The Oasis Reporters
June 26, 2018
The above question has been asked in many States of the nation in the light of massacres orchestrated by foreign terrorist gangs who as it were are operating with impunity carrying death, destruction wherever they set their sight on.
The story is the same whether in Zamfara, Kaduna ( Birnin Gwari/Southern Kaduna), Adamawa, Benue or Plateau States, the tales of death and destruction and their modus operandi remain the same. Streaming live is the story of the latest orgy of death and destruction coming from Barikin Ladi in Plateau State.
It is reported by Al Jazeera’s Ahmed Idris that over 90 defenceless civilians were put to the sword by the murderous terrorists. This estimate serves only the purposes of calming down frayed nerves as other sources put the number of deaths at about 300. The timings for the genocide was very carefully chosen to catch the population at their most vulnerable time when they were either in their places of worship or as they were heading home from their places of worship.
Sadly, the same old and jaded narrative of Fulani herders/farmers continues to be fed to unsuspecting Nigerians and even to the outside world. Even after the President admitted in far away United Kingdom that foreigners who brought in weapons from the collapsed regime of Libya are responsible for the genocide unleashed on defenceless Nigerians, one is compelled to ask why the likes of Ahmed Idris will prefer sticking to this old and erroneous narrative.
He went on further to blame politicians for possibly being behind the killings.
I have argued it before saying that while there may be some criminal elements amongst the herders living with and amongst the affected population, their concerns hardly go beyond seeking pasture to graze the cattle. Let me say it again, that the local Fulani herders do not pose a danger to anyone. These massacres have occurred at different times in the States earlier mentioned yet there has not been any concerted or deliberate effort to hunt down the foreign terrorists and their local collaborators for indeed they are operating with the help of the local collaborators. The best government does is to declare meaningless curfews which end up not helping in tracking down the murderous gangs and end up causing more pains on the victims.
The usual response to situations such as have just been unleashed in Barkin-Ladi is to draft truck loads of Mobile Policemen not for the purpose of hunting down the killers but simply to stop the victim- population from going after their killers.
This nation got it all wrong from the onset when the leadership of Miyetti Allah severally came forward to defend the genocide by criminal elements from their ranks. The Federal authorities heard these confessions yet chose not to do anything thus creating the impression that the leadership of of Miyetti Allah could act as they wish.
Curfews in Internal Security operations are meant to give the security forces freedom of action to hunt down the criminals but nobody goes out in pursuit of the invading murderers. This time around, the Federal MIGHT must be brought to bear against these murderous terrorists. The tenuous defence of reprisal for alleged cattle rustling as reason for this gory massacres in Barkin-Ladi must not be allowed to go unpunished.
The Nigerian State has had a very tardy history of responding to very serious security infractions of this nature because they have been a recurring theme in our national life of late. To date, no clear message by way of action by the security forces in response to the murderous terrorists has been taken. Had such action been taken even for once, this nonsense would have been stopped. The murderous terrorist gangs are clearly operating in a world of their own which is why some months back they attacked and killed about 10 soldiers deployed in the Birnin Gwari area.
With the mounting casualties particularly civilians the bodies of which have been beamed on television for the world to see, yet the master of hate speech, Mallam Nasir El Rufai will have the morality of telling the world that the press is constantly in the habit of exaggerating the number of people who became casualties. With characters such as Mallam Nasir El Rufai in positions of authority who so lack a sense of our common humanity, would anyone expect serious action to stop the continuing bloodbath?
As the people of Barikin Ladi bury their dead, all they can expect will be the same old and drab promises of increased security which they have heard many times before. At best, the President may afford a visit but it will end at that.
In these very dangerous times, what are the options available for our people to ensure their security?
In the face of the Nigerian State’s failure to secure our lives, we do have the right given to us by God Almighty and reinforced by the Constitution to take adequate measures to defend ourselves, our land and nation. How to do this I cannot say but the Nigerian people do have the right to defend themselves from the foreign invading terrorists. These attacks portend a serious danger to life and property even as the farming season sets in our population should be busy on their farms but how can they practice their trade when they are so unsure that they are secured on their farms?
A new strategy by the murderous gangs is to attack a large number of vulnerable people either in Mosques, Churches, Markets or any other areas where people gather in numbers. They have graduated from killing people piecemeal on their farms to attacking bigger targets to maximize the deaths. After the attacks, they simply walk away without the security forces giving chase..
It is becoming apparent that our nation is on the verge of becoming a FAILED State to the extent that it cannot secure its population from those who have invaded our land. It will be a descent into anarchy the moment the population resorts to self help. If our leadership is reading the times right then the experience of Somalia, Libya and Rwanda ought to have been instructive enough. While Libya and Somalia are still fighting to assert themselves as sovereign States, Rwanda quickly returned from the brink and is now a thriving nation due essentially to focused leadership.
Can we expect to have a leadership such as in Rwanda?
The problems of Nigeria include the fact that we have placed politics well and above any other consideration. Even at that, the politics is usually played along either ethnic or religious fault lines. Aside the continuation of primitive wealth accumulation, the politicians have failed to put the larger interest of the nation first before any other consideration.
The other day. I watched on television in utter indignation a certain Police AIG presenting cheques totalling N 25 million naira to families of 50 police personnel who died in the course of service to the nation. While not good in mathematics I quickly found out that each family was to receive N 500,000 only and I became.distraught. While this amount may not necessarily represent the total entitlements of the fallen policemen, it is grossly inadequate and at best an insult to those servicemen and possibly women who felled in the cause of making us safe. Let the police authorities go to NNPC and enquire about the entitlements of their personnel in such eventualities. The time is now for the Federal MIGHT to be brought to bear so that we can live in safety.