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Countdown…Tic-Toc-Tic-Dumb

By Dr Anthony Chuka Konwea, PE
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Big Ben (Tower and Clock), Buckingham Palace, Bush House(home of theBBC), the Tower of London and the Palace of Westminster. These are some of the most iconiclandmarks in London. No tourist visit to the United Kingdom is complete without a visit to theselandmarks.

As an instantly recognizable cultural icon, Big Ben is to London and Britain, what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris and France and what the Statue of Liberty is to New York and the United States. On August 21, 2017, Big Ben went silent till 2021, to enable restorers and technicians effect major renovation works on its tower and clock.

From a Nigerian perspective, in the face of the unprecedented genocidal killings and ethnic bleaching of indigenous Nigerian populations by Fulani herdsmen terrorists, it seems that as Big Ben went tic-toc-tic-dumb, theBritish Government wentdeaf-mute, while the BBC went blind.

Nigerians will not forget how the ferocious crackdown of the Nigerian military against the Shiites and neo-Biafran agitators,together with the episodic ethnic bleaching of indigenous Nigerian populations by government-assisted Fulani terrorists, went unreported by the BBC and uncensored by the British Government.

Not too long ago, the United States Government appalled by the atrocious ethnic bleaching going on in Nigeria ‘invited’ Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari to Washington and ‘advised’ him to guarantee equal protection for all Nigerian citizens regardless of religious or ethnic background.

Security of lives and property is a primary responsibility entrusted tothe President under the Nigerian Constitution, which President Buhari, a self-acclaimed man of integrity, swore to defend and uphold, but which duty he willfully failed to dischargebecause of conflict of interest arising from his position as patron of and champion of expansionist Fulani interests.

Colonial Britain, tilled the grounds for Fulani hegemony in Nigeria, by their policy of preferential treatment for the Fulani, regardless of personal merit, over and above all other Nigerians.

Successive British Governments, manured and selectively applied the destabilizing fertilizerthat enabled the expansionist Fulani shoot to grow into a giant oak that continuously sends out roots and offshoots in all directions.

This expansionist Fulani oaknow threatens to suffocateand supplant all other ethnic trees and tribal shrubs in Nigeria’ssoil horizon through government-assisted herdsmen terrorism.

Choosing to minimize its severity by calling it a Herdsmen-Farmers clash, President Buhari claims that Fulani herdsmen terrorism, predates his Administration. He wonders why Nigerians will tolerate herdsmen’s terrorism under previous Administrations and not tolerate it under his own Administration. He laments that it is precisely because he looks like a Fulani herdsman himself.

Do you know what? President Buhari is very correct. That is precisely the reason. And I will tell him and Nigerians why.

Because of the choke-hold Fulani Hegemony had on successive Nigerian Governments with subtle British colonial and post-colonial backing, previous military governments treated creeping Fulani expansionism with kid-gloves by looking the other way as the Fulani increasingly gained territory at the expense of other indigenous Nigerian ethnicities. The Military Governors sent to the States particularly in the Middle-Belt were either Fulani themselves, or non-Fulani intimidated by overarching Fulani influence in the military.

With the advent of democracy, the Fulani herdsmen already resettled in the Middle-Belt by hegemonicexpansionism under the military, did not have sufficient numbers in their new places of abode to call the political shots. The newly elected non-Fulani State Governors, were ultimately answerable not to Fulani hegemonicexpansionists ensconced in Kaduna, Sokoto, Kano or Katsina States but to their own indigenous electorates.

The frustrated Fulani herdsmen’s response was to resort to violence. That is the genesis of what became known as the tit-for-tat herdsmen-farmers clash but which were truly Fulani herdsmen’s incipient acts of terrorism.

Ignoring the late Umaru Yar’Adua’s (a Fulani himself) Administration which was hobbled by his failing health, politics was the real reason why the elected Obasanjo and Jonathan Administrations were unable to resolve the herdsmen’s problem.

Both Obasanjo and Jonathanwere eager to secure the Northern vote for re-election and fearful of the political backlashfrom Fulani hegemonic expansionists were they to move decisively against the Herdsmen terrorists.It is instructive that even out of power, both men, as well as all the living former Nigerian military Heads of State and civilian Presidents to this day, arefearful of the political consequences of truthfully calling-out the murderous activities of the Fulani herdsmen as terrorism.

It was against this background that some critical observers such as this writer, given the shortcomings of the Obasanjo and Jonathan Administrations, felt that only a strong Fulani President with a no-nonsense reputation for discipline, could cut the Fulani herdsmen terrorizing the nation down to size, without fearing or incurring fatal electoral consequences.

Despite our strong misgivings about his proven parochialism, a then seemingly reformed General Muhammadu Buhari was the man that fitted the bill and he secured our grudging albeit conditional electoral support.

Then President-Elect Muhammadu Buhari was warned about the consequences of non-performance regarding the curtailment of the herdsmen’s excesses (kindly refer to this writer’s opinion piece “A Nation in Heat – Fait Accompli” published sometime in April 2015). But he blew it. He justified our worst fears and even went over and beyond them.

President Buhari was unable or unwilling to resolve the Herdsmen’s terrorism problem like his non-Fulani civilian predecessors, Presidents Obasanjo and Jonathan. Furthermore, because he was Fulani as well as their patron, he was unable to remain neutral in the so-called Farmers-Herdsmen conflict unlike Presidents Obasanjo and Jonathan.

The government he leads supports Fulani herdsmen’s terrorist activities, so much so that the herdsmen have threatened the nation of serious consequences should henot be re-elected. And that is precisely why he must go.

Nigerians rightfully sent the Good-luck Jonathan Administration packing for not acting decisively against corruption and for ‘sleeping on the steering wheel’ while the Boko Haram terrorists gained more territory. To Jonathan’s eternal credit, to the best of my knowledge, there was no extra-judicial murder of Nigerian citizens directly traceable to his Administration under his watch.

By pampering, shielding, aiding and abetting Fulani herdsmen in their murderous act of terrorism; By unleashing the Nigerian military in state-sponsored acts of terrorism against the unarmed neo-Biafran agitators and Shiites, the hands of the Buhari Administration are soaked in blood.

Condoning corruption is bad, it led to President Jonathan’s ouster. Condoning terrorism is worse. For equity’s sake at the very least and by the Grace of the Living God, it must lead to President Muhammadu Buhari’s sack. That will send a clear message to future Nigerian Presidents:“Do not condone corruption, nepotism, extra-judicial murder or terrorism. Or else……”

Anthony Chuka Konwea, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE, MNSE, FNIStructE, MNICE.

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