By Muyiwa Olayinka
Since the beginning of this year, January to be precise, there had been unabated, coordinated and relentless attacks on the people of these states, namely Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa, Zamfara and lately, Plateau. Plateau state have experienced calmness until this recent attack.
These attacks have been ferocious, consistent, sustained and devastated in nature.
It has left sorrows, blood tears, and destruction on their trails. Nigerians have consistently cried and pleaded to the federal government to do something drastic to stop this menace. All these cries fell on deaf ears, it is as if the people have been left to their fates.
The annoying part is the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari has been taciturn in taking actions, unconcerned and not bothered about these mindless losses of human lives. it smacks of collusion and obvious dereliction of his constitutional responsibilities. While he remains defiant, people in these area have been burying their dead. Earlier this year, January 1, 73 people of Benue states were butchered and massacred
I knew all along that this sadistic killings would take place under Buhari’s presidency.
My reasons are not far fetched. I knew Buhari to be sectional and he is easily disposed to this hidden agenda of Fulani’s domination over other ethnic groups in Nigeria. He has not hidden his biased mind towards anything that has to do with the pastorals, or in Nigerian context, the Fulani herdsmen.
A similar case played out in 2000, when a clash broke out between the farmers in Saki, Oke Ogun area of Oyo state and the Fulani cattle rearers. It was alleged that some cattle rearers were killed. Late Lam Adesina was the governor of Oyo state. General buhari furiously led the delegation to the seat of government, without adequate information about the crisis. He was however embarassed when he was briefed about the true situation of things.
It is curious that since the General became the President, the escalation of perennial attacks of fulani herdsmen have intensified. They have taken their murderous campaigns to all over the nation. An elder stateman and former secretary to the government of federation, Chief Olu Falae was kidnapped and abducted but was eventually released by some Fulani herdsmen. Many have not been lucky though.
Forget the pretenses of visiting and mourning with the people of Plateau states. It’s a subterfuge on the part of Mr President to deceive many Nigerians. Did he visit Benue state immediately it happened. The President had to visit because election is around the corner and he does not want to take chances.
During the build up to the general election in 2015, in one of our numerous arguments with my neighbors, I warned them of Buhari’s sectional tendencies. They laughed and waved me off. They (neighbor) have clearly seen the possibility of a hidden agenda.
Buhari has not hidden the desire of this northern agenda’s domination. It is real people should not discard it or pretend it does not exist. He exhibited it in the appointments of the service security chiefs.
It had become clearer to his former boss, Chief Obasanjo, thus, necessitating him to write his famous letter.
I quote copiously from it:
‘ The herdsmen /crop farmers issue is being wittingly or unwittingly allowed to turn sour and messy. It is no credit to the Federal Government that the herdsmen rampage continues with careless abandon and without finding an effective solution to it . And it is a sad symptom of insensitivity and callousness that some Governors, a day after 73 victims were being buried in a mass grave in Benue State without condolence, were jubilantly endorsing President Buhari for a second term !
The timing was most unfortunate . The issue of herdsmen/ crop farmers dichotomy should not
be left on the political platform of blame game; the Federal Government must take the lead in bringing about solution that protects life and properties of herdsmen and crop farmers alike and for them to live amicably in the same community’.
Since Obasanjo wrote the letter has Buhari taken the lead? No.
Instead of Nigerians to call out on this government over its negligence over security of lives and property, many took Obasanjo to the cleaners and ceaselessly attacked him.
The situation is getting worse on daily basis. 104 lives from 3 settlements were murdered in cold blood. Children were not spared.
The reason given by the zonal chairman of Miyetti Allah of killing 300 cows is ludicrous, insulting and inhuman.
We know he’s dancing to the beats of his sponsors. The sponsors are the big sons of Futa Jalon, that controls this government. They are the unseen hands operating behind the scenes.
Thankfully, Professor Whole Soyinka had also seen the hand writing on the walls. He fumed and was incensed of Buhari’s intransigence over this senseless and irrational killings. He accused Buhari of treating it with kid’s glove.
Soyinka, who bemoaned the recent attacks on Barkin Ladi council area in Plateau State, noted that five young men were recently sentenced to death by a high court in Zamfara State for allegedly killing a herdsman. The playwright stated that though he was not condoning murder in any cause or by anyone, it was necessary to insist on transparent and impartial justice.
He said, “The agitating question then is this: since this rampage began, has even one herdsman been
brought up before those same courts on a charge of murder, much less sentenced to death at such
lightning speed? Shall we wake up and find that they have been hanged? Yet Zamfara has lost hundreds
to the homicidal orgy of these same herdsmen. There is a skewed application of justicial proceedings here that baffles many.’’
Soyinka noted that the language of the leaders of Myetti Allah whom he described as ‘self-vaunting
instigators’ in the nation’s herder colonization was being promoted by the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, on behalf of the government.
To those who are promoting Buhari for second term, this ought to be an eye opener. Any animal playing with lion will eventually end up in its belly.
The fears expressed by these two prominent Nigerians cannot be treated as the ranting of an ant.
Amnesty International in a damning report, presented by the country’s Director Osai Ojigho said since January 2018, 1813 people have been killed in 17 states, which doubles the 894 people killed in 2017. he said the death tolls reflect killings as a result of farmers herders conflict, communal clashes and Boko Haram attacks.
If a man seeking for reelection could be so callous and indifferent over these killings, it connotes that with his taciturnity, the carnage that will be carried out in his second term could as well be baking in the oven. When it is eventually unleashed, the genocide that occurred in Rwanda will be a child’s play.