t would seem that finally Nigerians have been numbed by terror, the state of mind that develops when one feels helpless in the face of a serious and intractable problem. The killings, in the north, South and East continues. Innocent and helpless Children, young adults, women, and elderly continue to be killed, villages burnt and businesses destroyed; but the outraged has stopped. It is no longer news in Nigeria to hear that Boko Haram has killed ten or twenty innocent people, or that the bodies of young Igbos are floating in a river.
Nigerians seem to have ceased to be shocked by terror, evil or anything that would shock a normal society with a conscience and moral compass. It has to be something spectacularly depraved, or out rightly gruesome, something very heinous, barbaric and utterly evil to elicit the outraged that will make them realise that it cannot go on. Children are killed daily in Nigeria for rituals, women are battered to death and catastrophic sea and air accidents occur, and they only merit a mention and nothing happens afterwards. It would seem that evil is no longer conceptualised by its nature, but by its degree magnitude or intensity, and this is very sad and tragic.
The people responsible for these killings are emboldened to attack high profile victims or slaughter in hundreds knowing that nothing much would happen. We have resigned ourselves to faith and the greater tragedy is our passivity and cold indifference, in the face of this evil. It is neither right nor acceptable to have a country, where unarmed and helpless villagers are at the mercy of armed Fulani nomads who lurk around waiting to strike at will. It just cannot be tolerable anywhere in the world, that a civilian population of an ethnic group would be allowed to bear arms, and the government does nothing, even after they have evidence that they are using the arms to terrorise villagers in continuation of an ancient bid to conquer, and appropriate land by force.
Why are the Fulani herdsmen allowed to bear arms in Nigeria and it is illegal for the rest of Nigerians to own guns? Why has the government failed to disarm them? Why does the Nigerian government under report and minimise the atrocities committed by Fulani herdsmen, while it over publicise the imaginary probabilistic risk posed by groups like MASSOB?
Why should there by one law for Igbos and another for the Fulani herdsmen in the same country? The ethnic cleansing the nomadic Flulanis are pursing is fast creating a very large number of internally displaced people in Nigeria. The question is why has the government adopted this tolerant attitude to the terror caused by nomadic Flulanis and at the same time uses disproportionate lethal force against MASSOB?
Instead of drafting soldiers to deal with the threat Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen pose to the security of the country, the government has deployed a disproportionate number of security agents to Igbo land where they are alleged to be intimidating, brutalising and arresting young Igbos accused of being members of MASSOB; and without subjecting them to due process: murder them extra judicially, and their bodies dumped into the river. Apart from the serious health hazard which this poses to the whole community and the contempt for the people it conveys, this is the worst form of human right abuse any government can allow to be perpetrated on a people. In spite of the enormity of this evil, very little has been said about it by the Federal government, Igbo leaders have barely demonstrated that a tragedy has occurred in the region, and few Nigerians from other ethnic groups have spoken out against this continued genocide against Igbos in Nigeria. The Nigerian security operative in Anambra state is accused of committing a crime against humanity in Igbo land and Igbos in responsible positions have so far, failed to provide the leadership which the situation demands.
When will Nigerians stand up against evil irrespective who is involved? When will ethnic and religious prejudices stop blinding Nigerians to evils and injustices? Why is it right to kill unarmed MASSOB members, while proposing dialogue with BOKO Haram, which has declared war against Nigeria and carrying out terrorist attacks against the people? Why should good people in Nigeria keep quiet, when bodied of citizens murdered in cold blood turn up in rivers simply because they are Igbos? Where is our outrage as a people? Where is our sense of justice? Where is the conscience of Nigerians? What is it that makes us human as a people? Does it mean that Nigerians do not subscribe to higher noble and civil values, and that all we are interested in in life is money? How can we be comfortable in the face of such evil, and feel content to say nothing and carry on as if all is well? Where are religious leaders who should cry out against this evil?
Why should Nigerian security agents have the right to arrest Igbos, or any other Nigerians for that matter, and murder them without subjecting them to due process? This is the height of impunity and it is unacceptable. The least the government can do under the circumstance should be to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice and compel the security agency to account for all the members of MASSOB it has arrested and takes steps to arraign them in a court of they have broken the law or release them without further delay. Nigeria cannot continue to be a country, where the security agencies behave like the Chilean army in the time of Pinochet. Democracy and civil society are anchored on the rule of law, respect for human life and rights, equality and justice for all, and those who do not recognise these, are the real enemies of Nigeria no matter the positions they occupy.
It is share denial, insensitivity, a blatant self-deception, and ununderstandable distortion of reality, for the federal government of Nigeria to claim ignorant of the menace of the state sponsored terror against Igbos agitating for a sovereign state of Biafra. This state sponsored terrorism has gone for too long and must now stop. The tactics of the government only makes the actualisation of Biafra inevitable as more Igbos will be convinced that they do not have a future in a country where their young would be murdered and thrown into rivers without any concerted effort by the government to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice. Instead of sending the army after Fulani herdsmen who are unleashing terror on many villages in Benue- Plateau region, the government has drafted them to hunt down innocent nationalistic Igbos, who have not taken up arms against the state. The government fails to see that the Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram share the same aim of conquering the rest of Nigeria by force, and imposing their primitive and religiously prejudiced world view.
