When Words Fail

Source: Anthony Chuka Konwea, P.E.

Every political administration in Nigeria has a tipping point beyond which, nothing it does matters any more – it must fail. I think the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration crossed that point this last weekend of April 23rd – 24th, 2016.

From the very moment when by several accounts, 500 or so Fulani Herdsmen who belong to the same ethnicity as President Muhammadu Buhari amassed together and sacked several communities in Enugu State without a whimper of resistance by the Buhari Administration, this Administration lost all its legitimacy before God and man.

Evidently under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari, perhaps anywhere between 2,500 to 5,000 or even more innocent Nigerian citizens may have needlessly lost their lives to terrorist genocidal actions unrelated to Boko Haram activities nationwide since May 29 2015.

That such weekly carnages could be orchestrated by President Buhari’s kinsmen or State agents right under the noses of the State Security apparatus presided over by President Buhari himself implies one of two things – (a) Either the State security architecture which has the President as the National Chief Security Officer is grossly incompetent or (b) The State security apparatus is an active conniver and possible participant in the unrelenting series of violent bloodbaths which Nigeria has witnessed since the emergence of this Administration.

And so the most charitable comment that can be made of the Buhari Administration is that it is grossly incompetent and that it has totally failed in its primary duty of securing the nation. Otherwise the only other reasonable conclusion that can be drawn is that President Buhari is a prime candidate for arraignment before the International Criminal Court at The Hague either for looking the other way or for orchestrating and supervising acts of genocide against the people of Nigeria who he was elected to protect without discrimination.

When many patriots including this writer chastised and castigated the previous Administration of President Goodluck Jonathan for its tolerance of corruption and maladministration, little did we know that worse was yet to come?

Yet by all measures the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration is an outright downgrade of the hapless Goodluck Jonathan Administration. Placed side by side, Goodluck Jonathan towers far above Muhammadu Buhari in the area of statesmanship.That this should be so is a sad testimony of the ever-dwindling quality of leadership in Nigeria.

Within one year in office, President Buhari Administration has presided over easily the most retrogressive administration ever known in the history of Nigeria. This is an alarming performance coming from a political party the All Progressives’ Congress (APC) which claims to be ‘progressive’. This retrogressive ‘All Persons for Cattle’ (APC) government has beenso bad that I am unaware of one single redeeming feature about it.

Regarding the stewardship of the national economy its scorecard after one year in office is F for fail. Regarding national integration its scorecard is F for fail. Regarding basic administration, its score card is F for fail. Regarding foreign policy, its score card is an ‘Almajirist’ F for fail. In what would have otherwise been its only achievement which is in the area of arresting bribery and corruption, its scorecard is a weak C for mere pass owing to its selective agendas and vindictive vendettas.

The Buhari Administration has only excelled in things that border on negativity. When it comes to parochialism of agenda and nepotis m in governance, it scores an A. When it comes to intimidating and subverting the institutions of the State such as the Federal Executive Council, the National Assembly, the Judiciary, the State Security apparatus etc. for selfish gain it scores an A. When it comes to looking outward at Saudi Arabia and China etc. instead of looking inward at Aba, at Onitsha, at Lagos, at Warri, at Port Harcourt, at Kano etc. for economic resuscitation it scores an A. When it comes to single-handedly enlisting Nigeria in sectarian religious organizations it also scores an A.

Even regarding the herdsmen’s terrorist activities, there is a strong suspicion that the Buhari Administration is benevolently supporting the genocidal actions of Fulani Herdsmen across the country as a way of stampeding the various states into ceding grazing reserves to Fulani herdsmen in exchange for peace.

Regarding this matter, the reader’s attention is drawn to this writer’s fictional piece titled ‘Ali Banza and the Forty Herdsmen’ which was published in Facebook last week shortly before the events of last weekend.

Even as we mourn and bury the dead victims of this administration’s latest failure of leadership, it bears reiterating that no state in the middle belt or southern parts of Nigeria can afford to make the mistake of ceding 1 square inch of its territory to these rampaging and expansionist herdsmen in the name of grazing reserve. There are ample lessons from history to suggest that appeasement of dictators and terrorists never pays - it only serves to postpone the evil day.

As this writer has pointed out in several recent write-ups including the aforementioned “Ali Banza and the forty herdsmen” the solution to the herdsmen crisis is the banning of all movement of live cattle on foot, the establishment of private ranches and the creation of rentable, non-residential livestock markets owned and operated by local governments across the nation.While livestock may stay overnight in these livestock markets until they are sold, their owner-herdsmen may find rented accommodation in the neighboring villages like all other Nigerians do.

Even though many Nigerians are rightly aggrieved and some may be tempted to seek revenge, it bears reiterating that vengeance belongs solely to God who sees everything and knows all men’s hearts and rewards each man according to his own works.

In the face of the herdsmen aggression, the absolute minimum duty we owe as Nigerians to the memories of the deceased victims of Fulani herdsmen terrorism in Nigeria is to affirm collectively that we shall never cede even one square inch of our tribal territories to those rampaging murderers and their expansionist sponsors in the fraudulent spirit of ‘One Nigeria under Feudalists’.

Even when words fail us to express our revulsion and horror at the diminutive trajectory our nation is taking under the present Administration, we should not succumb to the temptation of bringing ourselves down to the level of these savages and terrorists through retaliation.

Instead we must pray ceaselessly to God to grant this nation a truly responsible, unifying, God-fearing, non-parochial and competent Leader come 2019- for right now Nigeria is leaderless and rudderless.

At the same time we must push our state legislatures to ban the movement of cattle by foot in our local territories and urge our local governments to create non-residential livestock markets for the use of all Nigerians without discrimination. It is not rocket science.

How many innocent Nigerian lives must we lose before we wake up to our right senses and do what is necessary as federating units of Nigeria?

Help us O God to help ourselves.

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