by Farouk Martins Aresa
Buhari! How many times did I call you? In case you do not remember how Boko Haram came after you in Kaduna; there was a President called Jonathan. He allowed Boko Haram to creep up on him like Fulani herdsmen, while his co-looters shared the money meant for military gear against the menace of Boko Haram. Fulani herdsmen are creeping all over you. No monopoly on violence, when used it to grab others’ land, gain economic hierarchy and political advantage.
Action is needed now, not excuses or toothless panels! We need strong and decisive message to Fulani herdsmen that the days of religious hide and seek are gone. As you said: You can’t kill to please God; and I know no religion tolerates the taking of another person’s life in the name of a religious movement. You have come a long way from a religious fanatic some people claimed you were to the realization that it is impunity, power and land grab in disguise.
If Boko Haram can go after you, Fulani herdsmen threat can. Northern region need forestation to check desert encroachment. Our politicians go to Niger Republic, which is further North than Nigeria, to import grass but cannot cultivate grass and deliver water for forestation in the North. An investment that prevents confrontation between Fulani herdsmen and those trying to defend themselves as Police or Army would not; but readily when Fulani herdsmen suffer.
Prof. Umar Labdo Muhammad of the Faculty of Humanities, Northwest University wrote: Benue belongs to Fulani by right of conquest. He challenged or threatened political, cultural traditional and religious Fulani leaders who eat fat off Fulani to rise to the false claims of those before him. Saying he is just an Arabic scholar, underestimate his threat. He could well be Chinese, German or Russian scholar. Just before Jonathan was elected, Adamu Ciroma and Co. said they would make Nigeria ungovernable. They were not arrested, cautioned or condemned.
Audu Ogbe, your Minister of Agriculture who came from that region. Gowon and Danjuma are now seen as silent traitors. The Fulani herdsmen believe nobody owns the land but God. It is only true in the Southern Nigeria or Benue, but nobody contest Northwest and Northeast land with them. Audu claimed Nigeria cattle only eat special type of grass like oyinbo grass. Haba malam, here we go again. Nigeria do not like cassava bread so that wheat must be imported.
Remember that was how Bala Usman also claimed the right of conquest of Niger Delta oil since it ceased to belong to its owners after it was taken over by the British conquerors; who then handed it over to Nigerian State at Independence. This line of thought was followed by Farouk Adamu Aliyu, a former Minority leader in the House of Representatives that Niger Deltans must stop laying claims to oil found on their land as it was washed down as minerals from the North.
Buhari, watch out for the threat made by Prof. Umar Labdo Muhammad. When Boko Haram started, they were destroying and killing Christians, Southerners, Churches and later their sympathizers. It got to a point when you claimed the fight against Boko Haram was destroying only the North. They had even suggested you as their negotiator at one point. They graduated to killing Muslims and destroying Mosques. As Boko Haram grew wings and became monsters, they destroyed almost everything on their path including the very people that harbored them. Those that encouraged and funded them became their enemies and targeted for destruction.
Fast forward, we pray, hoping that Fulani herdsmen will not become your albatross. You have enough opponents praying for your downfall and blaming those that voted for you on a daily basis. You must realize that if Jonathan was that good as a President, you would have been nowhere close to the position you have right now. The reason you were elected was because Jonathan failed the Country. We expect you to succeed against corruption and any violence.
Buhari, Buhari, Buhari: how many times did I call you? Do not disappoint Nigerians. Most of the people that voted for you know your weakness but they were convinced that given another opportunity, you would do better. Indeed, most of those people had prayed for your recovery and still support you. So far you have tackled Boko Haram better than your predecessor and the Country came out of economic recession, despite the fact that economy is not your expertise.
However, you have been proven right when you asked them to show you whom devaluation has helped (epp). It was surprising that even Okonjo Eweala is now dancing to your tune that former President was weak and was easily controlled by the governors. Do not depend on your praise singers because they will say worse things when you leave power. You still have a great deal to do on the economy and now new threat from Fulani herdsmen. Their Atiku is no match.
If Fulani herdsmen have their way, not only would they disrupt the economy, they will paralyze the whole Country while you treat them with baby cloves. They need to be handled with iron hand because, as the Northcentral and the South suspected, they are on a Jihad mission. Some Northerners see themselves as Fulani but Fulani know themselves and they see you as products of Hausa. Most of you have more Hausa blood in you than Fulani. But that is a different matter.
The point here is that Fulani herdsmen are coming the same way Usman DanFodio had usurped Yunfa of Gobir, sacked the Hausa State leaders and replace them with Fulani. Realize they only use you as Fulani, they do not see you as one. Hausa can’t smell power in the North unless you claim some bloodline to Fulani. Africans have to be divided before those that came to conquer us can succeed. They use us against one another. If foreign gods abandoned us, we have ours.
How did cattle rearers make profit from selling beef and milk to buy sophisticated weapon like AK-41? They are being funded and supported by Boko Haram funders. They have a different mission to sneak up on land that does not belong to them, as Usman Bala and Umar Labdo said. If grass is what they are looking for, it can be provided right where they are; on ranches.
Do grass have to be imported to be grown only in the Southern ranch? If local and Federal government are willing to subsidize Fulani herdsmen, we must also be willing to subsidize local pygmy cattle reared in the East and pigs reared in the West. All areas North and South must be encouraged with ranches to increase our beef and pork production, not only for our local consumption but for export. Nigeria will become the food basket again!