By Nnamdi Nwigwe
The Nigeria nation ought to have a monopoly of force which she can routinely deploy to confront those who challenge the corporate integrity of Nigeria.
Easily among enemies of the State who deserve a sledge hammer response are those who, without provocation, employ violence on the citizenry or on vital organs of the national economy such as oil and gas pipelines and electric energy supply lines.
Immediate debilitating official force should be the answer to the very first act of terror against the State by any group of individuals, no matter the pretentious banner of religious persuasion they wave.
Our defence and security forces should resolve to fight crime and those committing it without looking at faces!
For too long our security personnel have tended to look the other way whenever they hear that “religious fanatics” had carried out one violent or terrorist act or the other.
This could be in the guise of setting fire to a place of worship or a pre-determined attack on some shops or recreational centres and hotels; almost always belonging to ethnic colorations not theirs.
There should always however be the option of dialogue as has become the vogue now. But this must come after the first comprehensive pounding of the criminals and the pacification of their base of operation by the forces of the State.
On no occasion and for no reasons whatsoever should criminals be allowed by the State to benefit from their crime, especially when the blood of an innocent Nigerian had been shed. Official response to every act of criminal rascality should be prompt, expeditious and clinical. We must realize that they are no amateurs that are rupturing the pipelines and detonating the “improvised explosive devises.”
The direct message of this piece is that our security and defence forces should get on with the job for which they are employed and sustained by the tax-payers’ money. The oil and gas pipelines carrying both crude and refined products constitute the jugular and artery of our national economy, for now.
Those who go to dynamite the pipelines succeed, not only in further destroying their environment, but also in sabotaging the national economy. They deserve no mercy. They should be smoked out and brought before the Magistrates. On conviction they should be publicly executed!
This will convince many of us cynics that Government really means business over this matter of fighting corruption and making the country safe and attractive to investors.
Criminals seem to show more impunity in this country because they are handled with kids’ gloves.
It was time that the authorities let it be made clear that any group of the citizenry that begins with violence in announcing their grievances would be replied to in equal measure.