The long awaited partnership between government, the local population and other stakeholders in tackling the socio-political and security challenges in the North West and South West Regions is gaining momentum as the local population is gradually overcoming fear to face the perpetrators of insecurity and other hideous crimes.
North West Governor Adolph Lele Lafrique on October 19, 2019 handed the Head of State, President Paul Biya’s security gadgets to empower vigilante teams formed by the local populations to tackle insecurity in Nkambe Central and Misaje Subdivisions in Donga Mantung Division. The gadgets included megaphones, helmets, motorcycles, security dictators, security jackets, registers, fire aid kits, solar torches, protective coats and protective boots, among others. The timely gesture in Donga Mantung Division came after a similar one in Mezam Division.
Government-local population partnership in fighting insecurity caused by separatists in the North West and South West Regions is a key leeway for victory in the socio- political and security crisis. This is because it strengthens confidence-building measures between the government and local population and enables them to adopt common strategies to tackle enemies of peace and return to normalcy.
Government is certainly making use of and perfecting the experience got from the fight against the Boko Haram terrorist insurgencies in the Far North Region. If remarkable success has been achieved in the war against the Boko Haram terrorist fighters, it is largely thanks to the vigilante groups formed at the level of villages to track down the terrorist fighters and work hand-in-hand with the defence and security forces either to neutralise or push back the insurgents. The Head of State, government and other stakeholders have been pumping in a lot of assistance to boost the moral and provide the necessary equipment to members of the various vigilante groups who are committed to the fight to ensure a return to peace.
From every indication, government’s will and needed resources are there but the populations of the North West and South West Regions have to be bold enough to conquer fear and stand up as one person to work for a return to normalcy. It is true that the security situation is daunting considering that perpetrators of the hideous acts and proponents of separation are only found among members of the various communities. Since they are known, the population under the auspices of their traditional, religious and administrative authorities have to implement the recommendations of the Major National Dialogue whose key component is inclusive talks at all levels for a return to peace and normalcy. The populations have to preach the virtues of the dialogue and lure separatist fighters to hearken to the call and accept the olive branch of the Head of State for them to drop their weapons, leave the bushes and come to the National Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration Centres (DDR) where they will be prepared for a return to normal and useful life. The fighters have to be lured to copy the examples of the ex-combatants who are already in the DDR Centres and no harm has befallen them.
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