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Open letter to NLC, NUJ, et al…

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By Abdullahi Musa

My hope is that since NUJ, NLC have a history of standing up for the rights of their members, ordinary citizens, it is in order for an ordinary citizen like me to call their attention to the need for them to come forward to rescue Nigeria from the precipice.

Let us say for simplicity sake that there are only two opposing camps: Buhari and his worshippers on the one hand, and all others opposed to him for whatever reason on the other. Of course the ‘grass’ upon which they trample upon is made up of living human beings, having, flesh, blood, and families.

There is seems to be one reigning perspective exhibited by Nigeria’s political class: that is, the interest of the governed is of the lowest rung in the hierarchy of priorities.

Was it yesterday that it was reported that a serving army General was murdered along Lokoja-Abuja road? Earlier report showed like it happened in Abuja. Just like coronavirus,  seems like kidnapping is now in waves: there was the wave for students, then that for traders, now seems to be that for Emirs.

The administration on its part seems not to be interested in finding the root cause of the raging insecurity. Why is it that for instance nearly every Nigerian now is a potential kidnapper? Of course being victim is ( Allah forbid) just a matter of time.

Layin dogo is the Hausa expression for rail line. In fact ‘layin’ is a corruption of line. ‘Dogo’ on the other hand means tall or long.

Buhari’s supporters often call him Dogo,  the tall one. Is it because of his height that he is obsessed with rail lines even when the nation cannot afford it?

ASUU must be taking a nap away from strikes. When they wake up they will find on the newspaper racks in their libraries ( if any) stories of new universities set up by the federal government. Some will say it is commendable. But may be for the first time in Nigeria’s history the nation has the prospect of over 90% of its future revenues going to debt service. ASUU, NUJ, NLC have no opinion,  agenda on this? How are the new varsity especially to be funded?

Much more important, a segment of the political class is daily telling us that Nigeria is facing disintegration . In short, Nigeria is yet to establish, in a civilised manner, how the centre is to be governed. So there is the prospect of new institutions like: Modakoke Union of journalists, Nnewi Labor Congress etc.

So if the ‘N’ in NLC, NUJ is under threat, do members not believe it is time to craft a believable agenda for all Nigerians?

I am reading wrong, but the future of Nigeria seems not to be in good hands.

The political party seems to be irrelevant in a presidential system.

Abdullah Musa writes from Kano.  


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South Africa, so unlike Nigeria, by Zainab Suleiman Okino

