Of Fulani Herdsmen And Make-Believe By Tahir Talba
I would have preferred taking up the immigration stampede and the resulting loss of lives, hold it against the Government’s boast of creating 1.6 million jobs, and see how deeply contrasting that is with the reality on our streets. The turnout of thousands nationwide, filling stadia to capacity, after paying up a 1000 naira fee, for what only God knows; tells a lot about why Madam Okonjo-Iweala’s statistics mean little or nothing. As far as jobs are concerned, there is nothing to take home.
However the more disturbing loss of lives, in greater numbers, in more violent forms, is the now incessant, ubiquitous attacks by heavily armed “Fulani herdsmen” with sophisticated weaponry, at times on motorcycles or vans, killing villages and burning down police stations or banks. The attacks have been frequent, all over the place, and in different styles and methods or techniques and the only invariable factor is the fact that they are Fulani herdsmen, or more importantly, could just be dressed up as Fulani herdsmen. Nigeria is battling with hoards of security challenges including bombings, kidnappings, religious extremism and now lately the Fulani herdsmen attacks. Over ten thousand lives have been lost under the watch of President Jonathan’s Administration and certainly one is tempted to pass a vote of no confidence on the way government has fared with the security challenges.
Fulani herdsmen have attacked and have been violent, yes; but that characteristic or conduct has always only come to play when issues regarding cattle, farmlands and tribal discord are involved. There skirmishes and battles and fights have never been religious, and neither have they been this sophisticated, brazen and frequent. We no longer hear of the cattle rustled from the nomads, nor do we hear of their villages being attacked, but we are constantly inundated by stories of havoc that the Fulani herdsmen have visited towns and villages with. All of a sudden, the Fulani have become the most dangerous, violent and sophisticated killers of today’s Nigeria. They have advanced overnight from spears, knives, daggers, machetes and local short guns; to grenades, machine guns and AKs! Did the centenary celebration upgrade them overnight? Or are they perhaps Fulani herdsmen from the hinterlands or Alaska? Or are they perhaps from Crimea or Syria?
Unfortunately as Fulani, we are now branded killers and enemies of peace and unity. If there are Fulani from amongst us that are perpetrating this crime, they do not represent us. If there are cloaked perpetrators of these crimes, then they must have had a unique reason for choosing Fulani herdsmen as their vehicle for the act. What did Fulani people really do wrong aside running cattle across vast, fertile farmlands? What did they do wrong aside tales and whipping competitions (sharo) under the moonlight?
Nigerians are dying daily in the hundreds and it is just unfair to heap all the blame on Fulani people over night. What is happening is the result of a societal breakdown of not only law and order, but a breakdown of the cells that constitute the humanity in us. We have become barbarians, and we kill and slaughter small kids. We have regressed and deteriorated back to the Stone Age. The Stone Age is even better; they killed for Stone Age reasons, what of the killings of today? There is so much space and there is too much land. There is so much petro dollars and even billions of dollars get missing and yet we remain fine, we do not lose sleep, not even a flinch! So why do we continue to kill? The answer is simple; barbarism!
Centenary celebrations, conferences, campaigns, and corruption take full front seats in our dear country. They get the government’s time and full attention. When it comes to the protection lives, which is the main objective and function of government, there is too much to be desired and an ample lot is left to our poor and impoverished imaginations, full of fear and loss. 2015 came upon us a long time ago, and we are merely replaying the moments before it, reliving the times preceding the calamitous year that visited upon us dire consequences. As Fulani, our nomadic and adaptive nature makes us the most equipped to live and actualize this so called secessionist agenda which obviously has never been designed to succeed, nor will its actors ever pursue it to the letter. Obviously, Nigeria will ever remain greater than any one individual or bunch of people simply because the white man never built Nigeria, he only visited and left it whole, the way he met it. If not, tell me, who assembled us all right here by the Atlantic Ocean, rich with oil and vast farmlands, habited by so many tribes making it is so difficult for any one culture to conquer all the others? The earlier we stop killing each other, the better for our tomorrow.
Do not hesitate to leave your opinion in the comment section below.
To contact Abusidiqu.com for Article Submission and Advertisement or General inquiry, send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org