Agatu community in Benue State is the latest massacre ground in Nigeria. A certain Ado Boderi who spoke on behalf of the Fulani herdsmen, justified the violent sacking of the community that left hundreds dead and 7000 displaced–according to media reports–on the killing of 10,000 cows by the Agatu people. You immediately wonder how many human lives a cow is worth.
In Nigeria this is routine and pretty much normal. It is allowed to kill especially if you have large numbers, power or status. Massacres are pretty common and known perpetrators are hardly ever punished…typically rewarded actually.
It’s not like the rest of the world where the police rush to prevent crimes and invest time and diligence in arresting all perpetrators to be sentenced or killed. In Nigeria murder is considered a low category offense and sometimes an honorable civic duty. Quite often the very State security services are involved, typically sent by the leadership to perpetrate extrajudicial mass murders and massacres–with impunity–thereby setting examples for the citizenry.
In the latest escalation of the chronic Agatu deadly crisis, Nigeria’s police were reluctantly deployed to finally “draw a line” between the perpetrators and the victims. There was no sense in the police boss’ statements that anyone will be arrested and prosecuted. The body-language of the leadership has been rather clear. You see, in Nigeria murderers who have openly killed innocent people, walk the streets with everyone else. I will be damned if a single herdsman is arrested and sentenced. There will be no warning to others because it is Nigeria as usual, blood-shedding business as usual.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah @EveryNigerian