In the last 24 hours or so, the Nigerian social media have been agog with the video clip of Smart Adeyemi, Senator representing Kogi West, practically weeping on the floor of the Senate, to underscore the seriousness of the present security crisis in the country.
The emotions displayed by the journalist and former National Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), is an apt reflection of the burden ordinary Nigerians have borne in the last few weeks following the escalation of the crisis. An obviously devastated Adeyemi had described the situation as worse than the situation during the Nigerian civil war. This is hardly an overstatement. It is so, because during the civil war, there was an officially defined enemy with a clear territory as the theatre of war.
The whole nation knew that the Igbo race, occupying the territory, called Biafra, were the enemy and employed all resources at its disposal, including military might, hunger and barricade of basic essentials to subdue the ‘enemy.’ But today, the entire nation is at war. The din of gunfire is heard in all parts of the country unlike during the war, where stories of the war and the devastating effects, appeared a fairy tale in other parts, in spite of the toll in one section. That is the clear difference, which emphasises Adeyemi’s logic.
We are on all fours with this sentiment. In fact, to say that the nation is bleeding all over, is a clear understatement. Nigeria is at the nadir, completely broken and gasping, with the undertaker’s pall, waiting to envelope it completely. That is the situation we find ourselves.
However, we do not agree with the Kogi Senator’s prescription to end the crisis. He called for foreign help as the panacea. But we think that is naïve. At least, that is not the first step. What we do not know is whether the naivety is a function of lack of knowledge on the part of the Senator or he is simply playing to the gallery and being politically correct.
Else, we think that the Senator and others who aligned with his position at the Senate, the National Assembly, and other high places, where this has become a sort of new mantra should have directed their quest for a solution to the right quarters – the Presidency.
Yes! We have no doubt that President Muhammadu Buhari holds the key to the end of the crisis. He is the only one that can leash the Fulani herdsmen and their collaborators that are largely responsible for the odious situation. Anyone taking him out of the mix and, or, inferring that he is as helpless as the rest of Nigerians in finding a solution, is simply living in denial.
Indeed, long before now, the current situation has been predicted by those tracking the progression of the crisis and the actors behind it. Only last year, Obadiah Mailafia, former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), painted a clear picture of what to expect in the coming years.
In that scary interview he granted a local medium, the Oxford-trained economist, told the nation how terrorists have surrounded the whole country, from the savannah lands in the North to the rainforests in the South. Claiming intelligence obtained right from the source, he had stated that after the killings happening in the villages, forests and farmlands, the next targets would be in the towns. Is that not exactly what is happening now?
But it gets even scarier. Mailafia, actually said the situation would degenerate into full-scale war by 2022, which is just a few months away. There is no reason to doubt him, if the other predictions have come true exactly the way he made them. The former CBN boss, actually gave some details of how heavy armaments have been moved into the South and how the area has been surrounded. Yet, he did not mince words about the identity of the perpetrators – the Fulani. So, to say that Nigeria is in for a bigger danger, is again, another understatement.
What Mailafia left out, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has completed in his recent outings. Again, in another of such deliveries on Tuesday, April 28, 2021, he did not mince words in pointing to the culprits of the current crisis. Hear him: “What is happening now, to me, is very clear; Mr President is just working for these Fulanis to take over the whole country. His body language is what is being played out. The body language, the action and inaction of Mr President shows that he is only the President of Fulani people. I have known this.
“We are becoming a Banana Republic. If we have a President who gave the security agencies order to shoot at sight, whosoever is having AK-47 and the Minister of Defence came out to say that they cannot shoot at sight… so who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces?
“Mr President must rise up. He is the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and over the 250 nationalities that are in this country. We all voted him. He has taken oath of office to secure the country and provide security for lives and property.
“These are Fulani herdsmen. They are not bandits. They are Fulanis. We saw and heard them speak the language. If the federal government had taken a proactive step, we will not be where we are. In the last two weeks, over 70 persons have been killed just in Makurdi Local Government Area alone.
“Just as the first lady said some time ago, where are the men in this country? They should come out and confront the situation. That’s the President’s wife, coming out to lament and to cry and to say that Nigerians should rise, that something is wrong. The President must tell us what is wrong.
“I want to call on my colleagues the governors. We must work hard to ensure that we salvage this country. Otherwise, this country, where I’m seeing it is being drowned and we must salvage. Otherwise, tomorrow, we wake up and discover that there is no country.”
We fully endorse this statement as the way to go. Any other message is whitewashing the issue, which is exactly what Adeyemi, and fellow lawmakers seem to be doing. It is not even new that Nigerians are looking in the direction of the President as culpable, if not directly, vicariously. Not a few have accused him of running a purely Fulani government, by his appointments, body language and other government favours. Ayo Adebanjo, leader of Afenifere, the Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, emphasised that much at the burial of the organisation’s spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, a few days ago.
So, where would the foreign intervention come in when the first thing has not been done? Without the President reading the riot act to the Fulani, without him declaring the herdsmen as terrorists in line with the position of the World Terrorism Index, that has designated the group as the fourth most dangerous terrorist organisation, inviting outsiders would be a waste of time and resources. Not even the second leg of declaring a state of emergency on security, which is also being suggested, would be of any use.
There are talks that the murderous Fulanis causing the havoc are not Nigerians, because the local ones, have been living in various communities peacefully. However, the allegation is that there is larger agenda to make Nigeria a Fulani homeland. As a result, all Fulanis across Africa are converging on the country to achieve the objective.
Outside outright denial, the only other way the President could prove that he is not complicit is to appear with some red-eye pronouncements and measures as he has done with groups like the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) against them, be they local or foreigners. That’s what will give security operatives the impetus to move against the rampaging killers and finish the job. Otherwise, when Nigerians take criminal cases involving Fulanis to the police station and become the victims instead of getting succour, they can only look in one direction.
If the international community must come in, it is for them to join in mounting pressure on the President to do the right thing – rein in his Fulani kinsmen. No more no less!
Culled from whirlwindnews.com.ng