Opinion: Herdsmen, Licensed to kill


El-nathan John, author of the best-selling fiction ‘Born On A Tuesday’, once said that the greatest disservice anyone can do to himself as a Nigerian is to be poor. He was right; the survival kit in Nigeria is not filled with patriotism, truthfulness and being forthright. You don’t have to be peace-loving or enthusiastic about development, no matter what you do, don’t just be poor!

But if providence has not ‘smiled’ on you yet and your hustle, no matter how legal or illegal it is, has not paid off, try as much as possible to build a formidable network with those in the corridors of power, especially if you do not reside in the city but in remote villages in Benue, Kaduna, Taraba, Adamawa and so on. Failure to do this interprets to a death sentence, one you might not escape from.

If you have the right network, you and your colleagues can go to any village and farm, ransack the entire area, rape the occupants, machete the residents, butcher toddlers, kill pregnant women and slice open the fetus, chop-off the heads of children and burn their houses for daring to chase your cows from their farms. After all, there is nothing bad in cows- who are God’s superior creature to men wandering across other people’s farms and eating up the vegetables, lettuces, yam, maize and tomatoes they toil day and night to plant. Cows are fictional mammals whose movements are guided only by divine. They are superior to human. After all, was it not said that God created animals before humans?

If you and your friends find favour in the sight of divine and you are able to land the President as your Grand Patron, that’s a jackpot! Rejoice, you have been observing your ‘salat’ diligently and it’s time for a reward.

Having the President as a grand patron comes with lots of perks. You become untouchable, literally. No matter what you do, no matter who you do them to, no matter where and how you do them, no individual born of man or woman can hold you accountable. When some says the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian Police Force, the Nigerian Armed Forces or the State Security Service are the most brutal across the country, don’t say a word, just smile. But deep down inside you, you know you have been a bad boy, you know the activities of Boko Haram are merely soft in nature and by your estimate, you know strapping kids with suicide bombs and setting up landmines for soldiers do not measure up to the casualties you record at a single farm you attack.

Let the villagers keep shouting and the communities stage protest upon protest; write letters and petitions, you are assured that your grand patron will ignore their petitions and look away. Grand patrons are bonded by esprit de corps, they see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil of their exponents. In fact, when protests are becoming too much, you can count on the grand patron to order the police to open fire on the noisy ones disturbing the peace of the society.

Forget all the talks about ill-equipped security forces, by your closeness with the grand patron, you have access to the best of guns and firearms money can buy. Oh yes! You need the weapons, in case some of your victims are proving too difficult to kill (I don’t understand why people won’t just be civil enough to comport themselves rightly when being macheted) and in case some overzealous police officers try to disobey direct orders from above, the AK-47 riffle comes in handy.

But remember the relationship between you and your grand patron is symbiotic in nature, while you count on him to turn the blind eye while you massacre your albatross, you must be there for him when he needs you to win elections or re-elections. While you are having a field day burning down houses and dancing to the helpless cries and agonies of your victims, remember to get your voter’s card. Your grand patron needs you and you can’t afford to fail him, be humble and mobilise for him.

Don’t be like the foolish ones who started feeling too powerful after helping him into office. Remember your grand patron is a very powerful person, learn from the Shi’ites. You don’t want to see the anger of your grand patron, if he gets angry; a tap on the chest of a General is enough to wipe out your entire generations. Don’t be unfortunate!

Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

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