Hero Of No Battle: The Product Of A Failed System
When Sunday Igboho commenced his 'liberation' movement, many people threw encomiums at him believing he is the new Sheriff in town who has been sent to 'liberate' the Yoruba people from the shackles of the Fulanis. As a matter of fact, many have had to throw different narratives so as to paint him the 'Messianic' colour as against who he is known to be; a tool in the hands of politicians during election for him to gain a massive support of the people.
In all honesty, Sunday Igboho, though a beneficiary of the politricking which has left the country in the backward state that we have been for years filled a vacuum for a people who have been yearning for deliverance. History has taught us that nature abhors vacuum and this came to fore with what could best be termed brazen lawlessness of Sunday Igboho which has so far been embraced as legitimacy by the people who are mostly affected by the activities of Fulani herdsmen. It need be put on proper record that these people sees Igboho's response as a valid one in-so-far the government has failed to address the kidnappings, maimings and destructions of farmlands which have been attributed to Fulani herdsmen.
It is interesting to note that Sunday Igboho breathe violence, hence, he will ensure he keeps the pot of discord constantly stirred so as to remain relevant in maintaining his latest posture of a Messiah. Be that as it may, Sunday Igboho remains a thug who thrives on political patronage. And, the irony to Sunday Igboho's ethnocentrism is that, despite his eviction notice to the Fulani herdsmen on the basis of insecurity which is a serious concern to everyone, Igboho remains an errand boy to members of the ruling class who have been using him for political thuggery to truncate the democratic will of the people since 1999.
Sunday Igboho's recent outburst against the Ooni of Ife has once again exposed the fact that the traditional rulers do not represent the people they claim to rule over most especially in a democratic settings. The concept of traditional institution, in all sincerity, is no more relevant in today's society because, the essence of their establishment has been ridiculed the moment there is a democratic process of selecting rulers. Today, traditional rulers are mere impostors exploiting age-long institutions whom in the real sense are stooges of political office-holders. The failure of Sunday Igboho to come into the realisation of this fact is the reason for his outburst against the Ooni to the level of exonerating the Alaafin while lambasting the Ooni. In the real sense of it, there is no difference between the Alaafin and the Ooni or any other traditional ruler, they are all profiteers of the mess we have found ourselves as a people.
However, his threat of waylaying the Ooni and then kill the Oba with an AK-47 points at only one thing which is what he has always done; thuggery and profiting from violence which is what informed his backward approach of anarchism and populism in addressing the farmers/herders crisis.
Fulani herdsmen are not the problems but our thieving politicians who will rather abandon ringworm to treat headache. The fight against Fulani herdsmen is diversionary and does not in anyway address the fundamental issue of governance. This is because, the battle against insecurity can never be disconnected from the battle against bad leaders who have milk the country dry and left us undeveloped.
Cattle is being reared all over the world, but, none is confronted with the violence that accompanied cattle-rearing in Nigeria because their government over there are responsive and responsible. The failure of the government to address the problem that comes with nomadic cattle-rearing include the transformation of Fulani herdsmen into a criminal sect that kidnap and maim innocent and helpless members of the society, majorly farmers.
It is so pathetic that, in Nigeria, we still practise the archaic open-grazing method of cattle-rearing when this same method has been abolished by many countries of the world who have now embraced ranching as a method of cattle-rearing and, despite the fact that we once had ranches across the country from Imeko to Akunnu to Odeda just to mention a few which are non-functional today.
This piece might remain incomplete without making reference to the ecological fund which was established in 1981 by the Nigerian state to tackle environmental problems caused by climate change, one of which includes dessertification - unarguably the primary cause of the farmers/herders crisis. Albeit, the sad but interesting side of this is that the fund has since failed to serve its purpose as it has become the last lender resort for the Federal Government. No doubt, if that fund had served its purpose, it could have saved us all from the burden of discussing cattle-rearing in the 21st century.
As it stands today, the Federal Government, and, indeed governments at all level need to take its place by coming in to stop the drum of war which is being beaten by Sunday Igboho and his band by doing justice to the issue of farmers/herders crisis.
Kazeem Olalekan Israel writes from Ibadan, Nigeria.