Are Cows Our Next Generation Of Leaders In Nigeria?

Source: Prof. Nathan Uzoma Protus
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Prof. Nathan Uzoma Protus
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It is regrettable that the continual clash between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria seemed to have defiled the wisdom of Buhari's administration to manage. The imbroglio has degenerated to the level of criminality, rural banditry and wanton destruction of lives, properties and farm produce difficult to quantify in monetary value.

Nigerians, depending on which divide one is talking from, have accused the Federal Government of complicity in the act owing to its tacit disposition and inability to bring the gun wielding herdsmen to book. It is on record that the farmers/herdsmen clash has become the gravest crime against humanity in recent time and has claimed more lives than Boko Haram insurgence in the country.

The most disturbing is that either by calculated intention, ignorance or negligence, the administration of President Mohammad Buhari has elevated the Fulani-herdsmen security challenge to a national focus and discourse.

This government has channelled all national energy to the inglorious vexed issues of herdsmen/farmers clash which should have been consigned to security Chiefs and agencies of government to handle. This administration is busy discussing the issues of cows in the twenty-first century what a shame!

The above is simply the act of not knowing what to do in a problem they created. Yes, you created a problem and pretend not having the knowledge of the solution; the person therefore is a hypocritical mediocre and in my terms, a mediocre is a naïve person, one who is often very loud, over confident and small-minded who on the other hand, may not realize his deficiencies while over praising his works. The mediocre small-mindedness is very conspicuous and unless he is made to realize it politely, he will cast his unconditional wrath on whoever lampoons and criticizes him.

It becomes very difficult to correct a mediocre as a result of his low political leadership quality, the Shakespearean admonition, “Speak low, if you speak love” does not make any logical meaning in the working encyclopaedia of a mediocre hence he sits very complacently on a serious issue of state or national interest and ends up personalizing it.

A mediocre is always rash and abrasive and can easily be faulted. A mediocre sense of judgment is usually hampered by his obvious limitations as he is usually loquacious always meaning “B” when he says “A”. He is always on a defensive and unaccommodating side in so far as it projects and favours his noxious and inordinate interest.

Any government that does not have interest in protecting her citizens against the ranging insecurity, such leadership is a product of mediocrity. He does the same old thing and expects different results.

A mediocre lacks the proper knowledge required for the effective usage and management of both human and material resources. The utilization of human resources constantly confuses the mediocre to the extent that any bright and brilliant person is a threat to his position and authority. Any constructive criticism is an invitation to intimidation and threat which he uses his executive office to issue. He will always use his office to persecute and frustrate the people under him.

This dissipated attention to Fulani herdsmen/farmers clash by this administration is purely at the detriment of the economic sustainability and development of the youths who are obviously our tomorrow leaders. One cannot therefore query if cows, animals have now become our future leaders. Our leaders and their styles of leadership have prompted the reason for this question.

A cursory observation on the trajectory of Nigerian youths since the farmers/Fulani herdsmen crisis, which obviously has led to the neglect of the youths, reveals more crime prone youth group subsistable to crime and criminality. This probably explains the increasing news of kidnap, armed robbery, killing and all forms of atrocious activities making headlines in both print and electronic media in Nigeria.

Unfortunately, our society today only remembers you the youths as employable adults who are of the ages of 20-35, which is below retirement age, and this remembrance occurs only when the already siphoned employment opportunities are made public for a externalised bureaucratic efficiency that is purely a mockery on the youths and their life careers. Our society and government today, divide you the youths into qualified and unqualified ones. The qualified ones (in terms of academics) amount to millions from our universities, about 70% of which are in search of opportunities to be saved from denials of means for self-subsistence.

I don’t need to be told that most of our youths are already graduates from reputable higher institutions of learning and with classical results and agility to change the affairs of the society. The great question here is, will you be given the opportunity to do such? Will you not be clued at this youthful age with your results, talents and enthusiasm to permanent frustrations and servitude? Today, our graduates roam about the streets in search of jobs. It is only very few of you that today have the luck of being employed in our brigaded private companies, and thus end up in debasing factory-hands and as sex solicitors. Many of your colleagues on daily basis trek from Nigeria across the borders to outside countries (such as Spain, Algeria, Libya, Italy, Morocco, etc), and in most of the cases many of them got rot away in countless jails on allegations of sundry crimes, etc.

The flip side is for the youths with low tolerance level, are now actively engaged in armed robbery, kidnappings, acting as thugs for politicians, massive crude oil theft, and cyber crime called ‘yahoo-yahoo’and the senseless killings of innocent citizens in the garb of Boko Haramterrorism. For how long can our youths go on this way? Are these the sort of youths that God predestined for our society and your generation? Or has our society not made the type of youths it wants to have?

However, there is no doubt that most Fulani-herdsmen are Nigerians. They transverse distance along gracing routes to find feeds for their cows. It is also understandable that the herdsmen consider nomad faming as most affordable method of livestock production owing to its non commercial feeding. But they need to be told that societal dynamics has made such practice unsustainable.

Nigeria huge population which is tentatively put at 192 million has placed pressure on land for farming making it almost impossible for open grazing. Just as cows in Nigeria estimated to be at about 19 million, is a privately owned business of the merchants, so is the farms upon which these herders bring their cows to feed on are also privately owned.

These herdsmen, who wield sophisticated weapon such as AK47, AK49 and so on, to attack communities, rape women in their farms, contaminate streams, and destroy farm produce and to kill must be brought to book.

The consequence of the herdsmen/farmers clash is so devastating that nothing has threatened the oneness of Nigeria like this protracted monstrous clash. It evokes investment apathy, reduces inflow of foreign direct investment and hinders overall national growth.

The government should as a matter of urgency reorder her priorities and pay attention to most essentially viable for national development but not ignoring the issue of security.

Chief among which is to channel her energy to programs and policies that will create veritable youth workforce that is prepared to take over the leadership of our country Nigeria. The youths are our future leaders and not cows.

The government must develop the political power to punish offenders irrespective of tribe or religion. Rather than for the President of Nigeria to allow bigotry, tribalism or religious sentiments to rule his administration, he should put machinery in place to roll out unbiased national gracing plan that will recognize the views and rights of all stakeholders.

President Muhammed Buhari who once said he owns herds of cow, must resist the urge to tilt government policies on cattle grazing to suit his Kinsmen with whom he shared same stock- in trade-cattle rearing.

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