By Shaka Momodu
Nigerians again, woke up last Sunday to the despicable killing of over 200 people in Plateau State. The latest killing spree was a throw back to my consistent warnings that President Muhammadu Buhari’s inaction on herdsmen killings poses a clear and continuing danger to Nigeria, but some people don’t want to listen. Tinubu and co. are riding on a train in joyous rhythm with Buhari all for selfish reasons. In the fullness of time, they would regret their betrayal of Nigeria. They are blind to the carnage going on in the country.
Please make no mistake, the menace of killer herdsmen in the country is largely fuelled by Buhari’s reluctance or refusal to act decisively against the marauding killers. His heart and soul supports the activities of herdsmen. He initially denied that the killings were being carried out by Fulani herdsmen; instead, he alleged that the killings were done by marauders from Mali that cross our porous borders to perpetuate the heinous crimes and disappear.
He later changed the story blaming the atrocities on militias trained by the late Muammar Gaddafi of Libya; his top officials have been doing the same. Warning state governments to suspend anti-open grazing laws for peace to return. The president’s reaction to the killing of over 200 people in Plateau State leaves no one in doubt that Buhari is living in an alternate universe. While he blamed politicians for taking advantage of the killings, the Chairman of Miyetti Allah, North Central Zone, Danladi Ciroma admitted that Fulani herdsmen or cattle rearers carried out the killings as revenge for the stealing or killing of 300 cows. By this admission, it was clear without a shadow of a doubt that the attacks on Plateau villages were premeditated, organised killings by a set of people protected and pampered by the government.
To make matters worse, Adams Oshiomhole, the freshly-minted chairman of the All Progressives Congress showed that he was in a hurry to do battle with those opposed to Buhari’s second term quest. Recently, he has gone back to his trademark khakis to go on the offensive. He wanted to prove that he was the right man for the job Buhari just gave him and was desperate to please Mr. President. Fresh from being sworn in, he delved headlong into politics by making false statements about the $16 billion allegedly spent on the power sector by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the state of the economy, in the hope that he could push back against Buhari’s most formidable opponent. He asked Buhari to order Obasanjo to return the $16 billion to the federal government.
Again, his claim that the country has made progress under Buhari flies in the face of the facts on the ground as corroborated by the Washington-based Brookings Institution – that Nigeria has overtaken India as the country with the largest number of extreme poor as of 2018. So which progress is Oshiomhole talking about? People are being killed like flies everyday by above-the-law herdsmen, families have turned to begging to survive, Nigeria now has one of the largest refugee crisis in the world during peace time. Which progress is Oshiomhole referring to?
One would have thought that Oshiomhole would postpone politics for just one second in honour of the victims of the Plateau massacre. Nearly 200 people were massacred by Fulani herdsmen with Miyetti Allah telling the whole world that it was a reprisal for the theft of their cows.
Oshiomhole was not outraged by such callous vandalism of human lives. He was not outraged by what clearly was a crime against humanity. But why should he? He is now the chairman of a party that places a higher premium on the lives of cows than the lives of humans. May God help us through this dark age.