No one in his right mind could defend the atrocious killings in Benue as justified and still claim to be Nigerian.
Such persons, whether they are from the North or South, do not belong to the same society of freedom, peace and unity which the majority of the 180 million persons within these boundaries subscribe to. Any such persons who see themselves as a special group with the “God-given” rights to determine what happens in Nigeria, invoking others of their ancestry from other parts of West Africa to call down a rain of chaos on anyone who obstructs their will, do not share same ideals of Nigeria as a country of diverse people where progress cannot be achieved by might of arms or forceful conquest, but by open dialogue and logical compromise.
The members of the Fulani Nationality Movement, who supposedly issued a most insidious and criminal statement on January 13, 2018 are not our countrymen, and it must be incumbent on the Federal Government to treat them as external aggressors.
Every word of their statement is motivated by an intense hatred for a multi-cultural society, an aversion for dialogue and the utmost disregard for law and order. They are reckless and are fully aware of the illegality of their intentions to bring down the state. Their statement is full of criminal purpose and it cannot be taken lightly that they are already initiating the process that would see the actualization of their evil desire.
This group declared the killings in Benue of persons of Tiv origin as a “well deserved” revenge attack. They claim that many of their kin were victims in previous attacks in Nasarawa state, perhaps emboldened by the declaration of the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, that over 800 Fulani were killed in one week by Mambilla militias. The Emir’s claim has been challenged by the Taraba and Benue state governments, and it will not be difficult to dismiss the claims of this fratricidal group.
This group opposes the anti-grazing laws because they “obstruct the ability of Fulani to move freely and stay anywhere in Nigeria”. If these persons were Nigerians, they would know that the Constitution guarantees them the freedom to reside and own property anywhere, but not to allow their property constitute damage to the peace and livelihoods of other persons. But how would such persons blinded by hate know this? They “would have actually conquered the entire Nigeria” if not for the British!
The dangerous jihadist positioning of this group should worry the Muhammadu Buhari government. There is eerily too much in their statement to give the appearance that they are taking words straight out of the President’s mouth and rebroadcasting almost verbatim, with the extra stuffing of hate and sophistication of bigotry in their speech.
They think the calls for restructuring are “irresponsible” and they declare that the “cattle colony” is the ONLY solution to the present crisis. These are the postures taken at present by the Buhari administration on both issues. Without a definite denouncement and the initiation of a procedure to reveal and restrict them, there will be more sighs against this government as being guilty of ethnic jingoism, and ultimately calls into question the seriousness of this administration about protecting the lives of citizens.
By all accounts, the meeting between president Buhari and the elders from Benue led by Governor Samuel Ortom was fruitful and it is expected that more progress will be made in bringing these crises in the Middle Belt to a definite end. Some compromises will have to be made, being what the president had in mind when he asked for the governor to “accommodate your countrymen”.
But the authors of that statement credited to the Fulani Nationality Movement appear not to want to be in consideration in any such dialogues or negotiations for peace. It must be the priority of the Commander-in-chief to put an end to their madness, considering they are really his countrymen.