Tension and beating of war drums in Nigeria under the political leadership of a president who progressively fades away from public arena in preference for issuing of incongruent and incoherent press statements from his media minders, has reached dizzying height.
There is now a unanimity of agreement from across political spectrum that President Muhammadu Buhari has not only failed but has manifested unambiguous signals that he does not want to drive the process of eradicating Nigeria of these threats of war. He seems to be the character blowing the firestorm of ethno religious conflagration through his actions, inactions, ambiguous and incoherent public statements.
One of his media spokespersons Mr. Garba Shehu has made himself the posterboy of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association. He, Garba Shehu has misused and abused his visibility in government and his nearness to the President to project and advance the parochial and belligerent interests of the Fulani ethnic stock. He has rode on government platforms to defend his ethnic group each time some criminal elements within the ranks of his ethnicity commits crime of mass killings. All of these Pro-Fulani media outings by Garba Shehu have been done in the name of the President. So these compromises and abuse of office by the media workers of President Muhammadu Buhari has provided the insight for learned and analytical minds to conclude that the President who chose not to be seen or heard, may actually be working in cahoot with undesirable elements masquerading as armed Fulani herdsmen and armed Fulani ethnic militia to destroy Nigeria and push her into a bigger civil war than any wars witnessed in Africa. As it is, the killings by armed Fulani herdsmen and boko haram terrorists is almost nearing those of the Hutu militia during the pre-Paul Kegame Rwanda. Hutus and Tutsis were at each others throats and at the last count almost 800,000 citizens of mostly Tutsis had been slaughtered. The head count in Nigeria is not far off. There is fire on the mountain and most of those in the position of authority are already crying loud and clear warning of imminent war. Governors, Senators, Clerics are all complaining but the President is unhinged and seems determined to push Nigeria off the cliff into a huge war.
Ordinarily, governors and senators who are worth their salt, are in a vantage position to get good enough intelligence on how the security of the nation is or what roles the President or anyone at that is playing to douse or heightened tensions and insecurity.
In the light of the above assertion, it is frightening to reflect on what three governors have just told Nigerians even as the summary of these statements from the governors go to show that Nigeria is not only suffering from Presidential incompetence, rudderless leadership but Presidential compromise in the area of national security.
The most disturbing revelation is that which emanated from the governor of Benue state. This governor was elected under the banner of the same political party with President Muhammadu Buhari but for four years, armed Fulani herdsmen attacked his state persistently and hundreds of their people slaughtered, but President Buhari who is Fulani and accused of siding with his kinsmen, refused to stop these well Coordinated attacks.
Even when the governor escaped assassination attempt in March this year and a Fulani group claimed responsibility but Buhari did nothing. All the internal security architectures are led by handpicked Hausa/Fulani Northern Moslems and it is becoming clearer that there is a northernization agenda of a sinister dimension.
In a very strong worded interview, the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, had accused the President, Muhammadu Buhari of working for the Fulani ethnic stock to take over Nigeria.
Ortom spoke in reaction to the recent killing of residents allegedly perpetrated by herdsmen in parts of the North-Central state. He also lamented that no fewer than 70 people have been killed in the last two weeks in three local governments in the state.
The governor, who said the killings cannot continue, said, “What is happening now, to me, is very clear; Mr President is just working for these Fulanis to take over the whole country.
“His body language is what is being played out. The body language, the action and inaction of Mr President shows that he is only the President of Fulani people; I have known this.
“We are becoming a Banana Republic, if we have a President who gave the security agencies order to shoot at sight, whosoever is having AK-47 and the Minister of Defence came out to say that they cannot shoot at sight… so who is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces?”
According to the governor, the people of Benue are being overstretched and running out of patience due to the incessant attacks on their communities.
“Mr President must rise up, he is the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and over the 250 nationalities that are in this country; Mr President is their President, we all voted him.
“He has taken oath of office to secure the country and provide security for lives and property; this is unacceptable, this cannot continue,” the governor stated.
Cable News Network based in Atlanta in United States of America then reports that Boko Haram fighters have reportedly hoisted the Islamist group’s flag in a remote district in Niger State, Nigeria’s Middle Belt region, and seized the wives of fleeing residents, the state’s governor has said.
“I am confirming that we have Boko Haram elements in Niger State, around Kaure. They have taken over the territory… They have installed their flag,” said Niger State Governor Abubakar Bello, in a widely circulated video on Monday.
Bello disclosed during a visit to an Internally Displaced Persons Camp in the state capital Minna, that over 3000 persons have been ousted from their communities by Boko Haram and other criminal gangs locally known as bandits.
“Their towns have been taken over by bandits and Boko Haram elements… Their wives have been seized from them and forcefully attached to Boko Haram members,” the governor said.
Bello warned that Boko Haram’s infiltration into Kaure, a rural community in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State, poses a huge security threat to Nigeria’s capital city Abuja, which Niger borders to the east.
