BY GEORGE ELIJAH
Fulani Herdsmen/Igbos Controversy Matters Arising
*Quotes: “Posterity gives every man his True Value”-Publius Cornelius Tacitus
* “When we are planning for Posterity, We ought to remember that Virtue is not Hereditary”-Thomas Paine
“IT IS better to lead from behind and put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership”-Nelson Mandela
On three different occasions, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari earlier contested to lead the nation out of the woods as a politician, somehow he could not be elected then since it was not yet his divine time to ‘free Africa’s most populous country out of the woods’. But on March 28, 2015 at the age of 72 years posterity smiled on him when he was beckoned upon to eventually take Nigeria into a land flowing with milk and honey. He was resilient, determined, focused and refused to quit bearing in mind the gradual influence of his political party, All Progressives Congress (APC) ready to wrestle power from the then incumbent ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). By the end of the day, Buhari won and was declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
All across Nigeria from east to west, north to south, Nigerians, particularly the masses celebrated, holding unto the belief that the untainted integrity and anti-corruption stance of President Buhari would suffice to save the nation’s economy and rein in better governance for the country.
True, many Nigerians believe that Mr. President is a good man, with a large heart ready to surmount any challenge in bringing quality living for the people. I strongly believe with the victory won and being in power for 12months, Nigerians expect Mr President to doggedly put in same resilience, determination and tenacity in ensuring that basic amenities of life was made available at the speed of lightening.
It is not out of place to say that President Buhari met myriad of challenges on assumption of work after instruments of power was handed over to him by former president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, his immediate predecessor on a platform of peace. Plagued by too many problems affecting Nigeria, Mr President had faced headlong his globally-acclaimed anti-graft war mantra at ensuring all public officials found wanting on financial crimes are apprehended and prosecuted.
Like a leader, never afraid to lead his people, even in times of danger, President Buhari came into power during one of the lowest moments of the nation’s economy, national security threats of Boko Haram terrorists, Food Insufficiency and Fuel Scarcity. He confronted these problems that have dragged Nigeria backward since the country attained her independence, such that if you see other nations that had same year of independence with Nigeria, they are already long made progress.
Just within his 12 months in office, May 29, Mr President had wielded the big stick, stepped on toes of elites that people were always earlier afraid, gives no damn about sacred cows in the business and political sectors. Nigeria’s president did not shy away from his passion and determination to contend the malaise of corruption.
While embarking on his financial crimes war against kleptomaniac-politicians, some elites were mentioned, picked up by Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC) on various offenses relating to fleecing of Nigeria’s fortune. Buhari did not interfere and promised never to interrupt the functions of the anti-graft agency. He kept to his words till date due to his unquestionable integrity. As a popular belief that : ‘When you fight Corruption, Surely Corruption Fights Back’, various public office holders whose names popped up in the books of EFCC investigation had some funds returned, while some others abused Nigerian Court processes in ensuring they deliberately delay the final judgment pronouncement. That did not deter Mr President from allowing EFCC optimal access as enabled by Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution to pursue, arrest, investigate and prosecute any politician who steals Nigeria’s wealth under any form or guise. Even the deaf can ‘hear’ the activities of EFCC working closely with International Police (INTERPOL) in ensuring every stolen funds of Nigeria outside the shores of the country is returned.
It is obviously clear that President Buhari has performed beyond comparison in his anti-corruption war which has made members of International Community be willing to assist and further help Nigeria in eliminating the monster of Boko Haram terrorists.
Fulani Herdsmen/Igbos Controversy Matters Arising
Just like it is difficult for 10 children born of same parents not to occasionally have frictions, altercations or misunderstanding on various issues of life, yet settle their differences as one big family, so is Nigeria with 774 local governments, 36 states having to contend with several ethnic/tribe related community face-off that comes in different strata; still remain one indivisible nation.
Sad, barbaric and condemnable that some misguided Fulani Herdsmen youths from Nassarawa State (Northern Nigeria) stormed Abia, Benue, Delta and Enugu States (South East Nigeria) and snuffed life out of defenseless women, innocent children, harmless girls and oppressed men in those areas mentioned. Truth is, their act is sacrilegious, reprehensible and an act against humanity.
