Last week, our discourse was on what the law says about individual rights as against majority rights, and what the state governors must do, among others. Today, we shall further X-ray whether the southern governors should have first consulted the northern establishment before taking any step at all; Saleh’s illogical and provocative inanity; questions begging for answers from Saleh, etc. Please, read on.
Should southern governors have first consulted the nothern establishment? (continues)
Indeed, as far back as April 26, 2018, (over three years ago), the National Executive Council (NEC) had approved the recommendation of its sub-committee that open grazing of cattle be banned across the country.
The three-man sub-committee on herdsmen’s/farmers’ clashes constituted by the Buhari government in February 2018 was headed by the governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi.
It was specifically mandated to unravel the causes of herdsmen’s/farmers’ clashes (wrong usage: herdsmen’s unprovoked attacks on farmers is better). It was to dialogue with relevant stakeholders to end the killings of innocent citizens.
Other members of the sub-committee included Governors Simon Lalong (Plateau), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Darius Ishaku (Taraba), and Bindow Jibrilla (Adamawa). The panel was mandated to visit Benue, Taraba, Zamfara and Adamawa states.
Umahi had told Nigerians after the NEC meeting at the Presidential Villa, presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, that the panel submitted its report to the council, which okayed the recommendation to ban open grazing, opting instead for the establishment of ranches in states affected by the herdsmen’s onslaught.
Governor Umahi, who said his team visited five states, Benue, Taraba, Plateau Adamawa and Zamfara, added that there were three main categories of herdsmen in Nigeria. These, according to him, are foreign herdsmen, nomadic herdsmen and migrant herdsmen, whose continued activities have resulted in clashes with farmers.
He said the NEC also agreed that the states affected by herdsmen’s killings should donate land for the establishment of ranches that would include nomadic schools and health facilities for their family members. Said Umahi:
“Niger and Kaduna have given lands, and Plateau is also giving land. We also agreed that through the agriculture ministry, we have to introduce new species of cows…and to stop the further influx of foreign herdsmen into the country.”
So, where did the southern governors go wrong in reaffirming the Federal Government and northern governors position? I cannot see it. Or can you?
Saleh’s illogical and provocative inanity
Did you read the provocative inanity uttered by one Alhassan Saleh, national secretary of Miyetti Allah? I read it, and became more convinced that our dire national situation may be hopeless after all. Hear him deliver his gibberish sermon:
“If the South feels because they have oil they can show this open hatred to the Fulani, I bet you, they are late. You cannot expel an ethnic group that has a population of 17 million people from an entity. So, if the agitators want to divide the country today, or this minute, we will help. We are ready to go. We are more prepared than any other tribe.
“Nowhere is this type of ban done. You can only control it. But the Fulani, by nature, move about with their animals. They are not only in Nigeria, they are all over Africa…We are just moving forward and backward…herders are not the problem facing the country, but the ethnic profiling of the Fulani in the country, particularly in the South, is mind-boggling…
“They (Southerners) want to force us to react but we don’t react that way. Compared to what we went through in Guinea and Sudan, and we survived, this is even a child’s play.
“We understand that 2023 is also part of the game plan. They want to get power on a platter of gold. Nobody will give them power like that. They must seek our support. People who want power don’t behave in this manner…Herders are insignificant when it comes to problems of this country. Are they the ones looting the treasury? What damage are they causing to this country? Compare them with the criminal activities of ‘Yahoo’ boys (Internet fraudsters), kidnappers, political looters, bandits in power, and vagabonds in power like Governor (Samuel) Ortom. Do you think if these things will be happening?
“Today, we are ready, let them divide the country. Let them not wait till tomorrow. We are better prepared than any other ethnic nationality. So, we are ready, let them divide the country. Let us die, we that don’t have the oil.”