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A few weeks ago, South Africa was in turmoil, having witnessed a reenactment of violent uprisings reminiscent of its ugly past, the apartheid era and the early days of post-apartheid politics in what was termed black-on-black violence then; Mongosuthu Buthelezi’s ethnically divisive Inkatha Freedom Party was in a power tussle with African National Congress, (ANC).
 This time, the Jacob Zuma prison-induced violence cost 337 lives; 79 in Gauteng province and 258 at KwaZulu-Natal province, Zuma’s place, on whose behalf the protesters marched to the streets before looting followed. The former president, who is being tried over allegation of corruption, was given a 15-month jail term, for contempt of court after his refusal to show up. The ding-dong affair degenerated further into protests by his supporters and before you know it, the country was engulfed in more crisis of arson, looting and killings.
Like Nigeria, where peaceful protests often turn violent, South Africa’s similarly became violent and bloody. Such anger found expression in the //EndSARS ‘movement’ last year, which soon spilled over to the street. It started as an organized revolt of the youth against entrenched police brutality; calling out government peacefully, before it was hijacked by hoodlums leading to violence, killing of security and paramilitary personnel, arson on businesses and government property. The economic cost from the //EndSARS protest was put at N1.5tn according to Financial Derivatives Company, while that of South Africa was so far put at 1.36 billion dollars.  For South Africa, the vices that followed made the protest seem like a scene from Nigeria where such problems are common, but in actual fact, the South African protest was planned, going by the rivalry between former President Zuma and current President Cyril Ramophosa on the one hand and the KwaZulu/ business interest groups vehemently supporting Zuma and against his trial from day one. Other than that, the actions and reactions are different and I dare say, South Africa is still light years ahead of Nigeria in many respects. 
In the first instance, how is it possible to arrest and charge to court any ex-president of Nigeria, for whatever infractions without his ethnic group and partners in crime crying foul. Two, it is definitely not possible in Nigeria for any court to send a former president to prison, even when they or their appointees steal Nigeria dry and leave the country in penury or debt overhang. The only exception is the late Sani Abacha, whose infamous Abacha loot became a mantra only because of his ignominious rule after the annulment of the June 12 election and the manner of his death. If he were alive, no amount of allegation of embezzlement would have led to his prosecution not to talk of being jailed. Which gutsy judge has the courage to do so? In Nigeria?
However, after dithering for a while, Jacob Zuma turned himself in and now serving his jail term. In our type of presidential system, the president wields so much power, he can do no wrong.  The Nigerian president is the most powerful in the world; he is deified and his support base is solid. So how could such a man of power turn himself in?
 On its part, the South African government allowed Jacob Zuma to return home for his brother’s funeral. Didn’t former Sultan Dasuki die, while his son, former NSA Sambo Dasuki was in prison. Was Sambo given the opportunity to go for his father’s funeral. What about Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky who has been incarcerated for over five years now. Or was Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12 election ever allowed to see the day daylight until Abacha passed away? 
You won’t be wrong to think that Zuma and current President Cyril Ramphosa belong to opposing parties. No, both ex and serving presidents belong to the same political party, the ANC even if different factions. This is almost unthinkable in Nigeria where the party in power gives unalloyed support to ex and serving president under their umbrella, right or wrong.
 Disgraced Zuma was forced to resign in 2018 over allegation of corruption after he lost the support and loyalty of his party, the ANC and after his approval rating was said to have dropped to 34 percent. Could that have happened under Obasanjo, Yar’adua, Jonathan-PDP days or the Buhari-APC government? Who in the ruling APC dares pass a vote of no confidence on Buhari as ANC did to Zuma in 2018?
Zuma’s rule amplified the ethnic (and racial) divides for which South Africa became infamous but this time between the black ‘population and its large ethnically Indian community’ in Kwazulu-Natal province. The violent eruptions further damaged the reputation of the long-established party in Africa-the ANC and of course the credibility of government, even as people have begun to lose faith in the party, once associated with the revered father of the nation, Nelson Mandela. In Nigeria the ruling party is courted by all-opposition and the likes, so does its credibility matter? 
A few people including a Radio DJ have also been arrested on charges of incitement to commit public violence, but in Nigeria they are simply unknown gunmen, who never get arrested or tried. 

