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Enugu killings: A Passionate Letter to President Buhari

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buhari, mbaka

Dear President Buhari,

With sorrow-ridden spirit and mind of fortitude, I bring you felicitation from the heart-broken, tearful, good and peace-loving citizens of Enugu State. 

As you are already aware, the historical land of Coal City State and political capital of Igbo Nation, was invaded, defiled and desecrated by murderous, blood-thirsty, armed Fulani Herdsmen in Ukpabi Nimbo community of Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State. 

This sad event took place on 25th of April, 2015 without any sort of State protection by Nigerian security forces for the effected community, irrespective of intelligent reports made available to them before this dastardly act. 

After the highly condemnable, barbaric, sadistic and unfortunate massacre, of over sixty defenceless innocent souls, who were slaughtered like Salah rams in the abattoirs, and more than hundred people were brutally inflicted with deep cut injuries, thereby automatically disfiguring some of them for life. 

My ancestral land became horrible scenes of man inhumanity to his fellow man. 

Your Excellency, for the purpose of clarity and sound judgement, I will like to state categorically that my beloved and only state—Enugu, was spilled with blood of her citizens.

Spilled by Fulani Herdsmen-propelled spirit of death, just for this single reason—for being part of an insecured state under your watchful eyes as Commander-in-Chief and Chief Security Officer of the Federation. 

Least you forget Mr President, protection of lives and properties of Nigerians; including my state was one of the cardinal constitutionally responsibilities you sworn to uphold on 29th May, 2015.

Since this carnage and garment of grief fell on my people, the land of Enugu State is no longer the same again. 

Even the hitherto resting spirits of my ancestors have been rattled by these unprecedented raping of our mothers and sisters, killing of our sinless children and burning of our ancestral homes and places of worship, all by devilish and conscienceless invaders, masquerading as herdsmen. 

As son of the soil, with umbilical cord connected to this state, I decided to write this letter to you, with my eyes flood with tears of mourning, not out of cowardice or helplessness but utmost respect to you as my elected president cum father of the nation. 

I was inspired to tow this constitutionally path of reason and honour, to remind you of your celebrated inaugural quote of “I belong to everybody, I belong to nobody”. 

Your Excellency, with all due respects Sir. 

All your actions and inactions since your second coming as Nigerian president have contradicted this quote and rendered it mere political statement. 

For instance, Agatu community in Benue State came under siege of rampaging Fulani herdsmen, where over four hundred Agatus were killed in cold blood in their ancestral homes.

Not even a statement of condolence emanated from you, let alone addressing the nation via national broadcast.

But you were quick to threaten pipeline vandals in Niger-Delta with “Boko Haram treatment”. What an irony!

In the light of foregoing context, can you in all sincerity say that you have lived up to this quote? 

As Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, why did Nigerian security forces fail to stop Fulani Herdsmen from attacking a community in Agwu Local Government of my state?

But were swift to stop the helpless seventy-six farmers from defending their ravaged farmlands, and got them arrested for defending themselves!?

Can I submit to the insinuations that you belong to the Fulanis alone, and not Igbos, Idomas, Yorubas, Ijaws etc especially when juxtaposed with 5%ters and 98%ters votes’ statement credited to you, vis-à-vis lopsided appointments you have made so far in favour of the Hausa/Fulanis? 

Are you not vindicating those that did not vote for you through your lackadaisical handling of national security treat like atrocities of Fulani Herdsmen?  

Can I put side by side gruesome murder of Nigerians by Fulani Herdsmen with controversial Grazing Reserve Bill, which is presently at the National Assembly (an impending law to legitimize invasion of other people’s communities by Fulani Herdsmen)? 

Your Excellency, I want to use this medium to bring to your notice of the raging and eruptive anger sweeping across Igbo Nation like wildfire, ever since this unimaginable calamity happened in Enugu State. 

If nothing serious and urgent is done to curtail this growing wrath in the land, I am afraid reprisal attacks will be more deadly and catastrophic.

It will portray Fulani Herdsmen attacks as child’s play, if not averted. There is a time when silence is no longer golden. 

Any injustice done anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, apology to Martin Luther King, Jr. 

My peoples’ long-drawn and over-stretched patience is speedily being exhausted. 

In Igboland, there is an adage that says when a person is down, he is no longer afraid of falling because the only way to go is up—which means staging a comeback battle of survival. 

One of the proverbial quotes of my ancestors implies that if a man does not die, there can never be spirit. 

Embers are flaming up. Hearts are already at boiling point.  

Fulani Herdsmen instigated provocation has reached its crescendo. 

Spirit of warrior of my people has been aroused. The lion’s tail has been touched. 

Cloud is gathering in full force, it will only take gifted rain-maker to stop this impending heavy down pour because no one has monopoly of violence.  

Mr President, have you thought of the kind of regretful thoughts that will be racing through agitated minds of your core supporters in my state like Revered Father Ejike Mbaka, who turned his Adoration Ministry into campaign ground just to get you elected? 

Have you wondered why the same Fr. Mbaka that saw prophecy of your victory before 2015 general, couldn’t see this heinous tragedy that befell some of his followers? 

Don’t you think that the same Fr. Mbaka that described pro-Biafra agitations as evil will now see reasons to sympathize with IPOB, and MASSOB? 

I will advise your government not to play into the hands of proponents of Biafra struggle, who will capitalize on these killings to win more supporters in Eastern region.  

Your Excellency, this is time to exhibit spirit of statesmanship by rising above ethnic, political and religious cleavages cum sentiments, to create a nation where peace and justice shall reign. 

Justice is made for the sake of peace, not the other way around. 

A man, who cannot stand up for something, can fall for anything. 

Never again will blood and hard-earned wealth of innocent Igbos be used to water Nigeria’s fledging unity. 

It is either these beasts in human flesh are called to order by security forces, or my people will resort to last hope of survival—self-defence, because in a state of lawlessness, lawfulness becomes lawlessness. 

As stakeholders, we can’t sit idly again and watch our people being decimated, raped, and slaughtered, houses burnt by aliens, while security forces play to the gallery. 

According to the words of Bishop Desmond Tutu, “If you are neutral in the face of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor”. 

Mr President, thanks for your anticipated cooperation. 

It is the right of every Nigerian to be protected by this government and not a privileged strictly reserved for the Fulanis. 

Nwobodo Chidiebere wrote in from Enugu; chidieberenwobodo@yahoo.com

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