The Oasis Reporters
March 28, 2018
Perhaps basking from the euphoria of unexpectedly being catapulted into the Governor’s Lodge in Lokoja owing to the sudden death of Prince Abubakar Audu who was a few minutes away from being declared governor – elect of Kogi state, the sudden inheritor of the seat, Gov. Yahaya Bello, without the benefit of standing for the gubernatorial election proper, or even making any campaign ab initio, is bound to show gratitude to all the forces that helped propel him to the coveted throne, so to speak.
As part of the ingratiation scheme the Kogi State Governor said the killings by alleged Fulani herdsmen militia of his native Kogi people “are a family affair”!
Well, it’s all about Nigeria’s star studded Fulani run government that insisted on following the party rule books, which disqualified Mr. Fakeye, deputy governorship candidate from becoming substantive governor.
The position went instead to the runner-up in the All Progressive Congress, APC, governorship primary election.
In an interview with The Oasis Reporters correspondent, Shedrack Best, a professor of Conflict Resolution and International Relations, University of Jos in North Central Nigeria :
“There’s a fear which the governor is trying to paper over and by the time this evil agenda of using the Fulani herdsmen militia to scorch the central region, there will no longer be a Middle Belt in Nigeria, or so they think. But in reality, the Middle Belt cannot be destroyed. It’s a wild dream to think so.
“There is a systematic destruction of the Middle Belt.
Why are the herdsmen not killing villagers in Kano, Sokoto, Kebbi, Borno, Katsina, etc ? Is it only in the Middle Belt and Southern states that they encounter farmers?
“We better stop believing this narrative of farmers fighting herders. It is terrorists seeking to kill, annihilate, decimate, depopulate, dislodge and to take our land for grazing”.
Asked about the killings in Zamfara State, Prof. Best ascribed it to “sheer criminality”.
On the Middle Belt ethnic cleansing, he added, “Furthermore, why do the killings persist in the dry season when farming activities are almost nil”?
“Try a study on this, and see how farmers and herders avoid fights that result in mass killings and mutilations in core Fulani states.
Why do they only want to destroy the Middle and Southern States? And why are the killings intense in the dry season when most of the lands are free of crops?
“The conspiracy of silence from the security high command deserves mention, including the Commander-in-Chief, which is causing all kinds of reading, the most obvious being that they endorse the carnage by the herdsmen.
“If the Nigerian state fails to stop the rampaging herdsmen, the Middle Belt will rise to defend itself. At that point, it will be too late to attempt to stop the carnage. After all, there are no Middle Belt people or community that have ever left their own ancestral land to go fighting any other people in their own native land.
Why is it okay for Middle Belters to continue to lose their people, including women and children, to herders in the name of so called clashes with herders?”