By Erasmus Ikhide
WITHOUT the use of bayonets, gun shots and hand-propelled rocket grenade thrown from the discordant opposing political parties, President Muhammadu Buhari blightly submitted his hermit government has caved in to the rampaging terrorist Fulani herders. President Buhari sang Nunc Dimittis of his government and Nigerian state failure that smacks off mental barrenness, polical turmoil and a sense of horror.
Robert D. Caplan painted gore picture of the tragedy that befalls Nigeria earlier in his book titled: “The Coming Anarchy”, that will be prosecuted on the premise of political disorder, civil strife and self-defense in the absence of patriotic standing army.
“As environmental stress worsened, bringing with it widespread disease and resource conflict, social disharmony would increase as identities are redefined along religious, cultural or tribal lines rather than the lines of often artificial political borders. Politics would become localized as states’ powers fade, with sub-national conflicts about self-defense, not ideology, becoming commonplace”, Caplan said.
Nigeria in its numerous cross-cutting identities, skewed systems and compromised allegiances — far from the ordered state-based system that Kaplan saw in the West at the time — resonates in Fulani herders slaughtering Nigerians over farmland for grazing their cattle.
Last week Thursday, President Buhari administration told Nigerians indirectly that Gen. T. Y Danjuma’s famous call for self-defense is crucial because the nation’s military has been overwhelmed. Federal government declaration that, ”We don’t have enough soldiers to guard every Middle Belt villages.
The direct message of helplessness and lamentation by the Federal government to the Middle Belt people and the entire nation in general is not to hope that Buhari’s government will protect us, is first — an admittance of dismal failure on the given constitutional responsibility of any government in power on one hand, and an endorsement of Gen. T. Y Danjuma’s call to self-defense
I’m not sure the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Audu Ogbe weighed the implications of his statement when he said: Two, NEMA is redesigning the settlements in the villages to bring more communities together so that people don’t live too far apart. Otherwise, we don’t have enough security to guard every settlement. Unless you have units of 10 or 11 soldiers to guard each village, there is no way that the current security network can cover the needs of villagers who may be attacked in the afternoon or night”.
For heaven’s sake why will Nigerian military or its minders allow Libyan returnees or arms smugglers to find their ways into Nigeria before curtailing backlashes. How feasible can that be? Why not police the boarders before arms and ammunition find their ways into the country? By the way, how come over 150,000 police officers are protecting APC chieftains at a time Nigerians are being slaughtered in the MiddleBelt on an hourly basis? It’s failed states like Nigeria that deliberately throws it boarders open and allows marauders to visit terror on the populace, even though Nigerians never bought into that trash of external invasion.
Even at that, what then is the responsibility of Buhari’s administration in the face of internal or external aggression? APC government has simply told Nigerians that the unity of the country has headed for the rock because the proliferation of arms and their Fulani terrorist herders have exposed the fragility and vulnerability of the Nigerian military and the entire security architecture.
What Mr. Audu tried to conceal away from Nigerians and the global community is that the entire country is under an arms lock-down and it is worse than placing a nation on a war-footing. With the weaponization of protocols of engagement and the aggregation of arms available to non-state actors threatening to overwhelm the capacity of the state for proactive violence and punitive retribution, then Nigeria has all but collapsed.
It tells more about our sub-humanity if we allow cow induced crisis to lead us into war in a government that technically and ethnically seeks to invest hundreds of billions of naira in the private businesses of northern cattle rearers.
Prof Adebayo Williams said all when he quipped: “A society which allows cows to lead it to war must be something else. Still, the conventional international wisdom is that whenever a state loses its monopoly of the instrument of coercion, such a state has lost its raison d’etre. Inevitably, such a nation implodes due to prolonged or simultaneous armed critique from a single focused direction or several hostile quarters; or is overwhelmed by a combination of enervation and existential adversity”.
The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari still have the time to step out from his aloofness and save the imperilled nation from Fulani terrorist herders and other armed gangs roaming the streets, the forests, the creeks, the major highways and the urban centres in the name cattle rearing.
Erasmus, A Public Affairs Analyst writes from Lagos.
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