Questions begging for answers from Saleh
Let me interrogate Saleh’s thesis with some questions. Is Saleh really telling us that cattle breeders, just like Igbo Alaba shopowners, or Yoruba cocoa farmers, or Ijaw fishermen (examples not used in any derogatory sense but to make the point), have so cheapened the proud Fulani race of Shehu Usman Dan Fodio (born Usman bi Fudi; 1754 – 1817), that they have actually become the Fulani’s mouthpiece, their spokespersons? I cannot understand this. Or can you? So, to ensure peace, Fulani herders who “are not only in Nigeria, but all over Africa (moving) about with their animals”, should be allowed to commit genocide against other Nigerians?
Let me ask Saleh one question: who is the aggressor? Did other Nigerians invade Fulani towns to attack them? So, Saleh is saying that Fulani herdsmen who migrate from all over Africa through open borders of the North (those of the South are firmly shut) should be allowed unchallenged, as they have been doing, especially since the last six years of the Buhari government, to continue to attack innocent people in their homes, spill blood and rape their wives and daughters? So, Fulanis should be allowed to invade helpless farmers’ farms, kill the farmers with their sophisticated AK-47 rifles, destroy their farms and freely graze on their crops with their cattle? Oh, Fulanis must be allowed to walk leisurely with herds and hordes of cattle across the Federal Secretariat buildings and Three Arms Zone of Abuja, with vehicles and trekking human beings stopping and waiting for them to pass? So, that is Saleh’s own warped idea of living together? So, southerners should be wiped out from the face of Nigeria in a carefully choreographed genocidal script, and they must not complain just because they will seek power and must need Fulani support? So, the Southern Governors hate the Fulanis for telling them to stop open grazing and movement of cows by road across the South, thereby killing innocent people and destroying people’s means of livelihood? So, the life of a cow is more precious than that of a human being?
I cannot understand Saleh and his Miyetti Allah’s reasoning and illogicality. Or can you? So, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State is a “vagabond-in-power” simply because he cried out that he was tired of being a helpless undertaker, coffin-maker, an elegy orator and chief mourner presiding over daily slaughter of his own people?
So, because the Fulanis are all over Africa, and they had successfully overrun Guinea and Sudan (predominantly Muslim countries), they should also be allowed to overrun plural Nigeria (there are actually more Christians than Muslims even in the North) and wipe out the other 373 ethnic groups of Nigeria (according to Professor Onigu Otite)? I cannot comprehend this man. Or can you?
More questions, please, Saleh: So, a personal profit-making venture such as cattle rearing should be forced willy-nilly on all other Nigerians as a fundamental objective and directive principle of state policy? So, the yam produce, cocoa, palm kernel and tomatoes farmers of other ethnic groups should equally be allowed to invade and seize Fulani lands and impose their trade on them? How would the Fulanis feel if the Igbos insist that, because they are excellent traders, shops must be built for them by the Federal and State Governments across Nigeria, free of charge, to ply their lucrative trade? How will they feel if rearers of pigs (even when the Muslim Fulanis forbid pork meat) overrun their territories with hordes of pigs, all in the name of keeping Nigeria together?
Nigeria’s population projection by the United Nations for July 2021, is 210,665,492. Of this number, only 17 million people are Fulanis, according to Saleh. There are three classes of Fulanis, based on settlement patterns: the nomadic/pastoral or Bororo; the semi-nomadic and the “Settled” or “Town Fulanis”. Thus, the Miyetti Allah nomadic or pastoral group constitutes only one-third of Fulanis in Nigeria. This means, speaking arithmetically, 8% people out of Nigeria’s population of 210.6 million people. So, going by Alhassan Saleh’s puerile vituperations, a tiny, but powerful, well-connected, power-dominating minority of 8% of Nigeria’s population must be allowed forever to tyranise the vast majority, impose their will, govern them by force, kill them, wipe them out of Nigeria, all in the name of peace, unity, indissolubility and indivisibility of Nigeria? So, the other 92% Nigerian majority should be held down by the jugular, just to make Nigeria work and prevent Fulanis from leaving Nigeria? Haba! I can never understand this man and the cattle rearers he spoke for. Or can you?
(To be continued)
Thought for the week
“Good governance, safety, a chance to grow economically and professionally, those are important things.” (Dana Perino)