Quoting from a statement by the Federal Government of Nigeria as delivered by Minister of Agriculture, Heineken Lokpobiri on May 10th:
“Available statistics to us in government show that contrary to media report that these violent herdsmen are the conventional Nigerian Fulanis, they are not, as none of those apprehended was able to speak any of the Nigerian languages. This gives strong credence to the possibility of the violent herdsmen to be another form of terrorists in the mode of Boko Haram. The problem is not Nigeria, but regional, more so, when the Nigerian Fulani man has always been known to be a peace loving person.”
The position by the Nigerian government is very dangerous and reminiscent of what led to the Nigerian Boko Haram insurgency that was the deadliest in the entire world.
How We Denied Boko Haram
Boko Haram gained strength thanks to a denial by the implicated north, a denial by Muslims especially takfiri types (takfiri is the belief that other faithfuls can be maligned and then killed) and in some cases an embrace not just by many in the north including the likes of former PDP chairman, Bamanga Tukur who went as far as saying according to the Punch, “Boko Haram is fighting for justice, Boko Haram is another name for justice,” but even by the then Nigerian President Jonathan also of Tukur’s Party, who called Boko Haram his siblings.
The official current FG position has changed from first, reluctance to admit the deadly rampage and massacres by the alleged Fulani sponsored terrorists, to now a denial of a Fulani herder role and projection to foreign nations. This is official government position is dangerously problematic and severely undermines national security.
FG’s Denial Puts Good Fulani, Rest Nigerians At Greater Risk
The apparent facts are that while the government is trying desperately to protect the image of all Fulani herders, many of whom are peaceful people, by denying any Fulani linked culpability, in effect the government is protecting the sponsors and facilitators of this terror and allowing the heads of the monster escape and grow thereby further endangering the peaceful Fulani herders across Africa who may be ambushed as a result of the works of the few culpable terror bosses and further endangering the nation at large. It is a similar effect the recent Military denial of an indicting Amnesty report of dozens of detainee deaths at Giwa barracks, potentially has on the hope for safety of those still detained or to be detained.
While appreciating the FG admitting that this is the same Boko Haram (perhaps the head of it), the puerile official narration that “many of those arrested are foreign,” is a poor attempt at misleading the public. While indeed the terrorists engaged in the act include hundreds of hired mercenaries from the over spilling pool from North and Central Africa, this bit of information does not negate or undermine the primary Fulani strategic role in sponsoring and orchestrating the terror.
In the Boko Haram heyday, it was likewise well known that the terror organization used to pay for mercenaries from Cameroon, Niger, Chad and Central Africa. This however did not change the identity of the terror group or its primary targets, political and farmer.
Evidences Of Fulani Coordination
There is little doubt that an organized Fulani herder-linked network is behind paying for the massacres, giving coordinates to the mercenaries and employing local Fulani agents to show the mercenaries where to attack.
A local Enugu-based Fulani, Mohammed Zure, found with video of his personally taking part in the Enugu massacre, admitted according to Police statements in the Press, that local herders “paid kola,” i.e. sponsored the central Fulani terror-herder command to orchestrate the Enugu massacre. He said it was plotted in Kogi and mercenaries recruited were dispatched to Enugu with him included as a local navigator. Mohammed claimed it was revenge for injustice against Fulani in Nimbo area. [See: Enugu massacre planned in Kogi, suspect confesses, The Sun, 7th May, 2016]
Intelligence sources have confided in us that there is a whassap group being used to coordinate the activities across Nigeria.
Prior to the public outcry and refusal to accept massacres as natural justice, several Fulani leaders “justified” the massacres. In PremiumTimes’ report of March 19th, 2016: “Why we struck in Agatu — Fulani herdsmen,” a certain Fulani leader, Saleh Bayeri, the Interim National Secretary of Gan Allah Fulani Association, justified the Agatu massacre as State-within-a-State and above-the-law payback for events with the Tiv dating back from 2013, including the matter of Ardo Madaki he raised.
Tactical vs Strategic FG Games
From the above undiscounted media evidence, the role of a Fulani terror-herder network/strategic command in coordinating the attacks is established. There is also involvement of Fulani agents at the ground tactical level.
If the Nigerian security department continues to deny and refuse to investigate for the Fulani strategic role and the herder sponsors of this terror, the government will be aiding and abetting the terror and will permit sponsors of terror to walk. This is not only a violation of their sworn duty to protect the lives of Nigerians, and also a violation of the anti-terror bill stipulation on aiding terror, with a ruling of at least 20 years for collaborating with terrorists, but also the dangerous government position allows terrorists and terror sponsors to walk free and the menace to potentially grow. The Fulani menace has already been rated as the fourth worst terror group on earth; if history is worth learning from, Nigeria will bleed under this next/continued Boko Haram anti-farmer crises i its newly recognized manifestation, still being addressed with the same kid gloves and denial.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah; @EveryNigerian