Right of reply
 Re: As banditry eclipses the North, by Abdullahi Musa

I read your article in Premium Times. I however know you are a big shot on the Board of Blueprint newspaper, the online version of which I read daily. We ordinary citizens used to think that media practitioners always had their ears to the ground. Rampant, pervasive insecurity in the North has erased that thought. Our thought now? Nobody knows the causal factors behind insecurity, and nobody knows the solution.In medicine, it is vital to know the cause of the disease before a cure is found. Who are bandits? Besides collecting ransom, why do they kill innocent villagers, impose penury on them? And why only in the North?
I read in the last seven days or under, the comment of either CAN or Church leaders that El- Rufa’i invited banditry to Kaduna State due to his acidic comments. He was saying something, but it seems nobody cares to decipher. I doubt if by acidic comments the religious leader meant El Rufa’i’s comments that he would not negotiate with bandits.An eminent person, who has appointed himself as a kind of spokesperson for the bandits (I mean Shaykh Gumi) said that if the federal government refuses to negotiate with the bandits, the killings would continue. And they have! Who are the bandits? Are they under one unified command? What do they want? Gumi must know. Then how did he come to know while Hajiya Zainab, a seasoned journalist does not know? Nobody cares.
I used to respect El- Rufa’i, but not any longer. For I have come to perceive that he believes in a soulless development: with bulldozers flattening the corpses of hapless citizens. Yet, since he is a political actor, I will benefit if I try to understand his thought process.I believe he refuses to negotiate with bandits because he believes they are sponsored. Does he know their sponsors? Likely. Does he believe he will have the upper hand in this deadly political battle? May be that would not concern him, if he would be able to continue with his soulless development. Is there a Chikun (or something like that) local government in Kaduna State?  That is where Bishop or Pastor Adeboye decided to set up his Bethel school. And that is where the recent abduction of students took place. And it falls perfectly into the narrative of Muslims persecuting Christians. But nobody cares.
A year or so back I was active on Facebook. That’s where the impossibility of the Nigerian nation manifests itself fully. I can’t remember what the exact topic of discussion was, but it had everything to do with insecurity in the North. A Biafran replied to my comment with venom: you (Northerners) aren’t seen nothing yet; insecurity will envelop the region right from the Sahel to the whole North. Empty threat? May be. Plausible? Yes, facts on the ground support him.
Ours is the most destructive type of politics. Seems to me that whatever achievement Nigeria recorded as a nation was because of military rule, where the nation was sacrosanct. Today, political actors believe that the nation should be destroyed if their demands are not met. This is who we are. All other 200 or 300 plus tribes must suffer because of the feud between three majors: Hausas, Yoruba, Igbos.Ohanaeze stands by Kanu. Afenifere supports Sunday Igboho. Why?  Because they created them, they are doing their bidding. All Northerners could have been deaf by now as a result of the thunderous screams that could have emanated from the South had ACF decided to stand by Boko Haram leaders were they to come to trial.
Five years into the first republic, Igbos attempted secession, they are still at it. What would comfort Southerners? To have a situation where Northern Muslims would be permanently excluded from federal power? When they wage war against federal character commission, they want to create an impregnable barrier against Northerners from joining federal service: competence simply means Southerners. 
Why is it that Northerners do not want to form their own nation Hajiya Zainab? Is it because they have no oil, no sea? I prefer to believe it is because they have leadership that does not think strategically.Lastly: I ask for forgiveness if I offend you. The greatest threat to Nigeria as a nation is its journalists. The press in the South West is the PR unit of Afenifere.  That in South east barks on behalf of Ohanaeze. They ensure that their citizens are permanently inebriated on the toxic concoction of tribalism.
When Arewa ‘permanently’ had the reins of federal power, Radio Kaduna (Hausa service of course!) was used to keep ‘yan Arewa enslaved to Arewa Establishment. With numerous FM stations now littering the North, wither Radio Kaduna? Come to think of it, there is Ray Power in Kano, does Arewa have a station in the South? If there was, it could have long been burnt down by the armed wing of Afenifere  (OPC), or by Ohanaeze’s IPOB. Are Northerners willingly, heedlessly, marching towards extinction?
Abdullah Musa writes from Kano.


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Healing Nigeria in the spirit of Adha, by Hassan Gimba

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Last week, Muslims the world over celebrated the eid-ul-adha or the “big eid” or “big Sallah”. We are, however, more interested in its meaning, implications and bearing on us as a nation. We need to look at spiritual milestones, hoping to find the seemingly elusive panacea for our ills.

Eid means feast, festival or celebration, while Adha loosely means “sacrifice” (animal sacrifice), “offering” or “oblation”. It so got its name because it commemorates Prophet Ibrahim’s (AS) devotion to Allah (SWT) and his readiness to sacrifice Ismail, his son, for His love.

The Qur’anic story has it that Ibrahim (AS) experienced a dream in which God ordered him to sacrifice his beloved son, Ismail (AS). At first, he was sceptical and believed it was the trickery of the cursed devil. After experiencing the dream the following night, he then understood that it was a message and a command from Allah (SWT). Without hesitation, he prepared his son for the sacrifice. Ibrahim (AS) loved his son dearly, yet this was no obstruction to honouring his duty as instructed by Allah (SWT) and thus proving his full submission to Allah (SWT).

Ibrahim (AS) took his son to the top of Mount Arafat, and in his hands, he had a knife and a rope. Upon arrival, he mentioned the dream to his son Ismail (AS) and made him aware that Allah (SWT) has decreed for him to be a sacrifice and, in obedience, his son Ismail (AS) accepted what God commanded of him. Ismail (AS) asked that his hands and legs be tied to avoid struggling during the sacrifice and that his father should blindfold himself to avoid witnessing his suffering. Ismail was aware of his father’s love towards him and knew that this would be difficult to witness.

However, as Ibrahim (AS) began performing the sacrifice, Allah (SWT) replaced Ismail with a ram and Ismail (AS) was saved unharmed. Allah (SWT) tested Ibrahim (AS) to see his dedication in his submission (Islam) to his creator. In his willingness to obey Allah’s (SWT) commands, Ibrahim (AS) successfully passed the test and the act of the sacrifice serves as a reminder of Prophet Ibrahim’s dedication and devotion to serving Allah (SWT) obediently. Therefore, eid-ul-adha means the festival of sacrifice.

