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REAR Admiral Mike Onah (retd) is the National President, Ndokwa Political Leaders Forum.

 In this interview, Onah bares his mind on the killings carried out by herdsmen in the country saying calling President Muhammadu Buhari names is not the solution to the attacks.

He also canvassed support for Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, who he said has transformed Delta state beyond expectations and so deserves a second term. Excerpts:

What is your reaction to the present state of insecurity in the country, especially killings by herdsmen around the country?

The situation is very worrisome. It is very sad and very unfortunate. It is very sad that precious human lives are being wasted. These killings are despicable and condemnable.

There can be no justification for shedding human blood and wasting precious lives when we are not in a state of war, and this is why there have been global condemnations of the killings.

However, I will like Nigerians to see these killings as a national problem which requires inputs from all stakeholders on how to arrive at an amicable solution which will provide an effective panacea to the lingering crisis.

Like I said earlier, these killings by the herdsmen are bad and condemnable, and I will like our security agencies to rise up to the occasion by restoring sanity. The full weight of the law should also be brought upon those herdsmen who committed these heinous acts. Their disdainful activities do not portray Nigeria as a civilized nation. It doesn’t portray us as a nation where human lives are valued and treasured.

 However, since the tragic incident occurred several people have been heaping blames on President Muhammadu Buhari, some have even been cursing him, some even are calling him all sorts of names, but I don’t think calling Buhari names is the solution.

We should not turn the herdsmen killings into Buhari affair. Agreed that Buhari is the country’s president, and much is expected of him in finding answers to myriads of problems confronting the nation, but what we should all realize is that Buhari is also a human being, and no human being is 100 percent perfect.

 I don’t want to believe that President Buhari would want to condone killings by herdsmen when he has taken an oath of office to defend and protect all Nigerians. As the president, he is supposed to be the father of the nation, and in that regard, all parts of Nigeria should be seen as being his constituency.

Therefore Nigerians should not do anything that will further jeopardize or threaten fragile peace in the affected areas.

Although Buhari as the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces has the primary duty of securing the lives and properties of Nigerians in different parts of the country, on this herdsmen’s killings, we should all see it as a collective national problem and as such should all work together to find a lasting solution.

 What is your stance on the calls for a second term for Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State?

It is a welcome development. The call is an indication of Okowa’s acceptance by the people of Delta state. Personally, I believe that Gov. Okowa truly deserves a second term of office to enable him to consolidate on the good work he has been doing since being voted into office in 2015.

 What are some of those things that you can point to as some of Okowa’s achievements that qualify him to run for a second term?

 If the people of Delta State have not seen visible and durable projects executed by the governor, they would not have been urging him to do a second term. Based on his sterling performance, Gov. Okowa deserves a second term.

 And for me, some of those areas where Gov. Okowa has excelled include infrastructural development, agricultural revolution, and people’s welfare. As a leader who has foresight, Gov Okowa realizing that the nation’s over-dependence on oil as a major revenue earner is no longer realistic embarked on an agricultural revolution in Delta state.

Under his agricultural programme, Gov. Okowa established large plantations for rice farming, cassava planting, and other staple foods across the state. Okowa’s administration has also embarked on fish farming in different parts of the state. Not only that, he has also established vocational centres where youths acquire skills that will make them self-employed. I also admire Okowa’s administration for providing loans for small and medium scale business entrepreneurs to enable them to expand the scope of their ventures.

With the dexterity Gov. Okowa has been handling the affairs of the state; we now have enduring peace in Delta state.

Will you say that with the way Gov. Okowa has been running the affairs of Delta state that he has not disappointed the Anioma people?

Yes. Okowa has not disappointed us. Okowa has been a good ambassador of the Anioma people. Even though Okowa is from the Anioma stock, but he has been running an open, transparent, and all-inclusive administration in Delta state. All the various ethnic groups in Delta State are represented in his government, and that’s why there have been no complaints of marginalization by other ethnic groups in Delta state. Gov. Okowa is a fair-minded man, God fearing and hard working, and Anioma people are proud of him. Okowa has been a good ambassador of the Anioma people.

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