By Chukwudi Enekwechi
While the security challenges which the country has witnessed in some states continues to be a source of concern to all Nigerians, it is consoling that the Buhari/Osinbajo administration has employed all humanly possible strategies to contain them. In doing so, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has assumed the role of a trouble shooter towards ensuring that normalcy returns to the affected areas, especially in Benue state where thousands of families have been rendered homeless following the unprovoked attacks by armed herdsmen.
Recently he embarked on a two day visit to the internally-displaced camps in Benue state and later Nasarawa state. After an on the-spot assessment of the situation in the various camps the vice president announced the decision of the federal government to embark on a rehabilitation programme of communities that have been affected by violent killings with a commitment of ten billion naira. He also used the opportunity of the visit to reveal the several measures being put in place by the federal government to rehabilitate the surviving victims of the attacks and reintegrate them into society. He has also emphasised that as a responsible government justice will be done to the victims.
The vice president has through the visits demonstrated that the federal government is living up to its responsibilities, especially as it relates to the protection of lives and properties. One lesson to be drawn from the visit of the vice president to Benue and Nasarawa states is that this is an administration that does not abdicate its responsibilities.
Apart from the on-going efforts by the federal government to restore peace to Benue and other affected states, there is also a clear evidence of deployment of troops to the affected communities and this was acknowledged by the Benue state governor, Mr Samuel Ortom.
It must be appreciated that the disruption of normal life in Benue, Taraba, Zamfara, Nasarawa and Kaduna states by the activities of armed herdsmen was unforeseen and should in no way be blamed on the Buhari/Osinbajo administration, yet they have taken the responsibility to curtail and bring it to an end.
Therefore the attempt to introduce a religious colouration to the farmers/herdsmen clashes and blame the vice president of abandoning Christians is uncalled for. It is an established fact that Muslims are suffering similar unfortunate fate in Zamfara state and Birnin Gwari of Kaduna state, and therefore should be seen as national challenge which the Buhari/Osinbajo administration is trying to stop. Both President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice president Yemi Osinbajo are conscientious leaders and are determined to solve the problems once and for all.
In this regard, several measures have been put in place to bring an end to the security challenges. For instance, the government has reviewed the entire security architecture and deployed the army, police, civil defence and air force to restore peace and normalcy in Benue and other restive areas.
It is also on record that on 15th January, 2018 the president had met with a delegation of Benue leaders including the governor where issues were frankly discussed and decisions reached. Before and after the meeting with the Benue state delegation, several top government officials had visited the affected areas to see things first-hand with a view to proffering long lasting solution.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has never missed an opportunity to show empathy and demonstrate the resolve of the administration to bring an end to the killings and in doing this his interest has been to reassure the victims and restore hope. With the various measures already put in place and the decision to rebuild the communities, there is no doubt we are soon going to see the end of these unfortunate incidents.
Therefore, it is unnecessary to blame the vice president or accuse him of abandoning Christians in their hour of need. As a true Christian and committed patriot and nationalist he has never shirked in his responsibilities to any set of Nigerians, notwithstanding the faith or ethnicity hence he keeps receiving the plaudits of the throng wherever he goes just as President Muhammadu Buhari. As a people we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to reap from the dedicated leadership of the duo of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as their sincerity of purpose is glaring and their integrity untainted.
Let us spare a moment to appreciate all the monumental projects they have embarked on towards rebuilding the country. Though the journey may appear tough, but the determination to reach the destination is clear and doubtless.
By Chukwudi Enekwechi (JP)
An Abuja Based Journalist and Politician