The lesson here is that of sacrifice for a better you. We mostly look at the sacrifice from the point of slaughtering a ram for its meat. Even at that, Islam recommends one to get a healthy, mature and meaty sacrificial lamb that will be a beauty to the eye. Looked at deeply, the sacrifice should translate to sacrificing what one loves in exchange for gaining spiritual upliftment.

Any man uplifted spiritually will spread the love around. He will not be where there will be an injustice. He will not be a party to corrupt activities. Above all, that man will not be where another human being is being harmed. Humanity will be safe with him. If the Nigerian Muslims who took part in the eid-ul-adha all take in the spirit behind the event, our country will be better than it is now.

It is a sacrifice in self-immolation that can only be compared to the myth of the Thornbird in the fictional book, Thorn Birds, a 1977 bestseller by Colleen McCullough. She set the story in Drogheda, a town that does not exist in Australia. In the front matter of the book, the myth is set out thus: There is a legend about a bird which sings just once in its life, more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. From the moment it leaves the nest, it searches for a thorn tree and does not rest until it has found one. Then, singing among the savage branches, it impales itself upon the longest, sharpest spine. And, dying, it rises above its agony to out-carol the lark and the nightingale. One superlative song, existence the price. But the whole world stills to listen, and God in His heaven smiles. For the best is only bought at the cost of great pain… Or so says the legend.

The spirit of eid ul Adha teaches us to sacrifice ourselves for God. Ismail (AS) was part of Ibrahim (AS), do not forget. By sacrificing his son, he was sacrificing himself as well.

Nigeria, now more than ever in its history, needs countrymen who are ready to sacrifice for its existence. We should frown at a situation where leaders will call on us to change while they indulge in the perfidies associated with our leaders of old.

It is not fair, nor is it right, for leaders to ask followers to tighten their belts while they punch more holes in theirs to accommodate their ever bulging bellies.

It is also not indicative of leaders with the spirit of sacrifice when they take their children to the best schools around while the public schools are a little better than pigsties.

The spirit of sacrifice is no doubt lacking in the leader who, together with his family, can have access to the best medicare, while a bigger chunk of the people does not have access to basic healthcare facilities.

How can a good Muslim’s conscience not disturb him when he buys good exam results or bribes for his child to get a well-paying job? Why should a good Muslim be happy when he collects money to pass a student or to give him a job?

We are talking of Muslims as citizens because we are referring to an Islamic event that just happened.

But come to think of it, Christianity attaches great importance and symbolism to sacrifices as well. Theirs is even directly and practically connotative of the denial of comfort. Their form of sacrifice focuses on the bodies of its members as a living sacrifice.

And I believe all Christians understand Christ’s death on the cross to be a necessary atonement for the sins of humankind. And if it was so, why should a Christian run away from discomforting himself for God to be happy with him?

In reality, all those who make up a nation must sacrifice for the nation to be great. All religions teach us to sacrifice and all our tribes have stories of legends who sacrificed their happiness for that tribe to survive.

The problem with Nigeria, as my friend Barrister Okoroafor Vincent always insists, is not the North as some southerners would want us to believe or the South as some northerners would insist. He believes it is not even Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Ijaw or Tiv, etc. He is also adamant that it is neither Islam nor Christianity. The problem with Nigeria, he opines, is individual selfishness and self-centeredness that border on ‘it is our turn to chop’ and the myopia in putting the self first before the nation. And all people from the tribes have that tendency which is exhibited by adherents of both religions.

The lawyer says if we can put Nigeria first as our collective interest, then we would have a great nation. I cannot agree more.

Hassan Gimba

Healing Nigeria in the spirit of Adha

By Hassan Gimba

Last week, Muslims the world over celebrated the eid-ul-adha or the “big eid” or “big Sallah”. We are, however, more interested in its meaning, implications and bearing on us as a nation. We need to look at spiritual milestones, hoping to find the seemingly elusive panacea for our ills.

