When will this mindless bloodletting stop? When will the mindless expansionist dreamers end their foolish dreams? When will the curse of the Berlin Conference of 1984/85 leave Africans to live their lives? When will the negligible minority who has cornered power and position realize the emptiness of this transient life and allow fellow human beings to spend their brief days on planet Earth in peace? When will mankind submit itself to reasoning and reasonableness?
The recurrent disturbing news broke again that the innocent farmers struggling to get mere subsistent living were hacked down, as usual, in Benue state. And the perennial culprits, the notorious human butchers were alleged to be those who had sworn that human lives are inferior to cows’ lives and people must choose between surrendering their ancestral lands to either to cows or brutish death.
When will this end? When? When will the programmed pogrom going on now in Southern Kaduna stop? When will the mindless ethnic cleansing stop? The unprovoked genocide et al???
We must begin to make the distinction between Cattle Breeders, Human Butchers and Terrorists if we are ever going to be able to get to the bottom of these recurring horrendous killings in our land. And we must once and for all debunk the ruse that all the killings and killings, arsons, butchering and kidnapping-for-ransom have anything to do with religion.
Cattle-breeding is a harmless business which is practiced all over the world. Cattle-breeding has nothing to do with bows and arrows, AK-47 guns and Bazookas! Cattle-breeding like any other private occupation has nothing to do directly with any government anywhere in the world beyond the normal general regulatory guidance given to all businesses. There are cattle herders who look after cows at the ranches.
Retired General Abdulsalami Abubakar, a former military Head of state is a cattle breeder. He probably owns the largest heads of cattle in Nigeria. I have visited his expansive farm in Minna, His well-fed cows do not roam the streets of Minna and they do not trample on other peoples’ properties or destroy other peoples’ means of livelihood. I understand General David Mark; a former Senate President is a big Cattle farmer. And of course, our President, retired General Muhammadu Buhari has perpetually maintained 200 heads of cattle in his ranch in Daura. My late grand Uncle, El-Hadj Yusuff Ogunjobi, alias Ankuri Magani, a great cattle breeder in Ijebu kept several heads of cattle in a large enclosure. That was as far back as 1930s. I too was a cattle herder; herding cattle from Ibadan to Ijebu in the mid 1950s.
Miyetti Allah which means ‘I thank God’ in Fulfulde’ and could be traced as far back as the 1960s before Muhammadu Sa’adu assumed central leadership in the 1970s was set up to protect the interests and general wellbeing of Fulani pastoralists, numbering about 100,000, did not start as a terrorist organization. Patrons of Board of Trustees chaired by Sultan Abubakar lll with other prominent Fulani emirs must have been genuine at the inception of the body until it was hijacked, like Boko Haram, by desperate politicians and bloody expansionists, and turned into a butchering terrorist Organization.
Those we see on the roads traversing hundreds of kilometres with cows in front of them are not cow breeders. Majority of them do not own a single cow. And those who carry lethal weapons and invade and destroy other people’s farms are merely using cattle grazing as cover for ulterior and sinister motives.
Those who are hell-bent on changing the demography of Nigeria are the ones sponsoring, financing and arming to-the-teeth foot soldiers to clear the way for the eventual actualization of their expansionist and territorial occupation agenda. It is the foot soldiers who graduate to butchers of those who resist their brutish attempt to take over their ancestral lands and properties.
All sorts of ploys have continued to be experimented with in the bid to actualize the expansionist and demographic changing Agenda. Archaic grazing routes, establishment of cow farms by soldiers in their local communities, water-ways Bill, RUGA and other self-serving schemes have been touted by latter-day expansionists and modern-day local and imported imperialists.
If those who want to do Cattle Breeding business are sincere and genuine, they should have bought the Fodder Technology which this writer, after a visit to Spain, introduced to many governors in the so-called Cattle Breeding zone in 1984. With Fodder, a technology first introduced to the country by Engineer Dr Godwin Bakare in 1982, cattle breeders could conveniently create ranches in the driest portions of Sahel. But that will not satisfy a Dr Ahmadu Shehu quoted in one of Dr Lasisi Olagunju’s engaging master-pieces. ”On January 5, 2022 the Daily Trust published an opinion article with the headline, The Roots of Banditry: A Fulani perspective. Hear Dr Shehu: [Fulani] nomads and pastoralists ‘are not fascinated by the big houses, the electricity and pipe-borne water’ in the city. Such edifices are not of significance to their values…the NNPC or CBN towers are not close in value to a well-fed flock of cattle’…Maitama and Asokoro [in Abuja] are not as precious as a valley of sufficient fodder and water’’ He adds ‘This is not because we are not civilized, but [it is] because our civilization and what matters to our lives are significantly different from your [other civilized people of the world] own civilization’
If this is the world view of Fulani intelligentsia in 2022, Dr Olagunju wondered, Nigeria is in serious trouble.
These are the people who have turned themselves to human butchers. They go about with few heads of cattle, using such cattle as a front, and plunder peoples’ farms, hamlets and villages and carry out severe provocative onslaughts. Of course, they would normally be resisted, which was what they, the butchers had anticipated and prepared for. Once the resistance happened the monstrously armed butchers of men would break out like wild fire and in a ferocious fiendish fury unleash unmitigated terror on their victims. This has been the pattern and practice in the last 10 years or so especially in Plateau and Benue states before the advent of Buhari administration gave them blood-sucking teeth and unprecedented impunity.
