The Oasis Reporters
February 15, 2021
Dateline : February 13.
Nigerians who were students, youths or adults remember the above day in 1976, under the military regime. There was a violent coup d’etat, said to have been led by Col. Suka Bukar Dimka of the Physical Training Corps in the Nigerian Army. And by the end of the day, Friday, an announcement was made that then Head of State, Gen. Murtala Ramat Mohammed had been assassinated.
His deputy, Lt. Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo had survived the coup, the plot itself, foiled and a manhunt had commenced for the plotters.
It was also said that a jittery Obasanjo was forced practically at gunpoint by Lt. Gen Theophilus Danjuma (then Chief of Army Staff) to assume the headship of the Supreme Military Council and government against Obasanjo’s “personal wish and desire”.
History continued to unfold.
Today, Nigeria continues it’s soul searching and the existential threat confronting Nigerians now is not violence from the military, but one from the so-called Fulani herdsmen militia who usually emerge from Nigeria’s forests to kidnap, rape women, kill the poor that cannot offer ransom payments through their families, collect millions in cash as blood money, with the state being helpless about it.
The reverberating consequences have been enormous with fights in Ibadan, quit notices in the Oyo interior from whence the Fulani had commenced their business of torture and enslavement of natives like Samuel Ajayi Crowther who were sold to slave merchant ships.
Luckily for Ajayi Crowther, he was rescued over 200 hundred years ago. He became a bishop then wrote his autobiography, succinctly naming the Fulani militia as his abductors. He also described how the Fulani devastated the Oyo interior, depopulated the region and laid it waste.
Two hundred years after, great grandsons of the slavers are back in the bushes, doing the same business of shooting to kill in stopping cars and kidnapping occupants for big money.
This time around, the natives are angry, and unfortunately, even innocent Fulani as well other northerners are being punished for the crimes of the herdsmen militia.
On the other hand, are religious clerics who know the truth but chose to speak from both sides of the mouth, as well as Fulani politicians who are making the right kind of noises to get an advantageous position in view of vote 2023.
But can the people be fooled again to give the politicians another foothold in the politics of 2023 ?
Yes, for Nigerians are a gullible lot. Though the game is changing with rising awareness that cheats with the bullet at night must not charm with the ballot in the day.
The major hindrance seems to be the electoral umpire, illiteracy, blindness in religious followership and poverty that would make a voter sell the ballot for a mess of porridge.
How would Nigeria sought out this mess to deliver a secure nation that is both peaceful and prosperous?
That is what is agitating the minds of patriots.
But certainly, Nigerians are fed up with rule of the discreet enablers of herdsmen militia.
Even cow herding can be done peacefully like is in civilized countries like the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the USA, Argentina, Australia, India, Pakistan etc, where the business employs much fewer people, yet contribute very highly to their national GDP and nobody gets killed or crop farmers displaced.
Time to disrupt that phenomenon is now. There must not be only one tribe, one religion rule. Nigeria belongs to all Nigerians. That must be laid in the consciousness of all.