Buhari Electoral Calculation: Fulani Marauders From Space

By Farouk Martins Aresa

Buhari seriously, Fulani marauders are aliens? If this was not deadly, it could have been ridiculous. It is about humans losing their lives over cattle grazing privileges anywhere. Yes, this is not new as you claimed but we are sick and tired of seeing lives taken daily with impunity and no deterrent. Sometimes, with the tacit support of the Army. By the time Police get to the scene of massacre, marauders would have already disappeared.

One North One Destiny may have finally run out its course. This killing spree around Plateau region may have dropped the last straw that breaks the camel’s back. Those comparing past massacre to the latest ones in terms of number and gravity, missed one important point: the last straw does not have to be heavier. It is ironic how the religious preachers of moderation or restructuring for the sake of unity of the country faulting Danjuma and Obasanjo warnings have not acknowledge past unproductive prayers.

Buhari went to United States to tell their President that had more information than him that those Fulani herdsmen are only aliens, the byproducts of Libyan civil war. It cannot be the justification for so many lives wasted without even prosecuting and bringing any bombastic perpetrator to justice with punishment as severe as the ones they inflicted. Instead, they collect ransom from State governors. Lately, it was reported that Buhari claimed Fulani herdsmen only carry sticks, not AK47. Really, Buhari seriously?

Buhari, it may be too late. Without North-central, you can forget the presidency. They have carried the One North One Destiny long enough. No other part of the country has been consistently loyal to the North than the Middle Belt. Of course they were rewarded with Gowon as leader and others whose real identities have vacillated intentionally to cement their relationship with the “real” North.

You were given a long rope like your predecessor, Jonathan, and you blow our trust big time. We pointed out that we knew you had blind spots. You promised to correct them. No, you cannot. It runs deep inside you as demonstrated from your initial appointments of security chiefs claiming you were balancing Muslims and Christians as if we only have each on one side of the country. Anyway, we have nothing to show for the most religious country but deceit, hypocrisy and pledge of more churches as biz centers.

Nevertheless, Buhari needs a good and long holiday to spend with his family after his miraculous recovery. There is nothing anyone can count on in his power, goodwill or empathy that will stop continuous killing and maiming taken for granted, not only in the Plateau region but all over. Even if you split the Eastern, Western and South-southern states’ votes; without North-central, Buhari might as well return home to Daura.

The Eastern states would have preferred Jonathan as the President since most but not all voted for him. The best Buhari can do in that region this time is to divide their votes. Putting it nicely. If they have no one else to vote for, most would vote against Buhari’s re-election. Buhari had all the time to win Eastern votes but not at the last minutes. He has an uphill battle to appease and prove himself in the last remaining months.

The South-south would not vote with the East as they did for Jonathan. Depending on the caliber of the Presidential candidates, each region may go their separate ways. You can exploit Odi massacre commandeered by Victor Malu under OBJ and compare it with what is going on in the Plateau region. Shehu Garuba and Femi Adesina are already at it. It may not work this time or even backfire.

The Western votes may not be as solid as Buhari thinks. They have Fulani marauding around their states like the rest of the country and they are watching Buhari’s moves assiduously. It does not change their deep reservation about Buhari himself or the threat he made to Lam Adeshina, Oyo State Governor in 2000. It is not different from those made by Miyetti Allah and carried out continually.

Buhari defended them then, no matter what. But these same militia in their altered ego as Boko Haram almost killed him in Kaduna. If that did not wake you up, nothing would.

Buhari has not changed; your security chiefs and electoral planners are only dancing for the next election around the corner on state police suggestion to curb Miyetti Allah.

Most responsible government would heed warnings and threats before massacre. In 2010, nothing was done to these leaders before their followers went on rampage. It was in the same Jos where military officers disobeyed their superiors that warned them of impeding atrocities that only resulted in probe without any disciplinary punishment for disobeying their superiors regardless of different ethnic groups.

Mind you, it is important to note that Buhari has more Hausa blood in him than Fulani but they won't accept that to raise their privileged status to Dan Fodio. Do not domesticate others to Fulani the way our Hausa brothers and sisters were subdued by Usman and turned against their fellow countrymen.

Fulani herdsmen want access to Hausa farmers’ land (clashes hardly reported) and areas outside their homeland by any creative means possible. Call it grazing, pastoral or ranch. They all boil down to the same thing: establishment of Usman Dan Fodio rule as those in Hausa land. Most Hausa now call themselves Fulani, other Nigerians are not so obsessed and do not want to be subjugated as their Hausa brothers.

Whatever name you call it: this incessant killings because of cows demonstrate there is no compromise in values between the lives of privileged cows and those of human in our cultures. If you value the lives of cows more, stay away from those who value human lives more to avoid the clash of cultures.

However, while other countries including Cameron, Niger and Ghana have been able to contain and rout out their Fulani herdsmen raiders, it is only in Nigeria that they have grown wings with impunity, even daring, threatening and killing across state lines. They have invaded farms, highways and Federal Capital without any form of deterrent. No other group dare go across the country; invading, killing and maiming citizens only for the Head of State to find excuses for them to continue their rampage each time.

Jonathan was rightly voted out for the same reasons you are failing today. If Danjuma, the champion of Zia Biam massacre under OBJ can cry out against you, you have failed. He made Victor Malu, the champion of Odi massacre cry. You forgot that he was the arch defender of Fulani leadership that led the coup against Ironsi. You can label Obasanjo and Babangida opportunists, but they also helped in the entrenchment of Fulani supremacy over Hausa particularly and the rest of us.

This is not the first time Fulani leaders have come out to claim responsibility, make threats or go on some killing spree without any consequences. Adamu Ciroma and others went untouched after threatening that if Jonathan was elected President, they would make the country ungovernable. Though they started from churches, it did not take too long before mosques and Muslims became their victims as well.

Those that voted for Buhari then can still vote against Buhari now without contradicting their principles. If you perform, you get a second chance or a second term. It is a notice to other leaders that Nigerians must not be taken for granted. Indeed, a president can be impeached before the end of his term. We must stop shaming one another as if politics is a loyalty game. Once you mess up, you are out regardless of your ethnic base. Indeed, our leaders should be kicked out until they get it right.

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