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The taxonomy of terror in Nigeria (1) – by Philip Patrick

The unrestrained and somewhat syndicated massacre being carried out by the Fulani Herdsmen across the country is gradually becoming a brand; a brand in the sense that, satanical agents now wish to deal with their enemies with doses of such brutal deaths. 

Even though one is not a staunch supporter of the Buhari government, it will not be proper to toe the line of political fanatics, who by virtue of being in the opposition, cast aspersions on the person and office the president.

One is not trained to dance to sponsored tunes and will never attempt to strangulate journalistic objectivity on the altar of partisan politics.

Years back, these same Fulani herdsmen invaded a sleepy Dogo Nahawa community in Plateau State and left very gory relics of their ungodly mission: corpses of decapitated toddlers and their parents strewn around burnt-down houses. 

The then Governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang, wept profusely when he led other government officials to the scene of that unforgettable massacre. 

Many other settlements in Plateau State like Riyom and Barkin Ladi have also tasted the wrath of the herdsmen. 

The recent killing of the Saf Ron Kulere in Bokkos, Plateau State by suspected Fulani herdsmen is a pill too bitter to swallow and requires our security agencies to up their game before we are all consumed. 

Truth be told, the arrogant mien of the Fulani herdsmen and the alleged inaction of the president, placed side by side, signal an ethnic camaraderie aimed at rubbishing the save-our-soul cries of those at the receiving end of the herdsmen’s reign of terror. 

Though Mr President had since directed the military to crush all form of terror and insurgencies in the country, many see his directive as a deceptive gimmick to assuage frayed nerves, considering the recent utterances of northern Nigerian senators who have warned all governors not to ask herdsmen to leave their states. 

They even threatened the unity of Nigeria should any governor do otherwise. 

Going by the scale of evidence against the herdsmen whose atrocious ways of killing are attracting global outrage, the northern senators ought to realise that this is not the best of times to sound authoritarian. 

They should know that giving commands and conditions to those communities which host herdsmen is tantamount to adding insult upon injury. 

Unless they are deliberately daring those communities or trying to trigger the reign of ethnic Armageddon, they should call for a peaceful resolution to the matter. 

They must not be seen as acting out a script.

Shortly after the Nimbo massacre, a Fulani caller during a radio programme had boasted that his people will continue to kill as reaction to the death of their cows. 

According to that caller, whenever one cow is killed, twenty lives must replace it. 

That statement smacks of the highest level of arrogance and disrespect for human life. 

And with the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association coming out to say that herdsmen kill in self-defence, it appears the matter would require the intervention of United Nations before lasting peace may be found. 

But above every other consideration, political opponents of the APC and the Buhari persona have tried to portray the President and his party as avatars of local terrorism. 

They insist that the President and his party seem to be terrorising their enemies by keeping silent in the face of all the atrocities perpetrated by the herdsmen who are his kinsmen. 

For political ends, they have suggested that the President is pursuing an ethnic agenda aimed at alienating opponents from political relevance. 

For them, the ethnocentric political appointments of the President lend credence to their position. 

They also insist that the grazing reserve bill which is being bandied by some APC governors and their allies in the national assembly speak volumes about the real intentions of the Buhari administration.

Even the President’s anti-corruption war is interpreted as mere political vendetta aimed at terrorising those who did not support him during the last elections. 

Unless the president’s actions change in future, the general impression pervading the Nigerian political space favours the thinking that he is still possessed by his military mentality which is nothing more than terror camouflaged in democratic cosmetics.  

There are many Nigerians who feel that, as a political party desperate for power, the APC, prior to the elections that brought it to power, had no clear-cut agenda or overt ideology to work on and so, most of their campaign strategy centred on the inactions or misdeeds of Goodluck Jonathan. 

They continued to cast aspersions (political campaign terror) on the Jonathan government and forgot to prepare for the arduous task of governance. 

The abysmal results are here with us!

Philip Patrick


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