Eid means feast, festival or celebration, while Adha loosely means “sacrifice” (animal sacrifice), “offering” or “oblation”. It so got its name because it commemorates Prophet Ibrahim’s (AS) devotion to Allah (SWT) and his readiness to sacrifice Ismail, his son, for His love.

The Qur’anic story has it that Ibrahim (AS) experienced a dream in which God ordered him to sacrifice his beloved son, Ismail (AS). At first, he was sceptical and believed it was the trickery of the cursed devil. After experiencing the dream the following night, he then understood that it was a message and a command from Allah (SWT). Without hesitation, he prepared his son for the sacrifice. Ibrahim (AS) loved his son dearly, yet this was no obstruction to honouring his duty as instructed by Allah (SWT) and thus proving his full submission to Allah (SWT).

Ibrahim (AS) took his son to the top of Mount Arafat, and in his hands, he had a knife and a rope. Upon arrival, he mentioned the dream to his son Ismail (AS) and made him aware that Allah (SWT) has decreed for him to be a sacrifice and, in obedience, his son Ismail (AS) accepted what God commanded of him. Ismail (AS) asked that his hands and legs be tied to avoid struggling during the sacrifice and that his father should blindfold himself to avoid witnessing his suffering. Ismail was aware of his father’s love towards him and knew that this would be difficult to witness.

However, as Ibrahim (AS) began performing the sacrifice, Allah (SWT) replaced Ismail with a ram and Ismail (AS) was saved unharmed. Allah (SWT) tested Ibrahim (AS) to see his dedication in his submission (Islam) to his creator. In his willingness to obey Allah’s (SWT) commands, Ibrahim (AS) successfully passed the test and the act of the sacrifice serves as a reminder of Prophet Ibrahim’s dedication and devotion to serving Allah (SWT) obediently. Therefore, eid-ul-adha means the festival of sacrifice.

The lesson here is that of sacrifice for a better you. We mostly look at the sacrifice from the point of slaughtering a ram for its meat. Even at that, Islam recommends one to get a healthy, mature and meaty sacrificial lamb that will be a beauty to the eye. Looked at deeply, the sacrifice should translate to sacrificing what one loves in exchange for gaining spiritual upliftment.

Any man uplifted spiritually will spread the love around. He will not be where there will be an injustice. He will not be a party to corrupt activities. Above all, that man will not be where another human being is being harmed. Humanity will be safe with him. If the Nigerian Muslims who took part in the eid-ul-adha all take in the spirit behind the event, our country will be better than it is now.

It is a sacrifice in self-immolation that can only be compared to the myth of the Thornbird in the fictional book, Thorn Birds, a 1977 bestseller by Colleen McCullough. She set the story in Drogheda, a town that does not exist in Australia. In the front matter of the book, the myth is set out thus: There is a legend about a bird which sings just once in its life, more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. From the moment it leaves the nest, it searches for a thorn tree and does not rest until it has found one. Then, singing among the savage branches, it impales itself upon the longest, sharpest spine. And, dying, it rises above its agony to out-carol the lark and the nightingale. One superlative song, existence the price. But the whole world stills to listen, and God in His heaven smiles. For the best is only bought at the cost of great pain… Or so says the legend.

The spirit of eid ul Adha teaches us to sacrifice ourselves for God. Ismail (AS) was part of Ibrahim (AS), do not forget. By sacrificing his son, he was sacrificing himself as well.

Nigeria, now more than ever in its history, needs countrymen who are ready to sacrifice for its existence. We should frown at a situation where leaders will call on us to change while they indulge in the perfidies associated with our leaders of old.

It is not fair, nor is it right, for leaders to ask followers to tighten their belts while they punch more holes in theirs to accommodate their ever bulging bellies.

It is also not indicative of leaders with the spirit of sacrifice when they take their children to the best schools around while the public schools are a little better than pigsties.

The spirit of sacrifice is no doubt lacking in the leader who, together with his family, can have access to the best medicare, while a bigger chunk of the people does not have access to basic healthcare facilities.

How can a good Muslim’s conscience not disturb him when he buys good exam results or bribes for his child to get a well-paying job? Why should a good Muslim be happy when he collects money to pass a student or to give him a job?

We are talking of Muslims as citizens because we are referring to an Islamic event that just happened.

But come to think of it, Christianity attaches great importance and symbolism to sacrifices as well. Theirs is even directly and practically connotative of the denial of comfort. Their form of sacrifice focuses on the bodies of its members as a living sacrifice.