These human butchers had spread their ruinous escapades to virtually the length and breadth of the Nigerian space. Farmers in Taraba state and those in that axis stretching downwards to the former Eastern region of the country have seen and experienced hell fire in the hands of these butchers. The situation in the North West geopolitical zone is even worse. Hundreds of thousands in Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi and stretching south to north of Yoruba country have been daily subjected to horrendous assaults including slaughtering of human beings, pillaging of farmlands, sacking of huts, hamlets and villages, raping and kidnapping with glee.
With the open invitation given in Cairo by President Buhari that Fulani from all over Africa could saunter into Nigeria without papers of any kind, the borderless Nigeria became a killing field for terrorists from the entire West Africa sub-region, including those displaced from Libya, Mali, Chad and Central African Republic.
The human butchers hitherto euphemistically referred to as bandits got ready assistance from the more sophisticated and better armed terrorists, who again, until forced by the outcry of the Nigerian and international communities were deceptively called bandits.
We must be frank with ourselves and Nigerians who got themselves yoked into a whimsical, un-negotiated, unilateral and invidious marriage should stop being made fools and imbeciles by those who assume that they alone are masters of political deceit and chicanery. We must boldly expose the huge difference between home grown terrorists such as Boko Haram whose agenda, if they have any, has nothing to do with territorial ambition, land grabbing, imperialism, neo-colonialism, occupation and domination and terrorists whose main Agenda is to occupy the whole of the Nigerian space, rudely change the demographics, destroy age-long traditions and cultures, replace peoples’ traditional institutions, and take Lugard’s Nigeria back to Stone Age a la Afghanistan.
The so-called Boko Haram, Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, which in Arabic means “People Committed to the Propagation of the Teachings and Jihad” did not set out to be a terror organization. And its leadership did not say Western Education is forbidden. That’s the creation of the CIA. What the young rebels under the leadership of Mohammed Yusuf of blessed memory rejected was the model of Western educated politicians in Borno. After all Yusuf’s education was an equivalent of a University degree… Yusuf’s cold-blooded heartless murder at 39 in 2009, and the mishandling of its aftermath led to the high-jacking of the Islamic sect by the CIA, France and the CIA-labelled fundamentalist Islamic radicals in Iraq, Turkey and Syria.
We have terrorists imported from all over North and West Africa who are descendants of Barbers and Tuaregs who are known throughout history as nomadic adventurers whose stock in trade was/is to terrorize indigenous people wherever they went to submission, occupation, domination and servitude. They always used religion, their own archaic interpretation of the Holy Qur’an, deception, cunning and at the last stage, outright terrorism and mayhem. These are the terrorists now beyond control of their importers and sponsors!
The Government of Kaduna last week announced the brutal massacre of over 50 human beings in Kagoro community in Kaura Local Government area of the state with over 200 houses razed down by terrorists deceptively tagged ‘unknown gun men’. We could as well say ‘unknown ghosts’ in order to hide their identity, or how did the deceitful agents of government know that the murderers and arsonists were ‘men’ and not ‘women’?
We must be frontal in confronting, condemning and demystifying these terrorists. The Emir of Muri crying out on behalf of the entire communities in Taraba state pointedly accused the Fulani terrorists of killing his people. The very urbane and respected Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, a great community /religious leader minced no words when he attributed over 80% of terror attacks in the Northwest to his Fulani kinsmen. Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina also said the Fulani terrorists deceived him with swearing oath of repentance by the Qur’an.
Who else could have been terrorizing the peoples of Plateau, Taraba, Benue, Delta, Southern Kaduna, Southern Kebbi, Southern Adamawa, Southern Gombe, Niger, Nasarawa, Kogi, Kwara, the entire Eastern and Western regions other than people with 17th Century mindset who still believe that they could drive the indigenous peoples of Nigeria into the ocean and occupy and possess their ancestral lands and make slaves of them?
Who else could have been killing and terrorizing the Hausa farmers in Katsina, Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto, Jigawa; the entire old Hausa kingdoms and Niger state other than those who believe they still have unfinished agenda with the totally emasculated Hausa?
Intimidation and Terrorism was tried in Central African Republic it did not achieve anything other than destruction. It was tried in Mali, in Burkina Faso, in Chad, in Somalia and elsewhere, it did not succeed. But for the mischievous intervention of the crooked British, the seven Hausa Kingdoms would have regained their kingdoms by chasing away the aggressors in battle of Kwatarkwashi which ended February 15, 1903.
At this juncture, what is paramount is to ensure that all these bloodletting and silly ambition at domination are discouraged and stopped. All the foot soldiers planted in forests, bushes and huts in the ancestral lands of the Tiv, the Biroms, the Ijaw, the Igbo, the Yoruba, the Ibibio, the Efik and Muri emirate and scattered all over Katsina, Kebbi, Zamfara etc should be disarmed.
It is no longer possible in this world for any group of people; however, power-drunk, to think they can overrun any other group and take over their ancestral lands without fierce resistance and severe consequences.
The reason why other multi-national, multi-cultural, multi-religious, multi-linguistic nations live in relative harmony is that no one group in such nations dares attempt to dominate, displace or wipe out another group. If the Welsh attempts to wipe out the English from the United Kingdom today, that country will explode!
Nobody wants war. War does not solve or resolve any conflict. All wars end at the Roundtable. Why not go to the Roundtable today and save the peoples of Nigeria the horrendous horrors of suicidal war. Let nationalities that wish to continue to live in the Contraption called Nigeria remain in the Unitary Serfdom, and those that want their separate Sovereignty go their way.
…High Chief Tola Adeniyi, former Chairman/MD/Editor-in-Chief Daily Times Conglomerate.