Mr President ordered marching instruction to the offices of Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police, Director General of Department of State Security Service (DSS) and Nigerian Army to move to these areas and put an end once for all to matters of ethnic/tribal communal clash, ensuring peace of lives/properties are unhindered.
It is also saddening that youths from Benue State took laws into their hands in a reprisal attack by visiting Nassarawa State 24 hours ago, killed 20 Fulani Herdsmen and butchered 38 Cows. As I am writing this article, I am aware on-going protests are being carried out in various areas in London by Nigerians in Diaspora pressing that Mr President should speedily investigate the massacre of the Igbos living in South East Nigeria.
Despite having a peaceful protest in London by Nigerians in Diaspora on genocide committed by Fulani herdsmen, their valid point seems to have been buried in the euphoria with which Biafra Flags were conspicuously raised in display by the protesters. Summarily, this tells you that the Biafran youths agitating for self-determination of Biafra Republic over the present trial of embattled, incarcerated Nnamdi Kanu, Director of Radio Biafra in Nigeria are majorly behind this movement.
It is high time for Nigerians from all walks of life to know that Nigeria is a project in the hands of God., destined for greatness. Severally in the past, in spite of our differences in languages from same country, Nigeria still remain indivisible. No man can destroy the plans of God, since Nigeria is a key in the hands of God.
To dissuade all fraying nerves across ethnic/tribal lines, Mr President needs to urgently convoke a high-powered Security Intelligence and Peace Reconciliation Committee headed by renowned peace-loving and scandal free Bishop and Imam which will have as members Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police, Director General of DSS, Nigerian Army Defence Head, Governors of affected states: Nassarawa, Abia, Benue, Delta and Enugu where the remote reasons for the genocide should be dispassionately investigated, a full list of deceased men, women, children and the wounded be compiled. Representations should be made to their families with rehabilitation plans of their various homes destroyed and adequate compensations duly monitored should be made available to their confirmed family dependants. By this, the healing process must have begun.
Security operatives should be put on red alert in those states mentioned above to arrest, prosecute any youth found with dangerous weapons or fermenting trouble under any guise or in any form irrespective of their family networking or connections to the corridor of power. Truth must be told, this is how Nigeria can for once nail the coffin of ethnic/tribal communal crisis in the country.
As stated by Nelson Mandela, former South African President that: “We must always use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always right to do right,” at this juncture there are salient issues President Buhari should know which he needs to take very seriously.
Firstly, Mr. President needs to revisit his economic team, bring them to the drawing board with a mandate that all hands have to be on deck to ensuring the issue of food security question is treated as a leading priority to solving the problems of food insecurity making the production and distribution of foods by farmers available to everyone at a cheaper price.
The greatest threat to any society is food insecurity, which calls for peoples immediate survival. When a man has eaten he hardly gets worried about any other issue. Mr. President needs to instruct his economic team to summon an emergency meeting with all registered farmers in Nigeria, with bank executives in attendance where the challenges confronting the farmers are heard on first hand, and loans made available to them to facilitate their speedy efforts into mechanized farming. By so doing, food would have been made surplus and available to all Nigerians, thereby solving the problems of food scarcity, which made prices of food stuff to jerk up beyond the masses financial muscle.
President Buhari should begin to perform an oversight functions on EFCC and other relevant anti-graft agencies in ensuring that funds recovered from these anti-corrupt firms are ploughed back into the nation’s Agricultural sector where the issue of food security presently affecting Nigerians in rural/urban areas are taken care of adequately and permanently.
It is very important that as a concerned Nigerian resident Overseas, just like every other Nigerians in Diaspora, every detailed information raised in this apt article should be meditated upon, internalized and brought to the attention of Mr President by his media handlers and other assistants so he could implements the blue prints so enumerated for a United Nigeria.
Governance is not a tea-party but huge responsibility that requires every commitment, vision and accuracy to perform. We all voted for President Buhari to lead us. We should allow him concentrate on governance so that promises he made to the electorates in his manifesto will be fulfilled in earnest. God bless Nigeria, God bless Nigerians.
GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/CNNiReport Journalist North America