The Oxford English Dictionary defines famine as extreme lack of food for a very large number of people. Unknown to many Nigerians and most especially the people in government, the country is facing an imminent self-inflicted famine, no thanks to escalated killings of innocent Nigerians mostly farmers all over the country in some states notably Benue, Taraba, Yobe, Plateau and others.
Food, one of the essentials for existence is being gradually removed from the citizens’ tables according to indices available from market women. They complain of non-availability or complete absence of food farm produce from the northern states of Nigeria lately. They often lament this phenomenon on visits to markets – and the ones available are sold at prohibitive prices. In other words, there is currently an acute shortage of food nationwide which can lead to chronic malnutrition among the less-privileged.
At present, farmers in the affected areas in the Internally Displaced Peoples’ Camps (IDPs) are reluctant to return to their farms for fear of being killed and their property torched by these agents of the devil called Fulani herdsmen. They therefore stay put at the camps indefinitely hoping helplessly that government would do something to checkmate the activities of those mindless marauders in our midst.
For the umpteenth time we have written on this government’s ineptitude and planlessness on the issue of these cruel killings of innocent farmers to which President Muhammadu Buhari has advertently refused to take practical steps for the basic reason that he himself is a Fulani and the herdsmen are his kinsmen. Let this truth be told.
This issue has sort of not only dented his image but has crushed it in the comity of nations. Hitherto, Nigerians cannot afford one square meal daily and now that famine is staring the country in the face glaringly. Benue State in particular, which is often referred to as the nation’s food basket has lately been cruelly ravaged by the killer herdsmen and their farms and produce destroyed.
We are therefore passionately appealing to President Buhari to change his mindset on this looming famine which if taken seriously would change the citizens’ perspective of his government for his second term. At present, Nigerians cannot afford to bear the brunt of an imminent famine coupled with the suffering and deprivation they are currently going through and we shall not tarry to din it into President Buhari to deal with this troublesome Miyetti Allah and its cohorts, disarm them , prosecute them and visibly hang those of them who merit hanging.
They are our current Biblical troublers of Israel. Let allow those farmers return to their legitimate business of providing food for unmolested and unhindered anymore. Our hospitals are currently filled with malnourished patients due to lack of good food and medicare. It would be an anathema for us to experience famine in a supposedly agriculture country on the continent of Africa and by extension the whole world. Nature has blessed us with good arable land to farm, grow and produce food for our teeming population and so we have no cause to be hungry. It is an irony of history for Nigeria, a country that exports her farm produce, to experience famine at this period.
So all we are saying is that President Buhari should halt forthwith the looming famine precipitated by his kinsmen Fulani herdsmen’s killings and allow the farmers return to their business of feeding the citizens unperturbed. A Yoruba adage has it that a king whose reign is peaceful will forever be remembered, in the same vein one whose reign is not peaceful will also be remembered but for different reasons.
It is very sad to say the least that when these Fulani herdsmen began their madness not a single one of them has been prosecuted let alone jailed or even shot dead. Government should at once deal ruthlessly with them. Disarm them, and randomly decimate them to stem the looming hunger in the country. With our abundant arable and fertile land given us by nature, we have no cause to inflict hunger on our citizens. Therefore the buck stops on Buhari’s table.