The Ruga Insult
Leading historical authorities argued that it was Adolf Hitler nationalistic narcissism and vaunted Aryan race superiority complex that caused World War II and the eventual holocaust of the Jews. Here in Nigeria, it is the belief of some people that they were born to rule and this political perfidy was actively supported by the British colonial masters. That was why in 1993 still swimming in the delusion of their divine rights to rule that the north propped up Bashir Tofa against the billionaire and highly popular MKO Abiola. June 12 1993 presidential election shattered that political myth and today Nigerians are regarded as equal stakeholders in the polity. It is also instructive that President Muhammadu Buhari recognized the importance of June 12 by making it a national holiday in veneration of the beauty of democracy.
Today a rehash of ethnic superiority is being foisted on the nation al a Ruga settlement. It is true that the government has suspended the proposed Ruga or Fulani settlement but it pierced the very heart of our foundation as a nation for a certain northern youth group to issue an ultimatum to the federal government. The group in its delusional sense of importance threatened that unless the decision of the federal government as regards the Ruga settlement is reversed, southerners in the north shall remain unwelcomed. This political impunity and impudence should not be tolerated. The way the Abuja authority handle this threat shall tell Nigerians where it stands.
It would be recalled that before the controversial Ruga policy, the Miyetti Allah proposed that they would like to establish vigilante groups in the south. Instead of this group to talk on how to stop the genocide being perpetrated by the Fulani herdsmen, they contemplated guarding southerners in their own domain. This is nothing short of ethnic superiority and talking down on the victims. Yet the federal government is looking the other side as if nothing were happening.
The political narrative is that the federal government is very much accommodating of the behaviors of the Fulani herdsmen. Time was when a northern state governor said that the Fulani herdsmen are being paid to stop killing. Nothing has happened to such a governor. The Fulani herdsmen openly carry AK 47 and other dangerous weapons, the police and the security services are feigning ignorance of that. Despite the numerous killings in the south and other parts of the country, no Fulani herdsman has been brought to justice. This is nothing short of treating them as special breed that can do anything illegal and go away with it.
The tragedy of Nigeria is that those in leadership position dissemble enough. They say one thing and do another. A country must be predicated on the rule of law and justice. It does not portray the government in good light if some people are regarded as citizens and others are seen as subjects. I refused to be drawn into the polemics that the Fulani herdsmen are so treated because Buhari is of that ethnic stock. For a man who saw the greater picture in according June 12 1993, its rightful place in history and Abiola as a martyr of democracy, he should rein in the murderous behavior of the Fulani herdsmen. Suspending the Ruga settlement is an indication that Buhari is a democrat who listens to the views of the people. In the same vein, he should device a strategic plan to tackle once and for all the menace of the Fulani herdsmen. The first step is that anyone bearing arms beside the security officials should be arrested and subjected to the law. Treating the Fulani herdsmen as sacred cow is inventing chaos and anarchy in the governance of the nation. Hitler may be rolling in his grave.
Julius Oweh, a journalist, Asaba, Delta State.