By Ornguga Emmanuel
On a daily basis, armed Fulani herdsmen kill and destroy properties of the Tivs. It started in Agatu, now the situation in Logo and Guma LGAs is worser than what V.S Naipaul delineated in his book, In A Free State. The book is about a people without a place to live. We are witnessing it here and now in Logo and Guma Local Government Areas.
Our brothers and sisters are mercilessly slaughtered, properties destroyed, hordes of displaced people, children, women, the weak, sickones, the disabled, all in a long trek.Some pregnant women dying while others delivering prematurely. Some dying of hunger, stress, some drowned, while others are in the IDPs camps without any hope of when to be free and when, where and how to begin another life!
On the BLACK THURSDAY, I really saw tears in our land.The Tiv people worldwide converged at IBB Square to bid farewell to their brothers and sisters who were murdered by the armed Fulani herdsmen on new year day while at the peak of their celebration. Ortom led his people in holding a mass burial for 73 defenseless Tivs who were killed by the armed Fulanis. It was a grief moment and after I left the burial ground, I was haunted by the words of Esrapollack: “Man has really created horrors, but can not find words to describe them”.
Thereafter, we expected to hear from the FG, but IGP Ibrahim Idris Kpotum and Buhari’s Minister of Defense talked trash! Idris called it a communal crisis while Mansur Dan Ali said the anti-grazing laws are the cause of the killings, not armed herdsmen.They are protecting their jobs, so Iam provocked to ask like Shakespeare, “when correction lies in the hands that have committed wrong, to whom shall we complain?”.
The worst of it all came from one man who introduced himself as Engr. Alhassan Saleh. He said he is the National Secretary of MACBAN, and aggressively said that the anti-grazing laws MUST be reversed for peace to reign in Tivland.
From Kpotum, Ali and Saleh, I learnt that they have placed more value on cow than mankind against the teachings in the Holybooks. In the Holybooks of Koran and the Holy Bible, Abraham loves his son but was poised to slaughter him in divine obedience. But at the nick of time, the animal materialised.God said no to human sacrisfice.He provided the animal for slaughter. Ismail or Isaac lived. Naturally, this teaches that man cannot go for a cow.
Buhari’s muteness over this situation that is targetted at eliminating us from the world map, has caused ambivalent feelings. That he loves his people the Fulanis, his people more and cares for them more.
At the end, Buhari’s story may not be different from that of Trend Lott. US Senate Leader Trend Lott, in 2002, fell into scandal. He had uttered a statement that affirmed he was a racist. He said he voted for Strum Thurmond, a self-confessed segregetionist who hated freedom for the blacks. Lott asserted in the man’s 100th birthday that he supported him still. The statement triggered a wind that swept him out of office as the top legislator in the land.Lott resigned when the American public frowned!
The actions of Buhari’s men speak for him and the Tivs like other ethnic groups in Nigeria are not happy with him. They have concluded plans to vote against him and his party.So, he should behave to their expectation before time.
What is now pressing to us is our way out of this mess. Should we reverse the anti-grazing laws just to pair with the FG and MACBAN, but loose the confidence of our people? Or should we leave the northern oligarchy and front an alliance with the south for our good?
Only time shall tell