Fundamentalist have emerged in recent years as a major political force in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. It was fundamentalists who, for example, overthrew the pro-Western regime of the shah of Iran, attacked the Grand Mosque in Mecca, assassinated Sadat, and blew up the U.S Marine barracks in Beirut. From Morocco to Indonesia, fundamentalist pursue a particular program that is derived from their understanding of the Islamic law, SHARIA. For them, the regulations contained in this divine code are the key to politics.
Rampaging Fulani herdsmen have attacked and razed down various part of densely populated settlements of Plateau, Kogi, Benue and other states in the north central experiencing various forms of blotted instability that has instigated economic and social dislocation. During the archaic era, ‘humans have seen the needs to co-exist together in communities’.
Although, in any settlement pattern, there are disagreements because the primary aim then is always settling down for collectivism. With the increase in population, resources became limited, competition became heightened and different ideas degenerated among various interest groups. History has it that Plateau state as earned the status of ‘The home of peace and tourism’. The peace loving people of Plateau state have been living in absolute peace with one another. They have also been living in peace with all other diverse nationalities and ethno-religious groups resident in the state even with the Hausa/Fulani during the era of mining.
Little would anyone think this peaceful state will begin an episode of confrontational and clandestine attacks on a large scale where lives and properties are destroyed by herdsmen…the narrative has always been they are migrant, unknown and so on. The question on the plateau man’s mind is…how come they have not been arrested and persecuted? Are they above the law? Do they have superior power than the federal government or probably been sponsored by the government of the day…Selah.
Few months ago, the state was in the mood for local government election which in many analysts view, May not favour the current change government…suddenly the State Electoral umpire postponed the council election slated for February 17, 2018 indefinitely, citing insecurity as its reason.
This is even as the state Governor, has continued to proclaim that the state is very peaceful due to his inclusive style of governance and also as a result of his refusal to pass the anti-open grazing law in the state.
In an Address by the Chairman of PLASIEC, Chief Fabian Ntung said: “We received a communication from security operatives that the prevailing atmosphere in the state cannot guarantee a peaceful election and we were advised to postpone the date of the election.” Narratives are changing, tongues can’t speak of good deeds, minds can’t conceive positivity as early sectionalize in the media.
If plateau state is peaceful as claimed, why postpone an election? To add salt to injury, PMB visited the state and a peace blue print was signed and one of the recommendation for peace was ‘’Payment of salary” (Plateau state commissioner for Information)…are the herdsmen on the governors payroll? How many months are they owed that has ignited the recent killings in the state.
Permit me to remind you that, early in 2016, an even more hideous massacre was perpetrated by this same Murder Incorporated that is, a numerical climax to what had been a series across a number of Middle Belt and neighboring states, with Benue taking the brunt of the butchery. A peace meeting was called, attended by the state government and security agencies of the nation, including the Inspector General of Police. This group attended according to reports with AK47s and other weapons of mass intimidation visible under their garments. They were neither disarmed nor turned back. They freely admitted the killings but justified them by claims that they had lost their cattle to the host community. It is important to emphasize that none of their spokesmen referred to any government neglect, such as refusal to pay subsidy for their cows or failure to accord them the same facilities that had been extended to cassava or millet farmers. Such are the monstrous beginnings of the culture of impunity. We are reaping, yet again, the consequences of such tolerance of the intolerable. Yes, there, indeed the government is culpable, definitely guilty of “looking the other way”. Indeed, it must be held complicit.
The story always is we have set up a peace committee and successfully traced the herdsmen to locations outside Nigerian borders, claims of payments made to them from state coffers to cure them of their homicidal urge which according to these herdsmen, were reprisals for some ancient history and the loss of cattle through rustling. The public was up in arms against this astonishing revelation.
There is call for the Buhari government to declare killer herdsmen terrorist…declaring them a terrorist organization will send a strong signal that this government is serious about curbing the menace of killer herdsmen.
Unless that is done, We can only hope for peace in Plateau, Benue, Kaduna and other states experiencing this menace.
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