Those who died are still dead and the cows that were stolen have still not been recovered. Whether 300 or 20,000 cows, whether more people died under PDP or APC, the sad fact remains that our land is flowing with innocent blood of the young, the pregnant, the weak, the elderly and plenty of men who had no idea why they had to die so suddenly, so violently.
It is exasperating. It is confusing. I particularly do not want to believe criminals have finally won. We have threatened them, blown grammar in hot puff of angry air which these thieves and killers have since pooh-poohed. They must have laughed to their dark hearts’ content each time we blamed Gaddafi’s men, politicians, thugs and even opposition and corruption. That is why they just steal more cows and kill more pregnant women. They know Nigeria won’t do anything but tell her citizens and the international community that the dastardly acts will stop because we are hot on the tail and trail of the killers and their sponsors. So, they kill some more and enlarge their territories.
I figure the President is having sleepless nights too but I draw the line, and on his behalf too, at saying something like this:
‘There is nothing I can do to help the situation except pray to God to help us out of the security challenges.’
Ah, no sir. We are all looking at you. Looking up to you. If the man of the house scrambles into the roof, tells his wife and children ‘I don’t know what else to do but God will protect you.’ when armed robbers invade his home, how will he come down from that roof if and when the robbers go, with or without his pride and place as father and husband? Keep your answers quiet, for now.
Prayer and praying are good but it is not what fathers do when their children are hungry. They find solution, provide food. Children do not need sermons on the mount when they want noodles and eggs. At the worst, provide akamu and akara. Which is why I find it absolutely confusing that the President seems to be perplexed by all these killings. Yeah, I can feel his pain but throwing up his arms and asking for prayers is what he cannot do. He is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. He took an oath before God and man to protect us. These marauders, whatever name they are called are thieves and killers. Is the President saying they are bigger than him, than the office we proudly elected him to occupy? Yes, we will pray but the president has to give us the prayer points. And I know he won’t be telling us to pray that the killers just forget to kill us in our sleep again. They are killers and the president is the president, a war-tested General and a father. He’s just going to have to do what he’s got to do. Isn’t that why we elected him? These little men who sneak up on the people, who voted him should not be allowed to run him out of town. It will be embarrassing if these killers win. Just imagine. Cow thieves, killer herdsmen run Nigerian President out of town. That’s the kind of headline CNN likes and they will gleefully milk it for days. How will I ever be able to raise my head at international conferences? I’ll simply stop traveling abroad.
I don’t understand. Most Nigerians don’t understand why killers get a free pass these days. I don’t care if the killer is from Sokoto, Osun or Bayelsa. A killer is a killer and if he gets a free pass, it encourages more killers to crawl out of the woodwork to kill more. Perhaps that is why killer herdsmen are increasing in number while the rest of us organize rallies and protests and wear black. To me, it looks like killers know what they are doing. We don’t. They are better organized. We aren’t and that is another thing I don’t understand.
We have a government, these killers don’t. Or do they? We have a Commander-in-Chief. Do the killers have one too? If the killers don’t have C-in-C or a government, why are they gaining ground?
Nigerians are scared shitless (pardon my French) right now. They are coming from a Boko Haram past where just sitting in a bus at a motor park was life and limb threatening. They can still hear bombs going off in churches and mosques.
They can still remember how they were unable to go to their places of worship for months. That is why all this soft-talk about this bloodshed and bloodletting festivals being about farmers/herdsmen do not and cannot convince them that Armageddon is not upon them again.
This government, President Buhari’s administration, needs to wake up and do something. The days of speeches and setting up committees are over. Nobody is impressed anymore with the president or his Vice President rushing off to killing zones. What do such visits mean? The dead don’t rise just because the VP is in town. The speeches of President Buhari do not make the dead walk. Dead bodies just keep piling up. Something has to be done, something drastic, something different from what had been done till now. Or is APC not worried? Has that party forgotten that one of the horses it rode to power was PDP’s failure to conquer Boko Haram? Has APC forgotten that one of the reasons PDP woke up late to its responsibility to secure Nigeria against insurgency was because it lived in denial and engaged in buck-passing for so long, too long? Can APC remember how long it took PDP to admit it wasn’t the opposition bombing motor parks and churches and abducting teenage schoolgirls? That was why PDP woke up one day and found itself outside the palace, stripped to the skin in the cold with birds pissing on their heads.
How is APC’s handling of killer herdsmen different from PDP’s handling of Boko Haram?
Maybe our leaders are just cut from the same cloth.
From where I stand, as Boko Haram was the albatross and nemesis of PDP, so will killer herdsmen be the albatross of APC if things continue like this. It’s just my opinion but ask yourself how Benue, Plateau, Taraba will vote in 2019. They are still enamored with APC, you think? Human nature is generally unpredictable and the people whose 40 villages have been wiped out by killer herdsmen may still be in love with party and government that has brought this horror on them? Maybe or maybe not. What is sure is that APC has opened its flanks wide for the opposition to use it for target practice and everybody is at the shooting range.
Is APC not worried or is this government just going to keep “catching winch” as they say in Warri instead of stopping the carnage? Let me whisper a secret in President Buhari’s ear: all those who told former President Jonathan that Boko Haram was a northern agenda and he should not lose sleep over it, where are they today? In APC and R-APC, right?
My President, listen to this popular message from the Yoruba talking drum:
b’oba buru tan, iwo nikan ni yoo ku
(when things get bad, you will be left to carry the can).
One other thing that worries me deeply is what the word “Fulani” means today in Nigeria. When you hear the word Fulani, does it conjure great image in your head? Or do you think they are about to start a conversation related to killing and herdsmen? Should Fulani now collocate with killer in every sentence? The title or term “Fulani” has been harmed by all this bloody takeover of land that belongs to other people. Does that make all Fulani killers? No, I have friends who are Fulani.
There are Fulani doctors, journalists and engineers. Nigeria even elected one as a president. But if a man walks into an office and says he’s Fulani, will the average Nigerian suddenly start sweating or what? Ask yourself: will you employ a Fulani as your personal assistant, driver, cook, those jobs that have to do with your personal wellbeing?
Just think for a minute what this nonsense is doing to an entire generation, a whole ethnic group. Ask and be honest with your answer! How will the next generation of non-northerners and non-Fulani treat Fulani, cattle and herdsmen, even 10 years from now? Because this season will change. Power will change hands. Those who accusing the president of protecting a section of the country will blindly unleash unnecessary revenge when they think it’s their turn to hold the power baton.
On my knees, my president, I beg, please save our today, protect our tomorrow, write your name in gold, be the father of the nation. Stop this bloodshed.