“The Boko Haram elements are trying to use this area as their home, just as they did in Sambisa. Sambisa is hundreds of kilometers away from Abuja. But Kaure is less than two hours drive to Abuja. So nobody is safe anymore… Not even Abuja is safe,” Governor Bello warned.
Bello’s comment comes days after the jihadist sect was reported in local media to have erected its flag in Geidam, an insurgency-troubled community in Yobe State.
Then came another disclosure but this time around from the governor of Rivers State Mr. Nyesom Wike who emphatically lamented that the President of Nigeria has succeeded in destroying Nigeria just as he gave a verdict that Nigeria has collapsed.
He cited the multiple reports of violent attacks by all kinds of armed non state actors all around Nigeria to demonstrate beyond the shadow of doubt that Nigeria has existentially collapsed.
To the not too shocked Nigerian learned minds, the governor of Zamfara State made a revelation which goes to show that President Buhari refuses to wipe out armed Fulani terrorists that have persistently attacked North West and as far as South East of Nigeria, when we got to know that the President gave them a whole of two months to decide to quit their terrorism or government will come after them.
Fast forward to the many military attacks targeting the South East based indigenous peoples of Biafra (IPOB) just for setting up the Eastern Security Network to drive away armed Fulani herdsmen.
So, you need to ask, why did the President refused to attack armed Fulani herdsmen that have killed hundreds of innocent people including the recent audacious attack targeting the life of Benue State governor, but President Buhari has on quick succession, authorised military bombardments of IPOB?
On March 9th 2021, we were told that President Muhammadu Buhari has given bandits in Zamfara two months to surrender, according to Governor Bello Muhammad Matawalle.
In a state-wide broadcast on Matawalle said the president also ordered the deployment of 6,000 troops to crush the bandits if they failed to surrender their arms.
The governor made the statement a few hours after traditional rulers in the state told the service chiefs, who visited the state, that there were over 30,000 bandits in Zamfara forests, a number that far outweighs the less than 10,000 troops deployed to the state to tackle insecurity.
The directive by President Buhari came about a week after he declared Zamfara a no-fly zone and halted mining activities to stem what presidency officials described as “arms-for-gold swap” activities in the state.
In his broadcast, the Zamfara governor said he undertook a four-day working visit to Abuja to brief President Buhari and other critical stakeholders on the security situation in his state.
“In my discussion with President Muhammadu Buhari and the security higher commands in Abuja, it was resolved that 6,000 additional troops will be deployed to complement the effort of other security forces in tackling the security challenges in the state.
“The troops will soon arrive in the state for their operations and we are grateful to the federal government.
“The president has agreed to a time frame within which the recalcitrant bandits should surrender their weapons and key into our peace initiative…”
If this is not a clear message that President Buhari has compromised our National Security and abused his constitutional oath of office not to allow his personal interesr interfere with state functions, what else is?
This is another sign of compromise. Since early March when the Benue State Governor was almost killed, the Inspector General of Police said he has set up a team to investigate but for weeks, even the same Inspector General of Police who made the statement was kicked out of office and as I write, rather than arrest those who are after the life of Benue State Governor, President Buhari has done nothing but watched as more Benue people are killed by Fulani herdsmen.
The implication of the obviously compromised position of Buhari on tackling the security threats, is that Nigeria may as well have collapsed just as the River State Governor has said.
Sadly even when such All Progressive Congress Senators like Smart Adeyemi are shouting regarding the security situation in the Country the stooges who head the National Assembly may likely be waiting for mass action before they can begin the process of impeaching President Buhari for compromising Nigeria’s National Security. The military has also become a Fulani controlled contraption so playing the salvific function of redeeming the Country is not in their agenda.
This is another sign that Buhari’s compromise has pushed us into war: the United Nations and NGOs have said that a record 29 million people need humanitarian assistance in the Sahel, noting “unparallelled” insecurity and hunger across six countries in the war-torn African region.
In Burkina Faso, northern Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Niger, and north-eastern Nigeria, five million more people than last year are in need of aid, according to a statement.
Much of the semi-arid Sahel, a vast region that stretches along the southern rim of the Sahara from the Atlantic to the Red Sea, has been plagued by violence for years.
Due to the increasing number of deadly attacks by terrorist groups, gender-based violence, extortion, or intimidation, 5.3 million among them are forced to flee, often multiple times.
Buhari has also failed to change his extreme pro-northern mindset in the area of applying uniform yardstick in calling out the security forces to tackle insecurity. For him, terrorists belonging to his tribe and religion need to be rehabilitated, reintegrated and resettled back into the society that they had committed gross human rights violations including mass killings.
But any other person or group making any sort of effort to stop armed Fulani herdsmen incursions into their regions like South West or South East must be killed by soldiers through contrived military operations. One way or the other, Nigerians must cut off this political cancer or be consumed irredeemably. The ball is in our court.
*EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO is head of the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA and [email protected] Theingerianinsidernews.com, www.huriwanigeria.com, [email protected]