Undaunted and unrelenting in their wanton killings of innocent Benue citizens on New Year’s Day, the rapaciously murderous Fulani herdsmen on rampage last Tuesday killed two riot policemen and others in their renewed escapade of murder and bloodletting thus showing no remorse for their evil disposition bringing to 73 the number of citizens already mowed down. The gory pictures of the dead on the nation’s front page newspapers make one’s mind frigid and cold, while watching the state governor on the television makes one tremble.
Nigeria no doubt is at a crossroads with the present albatross – Fulani herdsmen. The much dreaded Boko Haram started like this unmolested, much virulent and ever since, the Federal Government has always fought vigorously to wipe them out with no success. The Fulani herdsmen began in the same vein.
Much to the chagrin of Nigerians, President Muhammadu Buhari, himself a Fulani, had always adopted a siddon look approach to this cattle rearers’ killings over the years suggesting that he advertently supports Fulani herdsmen in their devilish, organized and premeditated murders.
Benue State largely referred to and it is true, as the food basket of the nation has suffered untold wastages in terms of farm produce since the inception of these attacks, this is a harbinger of drought and extreme hunger in the country. Does the President want to rule over dead bodies before he takes stern action on these killings?
All he had to say at every attack by Fulani herdsmen is “we are on top of the situation; the action is condemnable and reprehensible”. Nigerians are visibly tired of his useless and unproductive antics.
The Buhari Nigerians knew in 1984 as a soldier and disciplinarian is not the Buhari we know now. The maxim, old soldier never dies, a soldier, always a soldier does not apply to our own Buhari nowadays.
Henceforth, Buhari should show his true colour as a no-nonsense soldier on this issue. The matter is beyond drafting the Inspector-General of Police Ibrahim Idris to Benue State to do what? We don’t know. He could order the arrest of members of the Myetti Allah, the arrowhead of the Fulani herdsmen. He could not feign the knowledge of their abode. Let there be mass arrest and prosecution of these culprits.
It is quite unfathomable that not a single member of the Fulani herdsmen had been apprehended since this orgy of mass killings began in a country where there is a man in charge and relevant laws to deal with the crime. The Justice Minister Shehu Malami has a great role to play by fine tuning extant laws to deal with these attacks and perpetrators.
The buck stops on the President’s table for whatever happens to the citizens, he should stop his annoying grandstanding and unwarranted lethargy to urgent issues as this killer herdsmen. Wherever the herdsmen are, they should be fished out, disarmed and prosecuted.
Recall that the Tiv are extremely stalwart and belligerent. They should not be unnecessarily pushed to reprisal attack on the Fulani herdsmen the result of which may be unpalatable to the country and uncontrollable by the President.
We wonder what the Myetti Allah think of themselves when they said they would not abide by Benue’s anti-grazing law and that they were ready to confront the Benue State Government which they are currently doing. They should be dealt with by all means possible to avert another avoidable civil war which could consume the country.
Finally, the families of the victims should be fully compensated and rehabilitated by way of empowerment in all ramifications. We condole with them, praying that God grants them the fortitude to bear the irreparable losses.