Why would the Federal government of Nigeria send the army to pursue a group that does not pose an existential threat to the country, but fails to act decisively against those who have declared war against it and burning out villages of innocent citizens? It is also a fact that the attack against MASSOB and the extra-judicial murder of its members has been stepped up, and the fight against Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen scaled down, since the current national security adviser who is a Fulani, was appointed. Has he convinced the government that unarmed MASSOB members poses a greater security threat to Nigeria than armed Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen? I am upset at the injustices Igbos are subjected to in Nigeria, and call on the government to stop this evil against my people and all the other oppressed ethnic groups in Nigeria. The federal government of Nigeria has to realise that it cannot solve the herculean problems which threaten the continued survival of Nigeria, without the support of its law abiding citizens. It must realise that no government can fight an armed enemy, or placate those with a deep sense of injustice; without the support of its law abiding citizens.
We are no longer living in the days when angels come at night to kill ones enemies. The tragic sad fact of life is that once an enemy has taken up arms against one, and refuses to lay it down before dialogue, a world that would accommodate both; would no longer exist. One will have to fight to restore order, peace and security; or be killed and your enemy triumphs. A nation faced with the type of existential threaten like Nigeria, would consider seriously mobilising, and arming some of its responsible citizens to argument the effort of the security forces, especially now that Nigeria is involved in a military adventure in Mali. It is beyond rationality, to expect unarmed villagers to defend themselves against armed Fulani herdsmen who wants to burn down their villages and convert them to grazing grounds for their cows, or for MASSOB members to accept the extra judicial killings of its members by members of the security forces. The present federal government is allowing a serious problem that would make the break-up of Nigeria inevitable to continue in its watch. It is true that these problems were not created by the administration, but it is not doing enough to solve them. One does not need to create a problem to solve it.
Nigeria should not be treating a malignant cancer with fake antibiotics. Yes, Boko Haram may be hiding, but everybody in Nigeria knows where the Fulani herdsmen who are attacking the villages live. All that is needed to identify their location is simple aerial surveillance with a helicopter and the drafting of soldiers to disarm and arrest them and their cows. The government knows the head of the security agency in charge of the operation against MASSOB and where they unlawfully lock up MASSOB members. All that is need is for the government to compel them to abide by the law and allow normal judicial process to take its course. The extra judicial killing of Igbos suspected to me members of MASSOB is a crime against humanity which any decent government with a moral conscience must now take steps to stop and investigate. MASSOB members have not committed treason. They have not taken up arms against Nigeria. They have a right to self-determination and have done nothing wrong in speaking out about what they see as injustice against Igbos. This persecution and oppression of a free people must now come to an end. There is simply no reason whatsoever, why Nigerian government should allow the Fulani herdsmen to become laws unto themselves because their kinsmen are the rulers in the north occupy many strategic positions in Nigeria and make up the aristocracy of northern Nigeria.
A government that fails to enable its citizens to defend themselves in the face of the type of danger Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen pose, or refuses to stop the unlawful killings of a group under its jurisdiction; is a government that has failed its people: no matter the rhetoric and propaganda. No amount of blaming the yesterday men will excuse the fact that the present government is not doing enough to keep Nigerians in danger safe. The government cannot win its war against terror when its action continues to be reactive and its agents perpetrate atrocities against the people. The Nigerian government has to accept that under the present dispensation, that concerted military action against BOKO Haram and Fulani herdsmen and respect of the rule of law and due process in dealing with unarmed groups are its only options.
It is an affront to justice and denial of the humanity of those whose relatives have been killed and failure of the victims of these terrible crimes that no serious attempt is being made by the government, to disarm the Fulani herdsmen and compel the security agencies to abide by the law. No country can excuse, injustice, impunity and tyranny and experience peace, security and prosperity. We can no longer continue to ignore the religious and ethnic forces and loyalties which precipitated and maintain the present tragedy and continue to accept the double speak of the leaders who condemn the terror by day, and pay for it at night.
In responsible positions in Nigeria are leaders who allow ethnic and religious consideration to stop then from enforcing justice as fairness and acting to stop terror and evil. What advice has the national security adviser given to Jonathan about how to end the terror of Fulani herdsmen and the scourge of Boko Haram? Why is the Federal government of Nigeria pursuing a policy of dialogue with Boko Haram but that of extra-judicial murder of MASSOB members? Why is it that what is good for Boko Haram is bad for MASSOB? What has happened to the billions successive federal governments budgeted for nomadic education of the Flulanis? Which other country in this world has attempted to solved the problem of its nomadic population the way Nigeria has been and continue to attempt to solve the problem of Fulani herdsmen? The northern elites have used nomadic education to steal millions and the Fulani nomads have remained in the first century. This corruption must now stop. I suppose, it is time to tell the Fulani herdsmen that the world is now in the 21 century and that they should either join in or continue their way of life in the Sahara desert, and the security forces must be told to stop extra judicial killings of MASSOB members and uphold the rule of law.
No security agency in a democracy such as the type Nigeria claims it operates, should have any power or right to arrest and detain citizens, irrespective of the alleged offence or crime, indefinitely without trial and then murder them in cold blood, and throw their desecrated bodied in a River. This is what happened to the people whose bodies were found floating in Ezu River in Anambra state. The least the Federal government can do under the circumstance is to bring the evil, psychopathic and depraved people who perpetrated this crime in the name of national security to justice without delay. Nigeria must be ready to purge its security agencies of bad and corrupt elements, if it will endure. Nigerians everywhere, especially Igbos, must raise their voices to ensure that this barbaric, criminal, despicable and hideous crime against humanity does not go unpunished. Enough must be enough.