Before herdsmen strike again


‘Having just a few minutes ago sworn on the HOLY Koran, I intend to keep my oath and serve as President to all Nigerians. I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody…’The above is an excerpt from President Buhari’s speech on his inauguration on May 29, 2015. My own interpretation of this statement is that Buhari is not a tribal leader, but a Nigerian leader who would create a difference in terms of integrity and managerial skills.

This statement heightened the people’s trust on him. It was this trust that gave him the mandate in 2015. Many believed he would take all Nigerians as one, irrespective of ethnic and religious backgrounds. However, It appears we erred. The sigh of relief that greeted his declaration as winner of the presidential election and the subsequent inauguration seems to have gradually turned into a sigh of regret.

The first shock was recorded in the area of appointment. He preferred and still prefers his own people to other Nigerians or put specifically Nigerians from other tribes. If Mr. President should look into the 2015 election results again, he will discover that there is no local government in Nigeria that did not give him votes. He even garnered some votes from the local government of former president, Goodluck Jonathan his rival. So his animosity towards others who do not share the same ethno-religious affiliation with him is highly disheartening.

In the wake of the herdsmen’s killings, one of my acquaintances who lost his two brothers told me point-blank that Buhari, being a Fulani man, cannot stop herdsmen from carrying out such wanton destruction of lives and property and that his statement during his inauguration was a mere political statement meant only to ridicule and deceive hapless Nigerians. From all indications, he is right.

There is no area in the south and middle belt in Nigeria that is free from the herdsmen’s rampage. If one may ask: Where do they get the arms from? Is it now lawful for people to move around the country with guns? Where are the security agents saddled with the duty of protecting lives and property? Are the security agents turning a deaf ear like President Buhari? Is this another Jihad being prosecuted under the cloak of herdsmen? In the beginning, we were told that the miscreants were aliens and later Boko Harem members whom we are told are degraded. This is rather fallacious and mischievous.

As the Commander-In-Chief of the armed forces, the President took the bull by the horn and deployed troops to South East to Igbo land with a view to silence IPOB for agitating for self determination and was subsequently declared a terrorist group simply to justify its proscription.The government should not fold its arms and watch the herdsmen on their killing spree. The government must wake up to stop the senseless killings.
• Udodilim Ijeoma, a public affairs analyst, wrote from Sapele, Delta State

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