The recent attack by herdsmen on some farming communities in Benue State on new year’s day 2018, has once again brought to the fore, the vexed question of -what exactly is the value of human lives in Nigeria?
Why is it so simple for people to kill innocent citizens? particularly defenceless women and children, and all the government do is to issue statements condemning the killings. Then promises are made; increasing security presence in the affected communities and vowing to bring these terrorists to book. Then few weeks later, similar killings happen in another community, the same statements are issued by the government, either by the President himself through his social media accounts or by statements released by his media aids. And life goes on, it doesn’t matter how many lives are lost, it just numbers, after all even the most civilised countries in the world cannot prevent all terrorist attack in their country. That is how the government of Nigeria view these killings. Sad.
Consider the following facts from the recent killings in Benue State; Garus Gololo told the BBC News (Pidgin) that herdsmen carried out the killings in these communities in Benue State as self-defence against cattle rustlers who stole their cows. So in self-defence, they could not kill the rustlers, but defenceless citizens that are not rustlers paid the price for their stolen cows with death. For them, their cows are more valuable than human beings.
Note also, that Garus Gololo is the President of the Benue State branch of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN).
It is also important to note that MACBAN members are mainly Fulani herdsmen and their members are mostly armed with AK47 Rifles and other dangerous weapon to cause the greatest harm to their victims. Their attacks are well coordinated and planned judging by the success rate of all their attacks from the dry lands of Zamfara and Kaduna to the wet lands of Benue and Enugu they kill innocent people, causing sorrow, tears and blood and just move on, then the government takes over by issuing lame duck statements.
Is it possible that The MACBAN is so organised that the Nigeria Police, DSS, and Military intelligence units cannot thwart their planned attack on any community they chose to destroy? Or could it be that the government security agencies actually have the intelligence to act proactively but they need approval from above to do so and they are not getting such approval to act?
Could it be that there is no political will by the Federal and States government to put an end to these gruesome killings of citizens? Whatever could be responsible for these lack or absence of will power to stop these senseless killings, the buck stops on the President’s table. The president is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, the President is mandated by the constitution to protect all lives and properties of the people from these kind of destruction witnessed across the country. The same political will that was deployed to put an end to the threat posed by the activities of Nnamdi Kalu’s IPOB is now required to put an end to the terrorists’ activities of Fulani herdsmen of MACBAN.
The following steps will be required to end herdsmen terrorists attack;
Firstly, the President will renounce his position as the grand patron of MACBAN. It is unethical for the President to continue to serve as patron of an association whose members had acknowledged to carrying out terrorist activities against the people.
Secondly, after renouncing his membership from the association, MACBAN and Fulani herdsmen carrying unlicensed arms should be declared as terrorist organisation.
Finally, the President should direct the Police- Inspector General and the military chiefs to end all Fulani herdsmen attack. When the intelligence agencies see that the body language of the President has changed, they will act and produce results. This is how the Presidency wills its power, not by always issuing statements every time innocent citizens are killed and doing nothing. It’s time to act.
It seems to Nigerians that the reason why MACBAN members continue to kill and go free is because the President is their Patron, and why will the security agencies go against an association in which their commander in chief is grand patron? The military always have respect for their commander in chief.
Perhaps the MACBAN members see themselves as pariahs since their patron is also The President of Nigeria. If not, Garus Gololo would not have had the audacity to grant an interview to the BBC explaining why their members killed innocent people of Benue State. He would have been arrested and charged to court for these killings by his members, but no, he is a freeman granting interviews to world press, because all the government does is lip service to the security of her citizens. So the question continues’-what exactly is the value of human lives in Nigeria?