The story was told of a family’s daughter who was kidnapped, gang-raped and eventually killed by her abductors ending this devilish act by mutilating her body parts ostensibly for rituals.
Weeks later, a lay-about pastor begged the bereaved parents to forgive and embrace the killers of their unfortunate daughter. This scenario was last Monday replicated at a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom, some prominent Benue citizens including the Tor Tiv and other stakeholders on the way forward on the issue of New Year killings of Benue citizens.
In his speech, President Buhari was for the better part of the meeting, “begging” Samuel Ortom and Benue indigenes to “embrace” other non-indigenes. Hear him: “I beg you in the name of God to embrace the non-indigenes.” This statement is laden with meaningless anecdotes. Was there no love lost between Benue indigenes and non-indigenes before the marauding Fulani herdsmen began butchering Benue citizens on the New Year’s Day?
Buhari appeared to be showing some concern albeit belatedly when he was “on his knees” begging the attendees and Benue citizens to embrace non-indigenes of the state, meaning that he was also begging on behalf of the unrepentant killer Miyetti Allah group.
The President needs to be told point-blank that his ‘begging’ is totally uncalled for and unacceptable. It is more than mere ‘begging’. It will not resurrect the killed Benue indigenes. The Holy Bible says “Faith without work is dead.” President Buhari should follow his almajiri ‘begging’ with definite action on the Miyetti Allah. It is unfortunate that up till now, no culprit of the killings had been apprehended not to talk of arraignment in court.
The country at present is confronted by a volatile issue which should be tackled circumspectly and frontally. The Miyetti Allah issue is enough to rubbish his prospective re-election in 2019 unless handled with caution. He may not receive Benue citizens’ votes.
A looming war between the Benue government and the Fulani herdsmen is brewing. Governor Samuel Ortom is saying the state government will not back down on its position on the anti-grazing law. It will be strictly enforced. On the other hand, the Miyetti Allah says it is equally ready to confront the Benue government and would not obey the anti-grazing law in a country where the government is the owner of any land. Is the group more powerful than the state?
The President should display his unquestionable impartiality on this issue by drafting a contingent of soldiers to a round-the-clock surveillance in the state because the Fulani herdsmen become more emboldened with the absence of soldiers to checkmate their activities, (2) the Miyetti Allah group should be declared a terrorist sect and be treated likewise; their source of acquiring guns and ammunition should be investigated.
Nigerians already know that powerful politicians are the sponsors of this group and should be promptly unveiled.
The citizens are tired of the President’s lethargic and worrisome posture on the issue of Fulani cattle rearers. He should deal with them firmly before they plunge this country into another civil strife. He should stop his neither-here-nor there method in governance which to say the least dents the image of his government.
Nigerians don’t need beggars to solve their problems but practical solvers of problems. Begging will not bring back those killed on New Year’s day and property already destroyed.
We make bold to say that financiers of Fulani herdsmen could be found in the cabals at Aso Rock as well as the National Assembly. President Buhari should henceforth beam his searchlight on them for him to make a headway in governance.
We finally appeal to the Benue State chief mourner, Governor Samuel Ortom to periodically appeal to his people not to resort to reprisal attacks and should remain calm in the face of disturbing extreme provocation by the cattle rearers and other hoodlums wanting to cause mayhem in the state and by extension the whole country.