Nigeria has a nation has been grappling with numerous social ills for a long time, these ills, no doubt, portends an unpleasant future for the country.
It is no longer news that the reign of terror in the North-East of the country has moved, with the speed of light, to the North Central. Nassarawa, Plateau, Kogi, Kwara and Benue states, all in the North Central region of Nigeria, have been under the seige of terror and dawn murderers known as “Fulani Herdsmen”
The story of this Fulani herdsmen is not a pleasing one to tell. It is a story that has windowed partners, orphaned children in almost all the communities Fulani herdsmen have stormed. This story lays open how communities have been wiped out and the destruction of source of livelihood; how dreams have been cut short, rights trampled, roofs blown off and the disappearance of hope.
With recent happenings, it is safe to say that gone are the days when Fulani herdsmen are seen as mere herders; hence, we cannot afford to not see them as threat to national security. If not for anything but for the sake of reflection, Fulani militants are presently ranked the fourth deadliest terrorist group in the world. The truth is that until we first identify that there is a problem we cannot solve a problem and unfortunately, in spite of the devastating small and large scale attacks Fulani herdsmen carry out, they are still being treated in light-mind as if Nigerians have nothing to worry about whereas we have every reason to worry.
To know that the herdsmen who staged that massacre on Agatu community in Benue State and other communities still roam about freely with their cattle doesn’t speak well of the nature of our government. Is there no justice for the slain? Is there no comfort for the living? Times are hard, yet farmlands are being destroyed by cattle, Our leaders are
also watching these herdsmen stage deadly attacks.
Fulani people now carry sophisticated weapons beyond their smooth sticks and appear to be more interested in killing people than looking for an open field for grazing.
I look at the little children, who cannot go to school any longer and being rudely deprived of an innocent and serene childhood, all allegedly because they happen to be born on a peice of land where some people want to graze cattle. I look at the women who have become widows and who now must take of the little children without paternal support.
I look at whole families displaced, humiliated, defeated, desperate, hopeless and altogether disorganised. I look at whole communities traumatised by the brazen bloodshed. I look at images of human beings whose throats were slit open like ram and goat. I look at other corpses lumped like sardine, they all used to be living humans; people
with blood flowing in their veins; people you meet in the bus, in the market; some of our colleagues. They lived as we do, until the Fulani came.
The people of Nigeria from the villages of Borno to the hinterland of Benue and Kogi, are all victims. The invader and the invaded are both victims. We seem to be cursed in this country with an uncommon assemblage of blood merchants, conscienceless men and women, in and out of power; power-thirsty and power-drunk demons, spillers of
innocent blood and wicked forces in high places.
The international community must not wait for another Rwanda to happen in Africa. Instead, the International Criminal Court should begin investigation of these crimes being committed in Nigeria. Let every voice of Jacob and hand of Esau involved in this crime that is costing this nation so much in human life be accorded its proper place, sooner than later, in the temple of justice.
– Balogun Emmanuel Funsho writes from Ilorin.
He can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07034444976