A man who stands for nothing, will fall for anything–-Malcom X
AN Igbo proverb says “If you know what will bring dispute don’t do it”. This implies that when a person or group of persons, decide to do things that will bring dispute, it is either that they have assessed their victim as a weakling, or they simply think that they can cause trouble, and get away with it.
I have wondered why after 55 years as a nation, Nigeria has remained unable to manage cows, and with all she has, as a people, she has failed woefully to address such a simple matter as keeping cows out people’s farms, gardens, and public places. The big surprise to any normal person is the ease and comfort, which our leaders in the past and present, rationalise, and condone such an unusual matter as the continued ravaging menace of the so called Fulani herds men in this country.
The real herdsmen of cows are Fulanis from the north and were usually simple minded humble fellows, but that was in the yester years. In the recent past, they have become infiltrated, corrupted, carry AK 47 riffles, rampaging, killing and destroying villages and communities, in the north, and the Middle Belt zones of Nigeria. They have spread their evil activities to the entire South of Nigeria, and is believed to have become a quick instrument of spreading terrorism in Nigeria.
The name ‘Fulani herdsmen’ conjure up horror in the mind of any that has read about or witnessed the destructions and killings by these men around the nation, be it in Plateau, Bauchi, Benue, Enugu, Abia, Imo, Delta, Ondo, Ogun, and Edo States, to name a few, where they have been reported to have destroyed farmlands, killed, wiped out villages, and communities, rape women, and committing all kinds of atrocities. The cows of the Fulani herdsmen have also become hazards to road users and commuters in metropolitan cities across Nigeria, and the question is: What is Nigeria waiting for, before it will deal the correct death blow to this festering evil?
Today, the Fulani herds men, have become kidnappers operating principally in the South of Nigeria! They chose none other than a former Secretary to this Federation, an accomplished and distinguished elder of this nation, a leader and elder states man from Yoruba land, as their prime kick off victim. They kidnapped Chief Olu Falae, subjected him to inhuman treatment not minding his age, collected ransom, and even went back to destroy his farm the more! Enemies of Nigeria, they have targeted agriculture, to scare people from going to their farms in the South! If their aim is not to foment trouble, and dis stabilise Nigeria, why did they not kidnap any of their political leaders, Chiefs, Elders or Professors who is also a known farmer in the core north? Their purpose include to embarrass and desecrate the highest symbol of good, accountable and responsible leadership in the South of Nigeria.
If Chief Falae was a thief like they expected, he would have paid some people to run his farm, while he lived in the choicest part of any city, dishing out press conferences, newspaper interviews and pontificating on how to make Nigeria One, protected by a harem of security personnel. But Chief Falae represents much more than that, he represents the real leader that Nigerians must aspire to be like, a flag bearer to noble and responsible leadership, in Nigeria, and that is what the Fulani herdsmen and their supporters do not want.
Whoever that wants to keep Nigeria one has a task to stop the Fulani Herdsmen now, before it stops Nigeria.
The threat of Fulani herds men, is much bigger than that of corruption in Nigeria, because this nation may not remain in the next ten years if the evil of Fulani herdsmen is not stopped!
The reason is simple; from 1966 to 1970, Igbos of the South East sought to secede and failed because Yorubas teamed up with the North to defeat Biafra. During the Chief Abiola June 12 struggle, the Yorubas asked for their rightful mandate to lead Nigeria, and the north placated them by handing over power to Olusegun Obasanjo, OBJ,in 1999. In the recent 2015 elections, the north wanted power or a break up, but the Yorubas worked it out for them, with the pure and good heart of former PresidentGoodluck Jonathan, trouble was averted. Now, the Yorubas have threatened secession, since the kidnapping of Chief Olu Falae, by Fulani herds men, if nothing is done now, if Nigeria fails to take this very seriously, and sort it our permanently and satisfactorily, it will mark the beginning of Nigeria’s Nunc Dimitis. God Forbid!
The Yorubas of the South West, of Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, and Osun, ( the ELOOOO) states, have all it takes to sustain the threat of secession if allowed or pushed to do so.
First they are the moderators, and shock absorbers of the political and economic pressures of Nigeria. They have the infrastructural facilities, the education, the knowledge, the financial resources and the spirit, to really keep Nigeria one.
Second, they have the land and the agriculture, to sustain their own if it becomes necessary and finally, there is something about the Yoruba man, that others do not consider, they have rich culture and tradition.
God will always be with a people, like them, because God is Love! If I for one, have not eaten the cow meat since the last 30 years, and I am healthy, I do not see why cows and their matters should cause a break up of my country.
Our leaders and law makers in the South, should legislate against the indiscriminate roaming and grazing of cows within their boundaries, providing for determinate actions against itinerant, irresponsible grazing and actions of herds men, who also should be profiled.
Those who claim to love Nigeria should contribute to ensure that The National Confab Report is implemented to the letter, without any manipulations, prevarications, demurs, and the likes, to give Nigeria peace.
Clement Udegbe a legal practitioner, wrote from Lagos.