Since the unfortunate continued killings of fellow citizens by suspected Fulani herdsmen terrorists over the weekend in Plateau State, there has been outrage by men and women of goodwill from all walks of life especially as it concerns the federal government lackadaisical attitude towards apprehending the killers who have not only owned up to the killings as usual but have also boasted of inflicting more pain and sorrow upon Nigerians.
While officials of the Buhari-led administration including Buhari himself have continued to explain away these mindless and mind-boggling killings, they have also continued to make excuses for the killers for what Nigerians know is because the Fulani herdsmen terrorists suspected to be behind these mass murders are of the same kith and kin with President Muhammadu Buhari and almost all our security chiefs.
A situation where the president and Commander-in-Chief, his Minister of Defence, his Minister of Interior (the ministry in charge of Nigeria Immigration Service, the Prisons and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps), the Chief of Army Staff, the Chief of Air Staff, the Inspector General of Police, the National Security Adviser, Director-General of Department of State Services, Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Services, Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Comptroller-General of Nigeria Prisons Service, Commandant-General of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and Director-General of Nigeria Intelligence Agency, covering almost all the fabric of our security architecture, are not only all northerners, mostly of the Fulani stock, but also all Muslims, in a multi ethnic, multi religious and multi cultural nation like ours, emboldens Fulani terrorists to commit ethno/religious cleansing, publicly take responsibility even on national television, boast of it and even threaten more mayhem with unprecedented brazenness, over and over again, without either getting arrested and or prosecuted.
It is therefore not surprising when a “strong man” president who had earlier boasted of leading the war against insurgency from the front and churned out repeated messages of his willingness, readiness and undoubted ability to crush troublemakers, simply and lamely resort to asking Nigerians to pray over the security challenges we are facing. Blood, they say is thicker than water, and it is forbidden for the cock to eat the intestine of another cock. It is certain that our security architecture has been set up to favour criminals from certain parts of the country and descend rashly and brutally on peaceful agitators from other parts.
One is then not bewildered at Mr Femi Adesina, Aso Rock’s mathematician cum mortician who has unconscionably reduced the killings and even the corpses of the victims, under the care of his principal, the Mortician-in-Chief, to a game of numbers.
For daring to mourn with those who mourn and asking Nigerians to show solidarity and support to the victims and their surviving loved ones, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, had asked that its flag be flown at half mast in all its offices nationwide. What a compassionate and reasonable government would have done would have been to commend the PDP for its gesture and ask Nigerians to key into such a solemn moment to reflect on the sad and unfortunate events that have become the order of the day in recent times. But it is not so for those in APC and their principals. Even if Adesina was not happy with PDP’s call and even if he thinks it was all politics (according to him), restraint and sensitivity to the plight of the people would have been displayed by holding on to his response until tension has simmered.
But because politics must be played even at the expense of the obvious incompetence, ineptitude and abdication of its government’s primary responsibility of protecting the people, Femi Adesina threw caution to the wind and reduced national mourning mood amidst mass murders of our fellow citizens to a game of numbers, irresponsibly comparing the number of those who died under PDP years to those who have died (and still counting) under APC.
What Adesina did not tell us or deliberately chose not to tell us was that while the Buhari-led government has watched in absolute hopelessness the continued hacking down of Nigerians, explaining away the situation and making excuses for the killers instead of arresting and prosecuting them as a way of stemming the ugly tide, it is the same Buhari administration which under the seeming dubious guise of deradicalisation and other bogus terminologies have released and continued to release Boko Haram and other terrorism suspects handed over to them by the Goodluck Jonathan-led PDP administration. Even the police officer dismissed by the Goodluck Jonathan administration for aiding the escape of Boko Haram commander, Kabiru Sokoto, was reinstated into the Force shortly after Buhari took over.
So the signs of things to come have always been there. Unfortunately, it is here already! It was Femi Adesina’s principal who once said that the dogs and the baboons, for whatever reasons, would be soaked in blood. Today, the land is a river of blood under Buhari. The Fulani herdsmen terrorists must have read the handwriting on the wall. They got the cue and they are executing it perfectly.
Our Aso Rock tenants are now morticians since they prefer to preside over the dead than the living. Instead of arresting and prosecuting mass murderers, they keep telling us that the murderers only wield stick and not the AK47 we all see them moving freely with. At a point they even said the killers are not Nigerians as if foreigners have the right to come into our country and keep killing our people without any form of resistance from government. At another time, they told us that it is the anti-open grazing laws in a State like Benue that is motivating the terrorists to unleash mayhem on the people, but then States like Plateau, Kogi, Nasarawa, Zamfara, Taraba, Kaduna etc do not have the anti-open grazing law, yet, fellow citizens have continued to be mowed down mindlessly and unrestrainedly by these herdsmen.
As it is, Femi Adesina and other morticians in Aso Rock have run out of lies and excuses for the killers, Buhari has, interestingly, like an Imam used to conducting funeral prayers for the dead, asked us to turn to God for help. O, I almost forgot the falsehood that environmental factors are responsible for the killings as if pig farmers, poultry farmers, snail farmers, grass cutter farmers and such other farmers of other livestock must also begin to kill people in order to get food for their livestock.
While we continue to mourn the departed, we urge those who have failed abysmally in their responsibility of protecting the citizens from common criminals to, at least, show some respect for the dead by not reducing these sad incidents to a mundane game of numbers. After all, the APC government has always said we cannot compare PDP’s 16 years to that of APC’s short three years to achieve results, but in this case, APC is very quick to compare numbers with PDP. Hypocrites!
Jude Ndukwe is a political analyst who lives and works in Abuja, Nigeria. He is a member of The Trent’s Elite Columnists. His column is published every Friday. He tweets from @stjudendukwe.