defined by all or at least one of the nature and identity of the state, the characteristics of its government, and/or the orientation of its people, so it is safe to say there is nothing new happening about how the Nigerian government and its politicians play their politics around the chaos everywhere in the country. However, there are reasons to want to know why they are playing the kind of politics they play around these matters and the possible future implications of the politics they play.
To relay my opinions from this angle, the drafting of the1999 Nigerian constitution I can say does not show so much common smartness—if its provisions are compared to its intention to have the people as the core of the government; lest only a part of the drafters are smart about the drafting to favour their own group while the other parts were the unsmart ones joining hands to draft a constitution that would end up being the bond on a relationship that would not favour them. But contrary to what many think, the application of the provisions of the constitution by the government always shows so much cunningness, especially when it is time to promote or protect the interests of the ones with the economic, political, social and sometimes religious powers, and the interests of the dominant peoples of the country—the Hausa/Fulani. Excelling so well in doing this is why the Buhari Administration has been labelled sentimental in addressing the threats of terrorism and secession going on everywhere through the country.
Is the Buhari Administration North-centric and even Fulani-sentimental in its setup, decisions and policies? A big YES. But can we emphatically say that the recent brutal attempt of the State Security to arrest Sunday Igboho and the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu while the more unrest-causing and really menacing Fulani Herdsmen and other Northern banditries are blessed with money and pampered by the government is a sentimental move? Considering how it looks, yes we can, but according to the 1999 Nigerian Constitution, we at all cannot, and this is one of the instances proving that the drafting of the 1999 constitution may not be so brilliant considering what it claims it stands for, but the users of the provisions of this constitution know how to use every of its provision so well when their interests need some promotion and/or protection.
The constitution like the constitution of anywhere else forbids secession or anything looking like such; posing a threat on the state, posing a threat on its government (literal or lethal), the acts or expression of any form of attack on the head of the government, all of these are labelled treasonable offences, and the government has the absolute power of attacking any entity posing these threats how they deem fit. In fact in many countries, the power to direct the Department of State Security solely belongs to the head of the government, which is why the president of a democratic state has the department directly under them, and the due process and civil legislations this department can adhere to are minimal as they only take orders from the president.
Examining the postures of Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho, as defined by the constitution, that’s treason, and the state can use all its powers in attacking them or bringing them in. While the Fulani Herdsmen have never claimed a desire to dismantle the state or bring the government down, Nnanmi Kanu and Sunday Igboho have openly claimed to be a threat on the state and on the government; the intents of these two could be business or some political drama to promote themselves or somebody’s political career, but it would only be expected that when the politician part of the government kicks in, or the politicians need to use the government in protecting their interests, they are definitely going to use the provisions of the constitution and it would be justifiable. These politicians in government can ignore the provisions of the constitution for these threats when they are not really threatening or they have no political need to address them constitutionally, but as soon as they do, they would do it and it would be okay. This is where the smartness of the Hausa/Fulani people in political relations always make them look like they are above the law, they cross the laws cunningly, while other people cross the laws like they don’t know they are creating an opportunity for the government to attack them and win legally. The South has to learn how to thread around the laws too.
Olusegun Peters is a businessman, an investor and a scholar. He is the founder of primerinfotech.com and pec-ng.com. He is passionate about contributing his knowledge to impacting as many people as possible one person at a time. Read more about Olusegun Peters here