By Danjuma Maina
Dear Mr Adesina,
I write you this brief note with deep seated pains in my heart. I am forced to come out of my mourning to react to your sermon contained in the Vanguard newspaper of today July 4, 2018. You came out with two options for us to stay alive.
Option one is for us to surrender our ancestral lands to the herder terrorists to buy our peace. In this case we will automatically become a floating people with no identity. Incidentally your panacea for ‘peace’ today is not novelty. It was tried way back in 1945 by the colonial state, as a way of addressing land degradation from tin mining. Even then the colonial state showed the kind of humaneness and magnanimity quite at variance with your unsettling insensitivity and beastly arrogance. It provided a place that was later called Sabon Zawan in today’s Sanga LGA of Kaduna State, where they tried to resettle indegenes of Plateau State whose land they tried to forcefully take over. You have no such plans for us, you’re more moved by the sense of what gains you stand to make in pleasing the master. You have a warped, narrow and ignorant perception of what constitutes land. To you it’s synonymous with the ground on which your masters’ cows will graze upon. To us land has cultural, psychological, philosophical and ethical values and are fundamental in the definition of what people like you lazily touch with mundane emotions. Land belongs to both the living and the dead. Excising a people from their land means taking life off them.
Option two is of course our present station. We stand to die, in not taking the first option above. Simply put, we don’t have an option. What does living amount to when we are landless, homeless, jobless and hopeless? We have died, are dying and have no hope of a life under the current set up, given your sadistic posture. What does living amount to for a head of household to suddenly find himself and a remnant of survivors of his family crammed in a corner in an IDP camp, all lining up for food? Have you not had your fill of heartlessness seeing us in this pain and misery?
I am not surprised at your comment given the fact of your sustained drift to perdition. You have said worse things than this. You have had cause to lambast the clergy, your former constituency. I am not sure you’re still an Associate Pastor with the Four Square Gospel Church, that is, if you have been one before. One thing is clear, you have lost everything that makes humanity of a being. In attempt to please your boss, you have unfortunately destroyed him irretrievably.
As you gain from our pain, note that your directive to us is late and has since been overtaken by events. It ought to have come before 2010, when more than 1000 souls were slaughtered in one night in Demburuk (Dogo na Hauwa) and surrounding villages. Since then killing us has created a pleasant and pleasurably aroma in the camp of those who continue to manipulate the instruments of coercion in the land. As we prepare to die to make the land available to your masters, note that we shall rise again. In the words of the late Dele Giwa, no acts of wickedness done to man by man will go unpunished. If it is not punished now it will be later. If it’s not punished by man it will be by God.
Thank God our lives and land are not in your hands, hence the decision as to what becomes of us and properties are in the hand of our creator.
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