A former Chief of Defence Staff, Alani Akinrinade, has lashed out at the federal government on the handling of the herdsmen crisis in the country.
The retired army general and an active player in the National Democratic Coalition, in the fight against the Abacha military dictatorship, spoke on Monday as Chairman of the occasion of the first anniversary lecture of the administration of Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu.
Mr. Akinrinade also knocked the Independent National Electoral Commission for registering underage voters in Northern part of the country because of the threat to lives of its officials.
He recommended the creation of state police as a way out of the perennial security challenges in the country.
Mr. Akinrinade noted that armed herdsmen had been on the rampage for several months killing, maiming, raping, burning, kidnapping without any efforts by the Federal Government to stop them.
“It was recently when our president was called out as the patron of his kinsmen, the herdsmen, that letters of complaints and its denials between the federal executive, the police and governors in distress started circulating that he gave feeble, unclear, halfhearted order to stop the carnage,” he said.
“Let us allow history to deliver its verdict after much more have died, but I am certainly tired and ashamed of being classified as a barbarian.”
He called on state governors of the Southwest geo-political zone to stand up and defend their lands against the herdsmen marauders.
He also said another attack on the likes of Olu Falae, might lead to anarchy in the country.
“The last two or so years in our country, appears to be like a tragic thriller movie in slow motion, full of abject cruelty of the highest order of barbarity, edged on by those we elected or selected to give us leadership in this country,” he said.
On the registering of underage voters, Mr. Akinrinade refused to accept INEC’s excuses, saying the security agencies were there to deal with such threats.
“What then happened to our humongous financial outlay of seven infantry Army Divisions, a mighty Air Force and a Navy that supposedly rule our portion of the seas, hundreds of thousands of policemen and numerous other gun totting formations, when mere threat of violence is all that is required to hold sway over law and order?,” he queried.
“Or are these python dancing? Where are the men who refuse to do the wrong things? Could INEC not have withdrawn their services and closed down all facilities? Collaborators?”
While reviewing the lecture titled rethinking Nigerian Nationhood: Issues and Challenges, delivered by Akin Oyebode, a professor of jurisprudence and international law, Mr. Akinrinade noted that the recommendations made should help in redirecting the nation to its glorious path.
Mr. Oyebode in his lecture had emphasised the downplaying of ethnic origin and religious persuasions in the nation’s polity as a way to forging a Nigeria desirable to all.
He also advocated the process where the people are knowledgeable enough to put the right people in power.