In a scene reminiscent of the sounds of drums for war in the 1995 Walt Disney animation Pochahontas between the British and the Red indians, Nigeria is gradually heading down the path of civil war. This coming just after the defeat of Boko Haram (at least in the technically they hold no territory), which in itself burst into the scene just after the end of the Niger Delta insurgency.
The question i ask myself is : Who or what are these forces relentlessly trying to provoke a civil war in Nigeria? Now the media will say its the Fulani herdsmen and farmers bladabladabla. Who runs these death squads? A standard AK-47 rifle will take you back N170,000 in the black market. How can desperately poor Fulani herdsmen afford expensive assault rifles? Who pays the militia herdsmen who make up the Fulani herdsmen. Where is the Nigerian army? the powerful army that crushed the Shite El-Zakzaki sect and Pro Biafra agitators, while at the same time pummeling Boko Haram is inconspicuously absent.
Just today 21 January 2018, it was reported that a helicopter suspected to be loaded with arms and ammunition was reported to have landed in a village called Jibu, located along the River Benue, near ibi, in zwukari Local Government Area of Taraba State. Senior Special Assistant to Governor Darius Ishaku on Media and Publicity, Mr. Bala Dan-Abu said that the arms and ammunition were allegedly meant for a militia group that might have been planning an attack on Taraba villages.
If this is public knowledge why hasnt the Nigerian army been deployed to the restive areas. Nigeria has a strong gun control policy, whereby the possession of firearms without licence carries severe penalties. Why are cattle herders allowed to bear arms?
This is an eerie reminder of the unmarked helicopters reportedly seen delivering packages in the Sambisa forest to…..you know. Or the incident of two caucasian men that emerged from a crash helicopter and reportedly set bundles of U.S Dollar bills on fire before leaving bugging out of the crash site.
Nigerians are not naturally of the warrior class. Nigerians are effusive with a zest for life. We love to party and have fun, i mean….despite lack of government support for Nigerians, we have still been able to beat the odds of frequent power outages, fuel shortage, political instabilities (Boko Haram) as well as other civil unrests to become Africa’s biggest entertainers not just in music but in Film as well as Fashion.
It’s like a parallel universe. But certainly, somebody at the moment is trying to provoke a civil war in Nigeria for over a decade. Someone wants a civil war. Some powers that be want a civil war. There never give up. The security situation in Nigeria is like a hydra headed monster. Cut off one head another pops out.
Even though Boko Haram has been flushed out of their last major stronghold in the Sambisa forest, the insurgency, after a brief lapse, witnessed an increase in suicide attacks, and attacks on military units. All these, and other adventures, ensured that Nigeria’s security apparatus had their hands full all year, keeping us mired and focused in conflicts rather than focus on development and rebuilding our infrastructure.
The pastoral conflict is now morphing into a deadly threat, with 470 victims killed as a result of cattle rustling, and 1,425 killed in attacks involving Fulani herdsmen.
The average number of fatalities per attack was high at 30 deaths per attack by Fulani herdsmen, while the average for cattle rustling stood at 39 per attack. There were four times as many attacks on communities by herdsmen than incidents of cattle rustling. Unlike the Boko Haram insurgency, the majority of the deaths in the pastoral conflict are not the belligerent herdsmen, but residents of the attacked communities.
Now we are quick to blame corruption and incompetence, but even gross ineptitude reaches a saturation point then common sense takes over. This is beyond government incompetence. These conflicts that keeps popping out of thin air with military precision is organized and planned.
The reaction of the Nigerian state to the pastoral conflicts in particular, begs the question of what value the state places on the lives of average citizens, the people they were elected to serve and protect.We had, in 2016, multiple situations where some groups killed other Nigerians with impunity, justified their murders openly, and the government did little or nothing to punish the killers or put an end to the killings.
The real question I ask myself is: who are these people who are trying to provoke the civil war?