Does a central element tie together the wave of violence that greeted the new year in Nigeria or they just happened within the same time frame? In other words, is this government being sabotaged or it is sabotaging itself with its own incoherence? These are some of the questions attracting attention from both experts and ordinary citizens alike.
Various forms of violence have been recorded within the first three days of the new year in states such as Rivers, Kaduna, Kwara, Benue, Borno and Ibadan. While that of Borno State seem obvious in that Borno is where Boko Haram insurgency is concentrated, the rest are not too clear as to whether they share any inter-connections or not.
That is, is there a grandmaster striking in different places almost simultaneously and in various guises or is it the case that each flash point has its own provocation? Is it the case that the attacks could have been more but anticipated and ruptured by various arms of the security agencies or surveillance and tracking failed completely? And why might that happen? Incompetence or the unraveling of incumbent regime?
How far does the president’s order for the arrest of perpetrators respond to the case in Benue which is actually seen to be more in need of presidential framing of the crisis rather than arrest? As the argument goes, it is presidential framing or his sense of the threat that will determine the offensive-defensive practice of the security agencies and as long as that is lacking, arrest of suspected perpetrators will not stop the next flare up. The gap has always been a categorical framework of the resurgent character of contemporary transhumance in Nigeria from the president whose Fulani identity placed him placed him in a position to make that statement, particularly in Central Nigeria. Somehow, such a statement did not come up during the build up, including when Benue’s anti-open grazing law was in the making. The hope generated by the visit of the leadership of northern governors fizzled out as the initiative itself fizzled out dramatically. Ordering arrests without articulating what the president considers to be the problem thus leaves a gap or questions about this absolutely avoidable spate of violence in the case of the Benue area. That can be singled out along with violence in Borno area because they are not sudden or diffuse as in Ibadan and Kwara. Kaduna violence remains a puzzle in its own class.
So many questions but few answers, a situation that frightens observers especially when linked to the flash of violence in Bwari area council of the Federal Capital Territory shortly before New Year and the prolonged fuel crisis!