And I believe all Christians understand Christ’s death on the cross to be a necessary atonement for the sins of humankind. And if it was so, why should a Christian run away from discomforting himself for God to be happy with him?

In reality, all those who make up a nation must sacrifice for the nation to be great. All religions teach us to sacrifice and all our tribes have stories of legends who sacrificed their happiness for that tribe to survive.

The problem with Nigeria, as my friend Barrister Okoroafor Vincent always insists, is not the North as some southerners would want us to believe or the South as some northerners would insist. He believes it is not even Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Ijaw or Tiv, etc. He is also adamant that it is neither Islam nor Christianity. The problem with Nigeria, he opines, is individual selfishness and self-centeredness that border on ‘it is our turn to chop’ and the myopia in putting the self first before the nation. And all people from the tribes have that tendency which is exhibited by adherents of both religions.

The lawyer says if we can put Nigeria first as our collective interest, then we would have a great nation. I cannot agree more.


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Banditry: A tale of worms and reptiles, Majeed Dahiru

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With the recent abduction of the Emir of Kajuru, Alhaji Alhassan Adamu from his palace in Kaduna state along with 12 members of his family including a few weeks old baby, by killer herdsmen, the chickens may have finally come home to roost in northern Nigeria. In the last six years, the current plight of the Emir and his family has been the everyday reality of thousands of Nigerians who have been robbed, kidnapped or killed by killer herdsmen of mostly Fulani ethnicity. Whilst the violent activities of this terror group, started out as deadly attacks on farming communities across Nigeria, northern Nigeria, particularly its western flank, which is the homeland of Nigeria’s indigenous Fulani people is now the epic centre of herdsmen terrorism.


According the Nigeria Security Tracker, in its half year 2021 report, out of the 2,943 incidents of kidnappings in Nigeria, 2,557 took place in northern Nigeria with the northwest alone recording the highest cases of 1,405. Similarly, of the over 5,800 killings recorded in Nigeria between January and June 2021, northern states like Borno, Zamfara, Kaduna, Niger, Katsina and Kebbi, with 1,137, 862, 715,407, 164 and 144 deaths are top of the list of human slaughter slabs in Nigeria. In addition to kidnappings, robbery and mass killings, killer herdsmen are now in control of vast swaths of ungoverned territories, where they exercise pseudo authority and forcefully extract taxes and levies from farmers before they plant in their farms or harvest their crops.
In the face of this growing security challenge, the Muhammadu Buhari administration, appears to have no solution to killer herdsmen terrorism and is increasingly looking helplessly unable to contain what has become the most potent existential threat to the Nigerian state. But the failure of the Buhari administration to effectively contain the menace of killer herdsmen and decisively defeat their savage terrorism is less about military capabilities and more about a clear lack of political will arising from a misrepresentation of herdsmen terrorism as farmers/herders clashes.


President Buhari, an ethnic Fulani from Katsina state, North West Nigeria, like a lot of his kinsmen is a cattle breeder. And like many Fulani political elite and intellectuals, President is a staunch defender of the cultural occupation of nomadic pastoralism and an advocate for the economic rights of his Fulani brethren in Nigeria. This advocacy for economic rights revolves around access to land for cattle grazing either as semi-sedentary reserves or traditional routes that runs from the arid Sahel savannah of the northern most part of Nigeria through the guinea savannah vegetative belt in central down to the rain forest zone of the southern parts of Nigeria, where the pasture required to feed cattle is greener and more abundant.


In a typical transhumance practice, Fulani cattle breeders usually drive their herds of cattle from their original home lands in arid Sahel region of Nigeria during dry season into guinea savannah and rain forest vegetative belts in central and southern Nigeria in search of greener pasture for their cattle. Once the raining season sets in, nomadic herdsmen will commence a home ward journey from the south through the central to the northern most part of Nigeria. And year after the seasonal cycle of movement of cattle from north to south and back to the north has become the defining feature of the Fulani cultural occupation of nomadic pastoralism in Nigeria.


