Candid Notes

January 19, 2021

Nigeria: This joke called a country (2)

By Yinka Odumakin

The first part of this piece which focused on attacks on Bishop Matthew Kukah following his Christmas homily, was published last week

‘UNFORTUNATELY, it  was when they were moving up with their cattle across Southern Kaduna that the elections of 2011 took place and the crisis trapped some of them. Some of them were from Niger, Cameroon, Chad, Mali and Senegal. The Fulani are in 14 African countries and they traverse this country with the cattle.

“So many of these people were killed, cattle lost and they organised themselves and came back to revenge. So a lot of what was happening in Southern Kaduna was actually from outside Nigeria. We got a hint that the late Governor Patrick Yakowa got this information and he sent someone to go round some of these Fulani communities, but of course after he died, the whole thing stopped. That is what we inherited. But the Agwai committee established that.

“We took certain steps. We got a group of people that were going round trying to trace some of these people in Cameroon, Niger Republic and so on to tell them that there is a new governor who is Fulani like them and has no problem paying compensations for lives lost and he is begging them to stop killing.

Monetary compensation

“In most of the communities, once that appeal was made to them, they said they have forgiven. There are one or two that asked for monetary compensation. They said they have forgiven the death of human beings, but want compensation for cattle. We said no problem, and we paid some. As recently as two weeks ago, the team went to Niger Republic to attend one Fulani gathering that they hold every year with a message from me.”

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The same governor was more audacious than the leader of Boko Haram, Malam Shekau, when he threatened foreign observers during the 2015 elections. Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State had earlier threatened that foreign nationals who interfered in the general elections would be given body bags treatment. A body bag is one used for carrying a corpse from a battlefield or the scene of an accident or crime to either a mortuary or place of burial. The governor’s threat came barely a week after the Federal Government accused foreign powers, including the United States, United Kingdom and the European Union of actions that could be deemed as interference.

Clash of civilisations

He went further to say on a live television: “You can comment, but when you make statements on the internal affairs of a country without facts, that is interference and is very irresponsible. Those that are calling for anyone to come and intervene in Nigeria, we are waiting for those that will come and intervene, they will go back in body bags.”

El-Rufai described Nigeria as an independent entity whose sovereignty would never be compromised in servitude to foreign powers. It is a practical joke of a sort when people talk about the Nigerian nation.

There is no such thing anywhere and there can never be one in the midst of their clash of civilisations where some people can rise to threaten others with death without consequences because of our dual mandate and law that makes some citizens to be above the others.

There can never be equality in such a polity as some superior group will treat others like underdogs with no regard for them as they don’t see them as equal human beings. There are two incidents currently playing out in the unending domination of Nigeria and the continued servitude of sections of it to the dominating partner.

The Ohanaeze Ndigbo recently raised the alarm over the Police Service Commission that saw 37 officers promoted with the North West having 12, North East 8, South West 7, South-South 5, North Central 4 and South East 1. It is also being alleged that there is a surreptitious move to by-pass the next qualified person for the IG post from the South-South in favour of geopolitical injury and imbalance.

The second was reported by Sahara Reporters of plans to retire Yusuf Kasalli Oladipo who should be appointed as the next Comptroller General of Nigerian Correctional Services to allegedly pave way for a Northerner. Oladipo is the most senior assistant at the moment. These fellows will do these injustices and get away with them. But how long willl Nigeria survive these shenanigans?

Vanguard News Nigeria