Seriake Dickson, Governor of Bayelsa State, says we must "call a spade a spade" instead of saying farmers are clashing with herders if we must resolve the killings in some parts of the country.
He also described the killings, particularly in the north, as the biggest ever existential threat to the nation’s coporate existence since after the civil war.
According to a press statement signed by the Governor's Chief Press Secretary, Francis Ottah Agbo, Sylva said this on Friday in Abuja while delivering a lecture titled 'Cultural Values, National Security and Challenges of Contemporary Governance: Perspective From Bayelsa State Experience', organised by the Institute of Security Studies (ISS).
Dickson condemned the recent killings and warned that the country would cease to have a future if President Muhammadu Buhari fails to urgently mobilise Nigerians to build a non-partisan consensus to avert the senseless killings.
He lamented that politicians were using the security structure of the country to torment innocent citizens for their selfish ends, thereby causing national insecurity and instability.
"It is very clear that Nigeria's lopsided federal system and over-centralization of security powers and the politicisation of security by several agencies are a major clause of instability and pose a threat to national stability," he said.
"I was talking the politics of insecurity and the insecurity of politics occasioned by the abuse of Nigeria's federal system and the ease at which those who control power at the federal level undermine law and order in parts of our country and make it difficult for our citizens to feel safe and to feel protected under the law.
"When you correct this abuse of federal system, the governors of Benue and Taraba will be in the position to mobilise the security resources of their States... I remember the governor of Zamfara said he didn't want to be addressed as the Chief Security Officer of the state."
He added that although the military had made appreciable progress in its fight against Book Haram, recent events in the country show that the war against terrorism is far from over. He, therefore, called on stakeholders irrespective of their political parties to unite in order to proffer solutions to the lingering insecurity in the country.
Dickson maintained what is going on in Nigeria is more than the historical herdsmen-farmers clashes, saying the country has lost too many innocent souls to the killings.
"Who are the farmers having clashes with herdsmen in Sokoto, Zamfara and other places. We must call a spade a spade for the good of our country," he said.
“We are dealing with a calculated attack on our country. We are dealing with machinery of violence against innocent Nigerians. Yes we have historical incidents of herdsmen and farmers clash but what is going on is far more than that.
“All Nigerians and people of goodwill should show patriotism and let us interrogate this issues properly.”