Worried by the high rate of insurgency and its attendant consequence on the people of the country , the University academia have lent their voices to spate of killings, Kidnappings, armed robbery that have become order of the day in several parts of the country , calling government to tackle them frontally.
They also urged the federal government to be seen addressing the insurgency, armed banditry and ethno-religious issues that are currently debilitating the fabric of Nigeria.
The University dons made this call while presenting position papers at a national conference organised by the Department of History and International Relations Studies in honour of Professor Toyin Falola at the 5th Convocation of Federal University, Lokoja yesterday.
The theme of the conference is: ‘Insurgency , armed banditry and ethno religious conflicts in the central Nigeria.’
The key note speaker, Professor Yakubu Ochefu submitted that if urgent actions were not taken now the future of the country is very bleak because of new dimension the issue of insecurity is currently taking.
Ochefu, who was represented by Professor Patrick Tsarkar, highlighted the historical perspective of the insurance from time immemorial and boost in agriculture which led to demand for land and to the present day climate change that aggravated movement by pastoralists.
In his presentation , Professor Shola Omotola described ethno religious conflicts as complex identity crisis with ethnic and religious loyalist are interrelated and justly reinforced sources or motivation of complicity.
Omotola also pointed out that a total 18, 638 incidents had occurred in the Central Nigeria with a fatality rate of 79,844 deaths, saying that the situation is becoming worrisome.
The Vice Chancellor, Federal University , Lokoja , Professor Olayemi Akinwunmi, noted that in the last decade, the Nigerian state had been besieged by devastating activities of insurgents, armed bandits, and violent non-state actors.
Akinwunmi stated that on what appears to be a free for all, the entire country seems to be enmeshed in a theatre of violence, with an intensity that is unprecedented since Nigeria’s return to civil rule in 1999.
He noted that among other factors, this phenomenon has been compounded by the unchecked proliferation of arms, the porous state of the country’s borders, the seeming lack of political will to bring perpetrators to justice, and the incessant agitations for resource control.
“From the available literature, this phenomenon has become more manifest in Central Nigeria due to the desertification of the North East, leading to migrations to the area. The complexity of the situation is worsened by the ethnic composition of Nigeria, ethnic-politics for resource control and ethno-religious determinism, the ripple effect of which is the general insecurity of lives and property with its attendant effect on the education and economy of the people, and the gross violation of the rights of women and children, most of whom are either sexually abused or killed,” he said.
The VC added that apart from being the convergent point of Rivers Niger and Benue, and the passageway from southern to northern Nigeria by road, Central Nigeria is critical to food production in the country.
“Given the religion’s importance and the seemingly unending nature of the crisis, the conference hopes to.intwrrogate these boggling issues from multidisciplinary perspectives and their implications in the Nigerian State
“This conference will provide a platform for scholars to interrogate the trajectories of these developments and their implications in the Nigerian State,” he said.
Earlier, Professor Gbenga Ibileye Chairman local organising committee in his welcome address described Professor Toyin Falola as one of the most distinguished sons of Africa continent our venerable Professor Toyin Falola, who incidentally is one of the academic and intellectual strengths behind the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University Lokoja, Professor Olayemi Akinwumi.