*JUSTICE FOR DEVELOPMENT*

By The People's Bishop Kenneth Obi
   
As has become the tradition in the country, following the victory of President Muhamadu Buhari at the polls, many groups visited him to show solidarity and pledge their loyalty to him. During one of such visits by Northern Leaders Forum, the leader of the group, Alhaji Maitama Sule, (now late) spoke extensively on what could be described as the bedrock for development in any society. The late elder statesman told the then President-elect to uphold the principles of justice and fair play if he must succeed.
Hear him: “It is the same Buhari that gave this country a sense of direction when he was a military leader. This time around I’m sure Allah has brought him to correct the ills of the past to the full. But Sir, it is easy and you know it was easy when you were there as a military leader. But what made it easy? Justice! With justice, you can rule Nigeria well. Justice is the key. Do justice to all and sundry. If you are going to deal with the people, do justice irrespective of their tribe, religion or even political inclination. Justice must be done to whosoever deserves it. Power can remain in the hands of an infidel if he is just and fair. But it will not remain in the hands of a believer if he is unfair and unjust. Behind every crisis anywhere in the world is injustice. The solution to that crisis is justice. The world itself can never be governed by force; never by fear. Even never by power. What governs is the mind. What conquers is the spirit and the weapons of governing the mind and the spirit are justice and fair play. …I am asking you to do justice to all parts of Nigeria. Justice will bring about peace. Peace and stability are the prerequisite of development. Development will bring employment. With employment you will not have idle people. An idle man is a devil’s workshop. An idle man thinks nothing but evil. It wants to do nothing but evil. Justice will do away with all these. I know you can do it. Do justices to us, do justice to them, do justice to everybody. Allah will reward you for that…”

Three years down the road, can it be said that the president has adhered to the wise counsel in piloting the affairs of the nation? In all the actions and inactions of the current administration right from inception till now, has justice been upheld? On the issue of appointment to offices where people from certain parts of the country are favoured to the detriment of the others, can we call that justice? Our president and his men never miss an opportunity to tell Nigerians and the world that they are fighting corruption in the country. However, some analysts and opposition party members have claimed that the anti-graft war is one sided and more of a witch hunt. Can anyone in all honesty describe such war as a fair and just action?

For many months now, herdsmen have been killing people across the country. Many villages have been set ablaze in states like Benue and Adamawa while lots of farmers have had their farmlands destroyed and their means of livelihood damaged by the herdsmen.
Apart from the usual tough talks and empty threats by the Federal Government and the police, what has been done to bring the perpetrators of these heinous crimes to justice? Rather than fishing them out and making them pay for their atrocities, the heads of security in the country are constantly making excuses for their inhuman acts.

For instance, after the January massacre of over 70 people by herdsmen in Benue State, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, attributed the action to communal clash. The Defence Minister, Col Mohammed Dan-Alli (rtd), on the other hand, claimed that the enactment of the anti-grazing laws by some states was the immediate cause of violence by herders. That was even as the Breeders Association, Miyetti Allah, claimed responsibility for the Benue killing, saying it was done in retaliation for their lost cows. Can we call that justice?

Meanwhile, while the herdsmen are treated like the untouchables, which embolden them to carry on with their killing spree, some other agitating groups are visited with violence. Some groups are even labelled terrorists. Can we still call this justice and fair play?

On the state and local government levels, the story is not different as the people at the helm of affairs throw caution to the winds and do things unjustly. Some governors concentrate all developmental projects in their senatorial zones or local governments of origin, neglecting other places. Some of them even crumble businesses in the their respective states just for theirs to thrive. As another general elections approach, some of our leaders are doing everything possible to impose their candidates on the people irrespective of the peoples’ wish. Is this justice.
With all these manner of injustice, why wouldn’t there be crisis in the country and some states as is presently the case? And how can we think of meaningful development in the midst of all these? One, therefore, think it’s high time all Nigerians, particularly the leaders at all levels, not only ponder on Sule’s counsel but also act on it for the good of the nation. This killings of innocent Nigerians MUST STOP and the leadership of the Herbsmen Miyetti Allah should be held accountable for numerous KILLINGS in PLATEAU!

Citizens for Righteousness and Social Justice is the Best way to Go Raising Anti Corruption Crusaders fighting Injustices in a Violent and Immoral Society of Nigeria for a Better Nigeria come 2019.

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