I am very DEPRESSED. The reason for my depression is not far fetched. Channels TV is discussing the killings that took place days back in Miango, Plateau state. As at the last count, 29 lives have been wasted and many more are left to battle with life long injuries that may affect them for the rest of their lives. The perpetrators are familiar to us: Fulani herdsmen. I think by now the acronym herdsmen should be expunged from our lexicon. They are no longer herdsmen whom we traditionally know to move their cows from one destination to the other in search of water and green grasses. The modern day Fulanis are actually out there moving in search of lives to mow down. They are simply a band of evil men that have metamorphosed into a terrorist organisation. And government is treating this with kid gloves and would prefer only to refer to them as criminal gangs. What sort of criminal gangs? Criminal gangs are those that hide in the bushes, seize their victims, take them to a hideout and demand ransom paid. And once money exchange hands, they let their victims regain freedom. On very rare occasion would you hear that a victim died in the hands of his abductors. But these Fulanis whom government chooses to brand criminals are not. They are after human lives. They kill at will. And usually swoop on the victim communities without any foreknowledge. Without any provocation. These sets of humans can not be said to be carrying out criminal activities. They are terrorists. And that’s what they are.
In Somalia, days back, we watched over 300 lives killed by Al Shabab. Government may set up panels to investigate. But these 300 souls will never ever return to this earth. Their lives have been cut short and sent to their early graves. Their families are left to bear this pain until the end of time.
Back to the Plateau killings. The lives of those Irigwe natives in Miango were barbarically taken. They had run to the army to seek protection. And the army offered to protect them and kept them in a primary school. In the dead of night, the marauders appeared to carry out their stock in trade. Killing and maiming! And the army was nowhere in sight to protect these hapless Irigwe natives. And generations were wiped out in a government facility just meters away from the Military checkpoint. Just some basic logical questions for the security agencies:
1. If you took in a people and kept them in a facility in the name of protection, was the army not supposed to station their men in that facility to keep guard?
2. The Irigwes had gone to report the rumour of the attacks by the Fulanis. Was that not suppose to be a red flag and call to beef up security in the settlement?
3. Miango is just kilometres away from Rukuba barracks. How can this kind of attacks take place and the army in that settlement was not able to call for reinforcement from the barracks?
4. The attacks took place when a dusk to down curfew was in place arising from the tension following the recovery of a Fulani boy whose body was found buried in a shallow grave. How on earth was it possible for the marauders to move freely with their sophisticated weapons of mass destruction and carry out such massacre in large scale while the natives were in their houses faithfully observing and respecting the curfew imposed by the government?
5. Why is it that the security and government’s attitude is always reactionary rather than proactive? We just heard the president instruct the security to do everything possible to prevent reprisal attacks. How about an instruction such as penetrate every nook and cranny of the hills and bushy areas and kill or where possible capture the killers?
6. One of the women caught on Camera decried the attitude of security agents who are often seen accompanying the Fulanis and their cows while the natives are left at the mercy of God.
7. The former Senator that spoke alluded to the fact that the military carried out raids in the Miango community and took dane guns, machetes and other devices the locals have for their own protection. Why did the security agencies not carry out cordon and search around the areas where the Fulanis occupy and any such place they may have been using as armoury?
If sufficient and convincing answers are not provided to these posers, we cannot but accuse the security agencies of complicity and even laying a heavier charge on their doorsteps: aiding and abetting the enemies of the State.
We have seen similar scenarios playing out in other places. Taraba, Benue, Southern Kaduna, South Eastern States etc. This madness cannot and should not be allowed to continue. The earth has swallowed already enough innocent blood no thanks to these terrorists and government’s inaction. We have a right to life and no one (except God has the power to take our lives).
Now harvest is near and farmers are about to enjoy the fruit of their labour, the adversary is up in arms while his animals wonder freely in the bushes.
Humanity, Nigerians must rise against these barbaric forces, agents of darkness and messengers of death. Those of the Fulani stock with good consciences must lead in this campaign to rein in their misguided relatives. Government must show they have the will power to end this once and for all. If the government can send the python to go and dance in country home of Nnamdi Kanu, now is the time to send pythons to every Fulani settlements to go and dance. And we will be sure to believe the president when he said in his Inaugural address: ‘I belong to everybody and I belong to no one’.
Williams Kaura Abba