However, this practice is not without its problems. In a country of indigenous tribesmen and not a nation of citizens such as Nigeria, where access to land is mostly by privilege of birth and not always economic right, the indigenous peoples of central and southern Nigeria are predominantly farmers, who require their own lands for crop cultivation. The cultural occupation of farming of the indigenous communities in central and southern Nigeria usually gets disrupted by the transhumance cultural occupation of the migrating Fulani herdsmen whose cows often stray into farmlands and eat up crops even before they are harvested. With a weak policing system and slow dispensation of justice by constituted authorities, aggrieved parties often take the laws in their own hand in the ensuing farmers/herders clashes.


The rise to power of President Buhari in 2015 will set off a powerful wave of ethno-religious populism in northern Nigeria with Fulani nationalism as its most defining feature. At the core of Fulani nationalism in Buhari’s Nigeria is the carefully crafted belief that there is such a thing as a legally gazetted grazing reserves and routes for herdsmen that have been encroached upon by sedentary communities along the lines of the traditional routes running from the north to the south. Convinced about the existence of these gazetted routes and reserves across Nigeria, many Fulani herdsmen have now come to believe themselves to be the victim and farmers the offenders in the encroachment upon their grazing traditional grazing routes. Motivated by this belief, the Fulani herdsman now considers the invasion of farmlands with their cows and destruction of crops as only a legitimate grazing route recovery process. And when farming communities put up resistance to what they consider as trespass, an armada of Fulani militia men were mobilised into Nigeria from the neighbouring countries of the Sahel to launch a ‘’cow war’’ in Nigeria.


In the ensuing cow war in Nigeria, which started as retaliatory attacks in southern Kaduna and plateau states soon degenerated into a situation where armed herdsmen will invade farming communities and mow down human beings to make way for cows to graze on their farms. Across Nigeria, killer herdsmen wreaked havoc on lives and properties leaving thousands dead and hundreds of houses burnt down in several farming communities. As this was going on, the Buhari administration continued to view the carnage by his kinsmen through the narrow prism of farmers/herders clashes even when the matter at hand had transcended such simplistic struggle over land resources between the two cultural occupational groups to outright terrorism.
Unfortunately, the security response mechanism of President Buhari as commander in chief to the raging cow war in Nigeria has been severely hampered by his elevation of his Fulani ethnicity above his Nigerian citizenship.

His usual refrain to rehabilitation of non-existent gazetted grazing routes and reserves as his solution to herdsmen terrorism, while also preaching to the victim farming communities to learn to live in peace with their killers and without bringing those who committed genocide in Benue, Plateau, Taraba, Enugu and other places to justice, clearly emboldened herdsmen terrorists to move to the next level of their killing franchise.


Nigeria’s international border lines along its north west corner is largely obliterated by an entrenched culture of Fulani ethnic-transnationalism; a situation that makes it easy for the seamless movement of herdsmen and their cattle from Neighbouring countries in and out of Nigeria. By taking advantage of this culture of Fulani ethnic-transnationalism in Nigeria’s North West, there has been a mass movement of killer herdsmen from west and central African countries into Nigeria. The motive of this particular group of killers is no longer to wage a cow war on farming communities in Nigeria but to wage war on cows and their owners with money as their main objective.

Kidnapping for ransom in Nigeria has become a multi-billion naira criminal franchise that is far more rewarding than the cultural occupation of cattle breeding. Exploiting the lack of a decisive security measure against their murderous activities by a Buhari administration that is still fixated on the narrative of farmers/herders clashes, kidnapping for ransom appears to be gradually replacing cattle breeding as a cultural occupation among a segment of Nigeria’s ethnic Fulani.


Those who brought in a worm infested wood into the Nigerian house had inadvertently invited reptiles, serpents and scorpions for breakfast, lunch and dinner. From Zamfara, Katsina to Kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto, and Niger states, herdsmen terrorists now beatified as Fulani bandits have turned the north western corner of Nigeria into a terrorist playground, where thousands of cattle are rustled, their owners, slaughtered before many more are abducted for ransom. The monster that was fed in Benue, Plateau, Taraba, Enugu and other places is now consuming Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, Sokoto, Kebbi ,Niger and other parts of the north, as freedom fighters in strange lands have become terrorists at home. And while President Buhari is still contemplating whether the on-going carnage is his home region of Nigeria’s ‘’Wild’’ North West is farmers/herders clashes or herdsmen terrorism, the region continues its rapid slide into a Hobbesian state of nature, where life is nasty, brutish and short.


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