Sunday, September 19, 2021

Igboho and his teenage appetite for war, by Abdullahi Haruna Haruspice

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Every society needs a Sunday Igboho who commands the respect of a war commander. A man with the stoic dexterity of a warrior, that can galvanize other brave minds to the battlefield. Not the war of attrition as being oiled by Sunday Igboho and others gyrating in teenage appetite. I’m talking about warriors that can end the impunity of criminal elements in every society. Crime is usually local and when you have inhabitants of the locality rising against such criminality, you have reduced that crime by half. Late Ali Kwara from Bauchi State lived such a referenced life. He was a pain in the neck of criminal elements that terrorized part of the North in the early 20s. He mobilised hunters into the forest and made life hell for armed robbers, cattle rustlers and bandits.

How many kidnappers has Sunday Igboho nabbed since his emergence into elite created stardom? All these gragra will end after 2023. If you are sincere about flushing out criminals, you won’t come to town brandishing charm and gyrating in carnival mood. Late Ali Kwara was a pain in the neck of criminals in northern Nigeria. He spent times in the forests flushing out criminals – never for once, was he spotted puffing in town for esoteric and ephemeral accolades. The Igboho guy should do his work discreetly and help us end the reigns of killer herdsmen, ritualists, kidnappers, armed robbers and other criminals. You want to catch thief and you are blowing siren, are you police?

Sunday Igboho in all sincerity doesn’t appear to be living to his bidding, he hasn’t demonstrated any commitment to ending criminality in the South West. He is more on a perilous voyage of igniting an ethnic war. You can’t make your target against a tribe instead of going after the criminals amongst them. Expelling any Nigerian from anywhere in Nigeria is taking illegality to an offensive podium. Anyone can really live anywhere in Nigeria if we truly choose to. A criminal neighbour is a threat to whatever idealism of ‘live and let’s live. Borno became inhabitable abode when neighbours turn against themselves and began to slaughter and bomb themselves. Jos became centre of conflict when same inhabitants turn against each other, Ife-Modakeke has lived in perpetual disharmony because the people chose the dagger of death than the rod of love. The Fulanis are at loggerhead with the Yorubas today because a fundamental creed of mutuality has been broken. The Fulanis that used to be the darling of their hosts are today seen as belligerent visitors because a few criminal elements have decided to severe the creed of mutuality. Because of the cruelty of a few, a whole tribe is now demonised, but do you blame the demonizers

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? Of course, not! I can’t be your host then curry your deadly onslaught. But in trying to cleanse our abodes of the bad elements, we must be careful not to throw the baby and the bathwater. Labelling and stereotyping is dangerous concept invented by shallow minds and over time there become the norms for the generality!

If you are a carpenter and double as a killer, it is the responsibility of the sane people in the society to end your reign. Same way, if you are a killer herdsman, the law of natural fairness suggest that you too should have no rest whatsoever. You can’t deny people peace and except to live in peace. No tribe or occupation should be used as a tampon of criminality. There are no Fulanis killing people but criminals hiding under the identity of Fulanis. So, when a killer is caught, treat him not as a herdsman or Fulani but as a criminal. A tribe should not suffer the criminality of a few cursed brethren.

In the North, governors are busy appeasing bandits with Kaduna based Islamic cleric Sheik Abubakar Gumi leading advocacy to the enclave of the bandits in the name of peace initiative! Why is it peace initiative? He should be preaching to the bad Fulani elements to stop kidnapping and banditry. This is not peace move oh. His intentions, no matter the inherent ideals and benefits, have the propensity of producing negative outcome. You don’t appeal to criminals, you warn them of the consequences of their criminality. Anything to the contrary is legitimizing their criminality.

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Like Dayo Williams opined, “There comes a time when the people will resort to self-help no matter how crude and anti-law their tactics and strategies to confront criminals whom the government has consistently failed to protect them against. Something has to give way when issues come to a head like this. It’s the way it is. Those who study the society and properly interpret issues in their proper context understand the current happenings – nothing new. What’s playing out is the confrontation between the collision of centrifugal and centripetal forces. The question that needs to be asked is: will it lead to a new order? No one can tell because everything seems to be in a fluid state at the moment. Anyone who tells you he knows how the whole thing will peter out is being deceitful because there is what is called the law of unintended consequences. You only know the beginning, the end you know not.

The deadly outcome of the Benue herdsmen-farmers crisis made President Muhammadu Buhari to stop nomadic cattle-herding & herdsmen insecurity through the RUGA ranching policy but most Southerners kicked against it. Now, some are crying foul, ejecting Fulani herdsmen. A ranching system, driven by states & not Federal Government, which forbids herdsmen from moving from one part of the country to another remains one of the best ways to stop herdsmen militias from going on rampage. To reduce insecurity, the nomadic system of cattle herding must be stopped in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, for the warmongers, for the belligerent actors, hear this: It will consume everyone including the self-help seekers and the belligerent. Igbo, Hausa, Igala, Yoruba, Fulani and other tribes of Nigeria must unite against criminal elements anywhere anyhow – we can’t allow a few elements soil our identities and bring down our nation. Looming war predicated on political agenda in the offing, the intent is for political power and influence. The poor man is the actor, he is gonna be the victim while the ‘scripters’ are as usual safe! One thing is clear. It is the rainmaker that gets soaked first. When all bodies littered aground, the actors fly away in fortified fortresses.

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The politicians are nudging you to perdition, you are gyrating in ephemeral braggadocio forgetting that you are only useful when they need you. Don’t be deceived to pick up arms against your fellow struggling being. You are united in the same hardship, these guys know no recession, they have international passports, they can jet out any time unlike you and I who have no escape route. Don’t join this new frenzy of eye for an eye oh, because I no ‘gree I no gree’ dey lead to more casualties.

The disgruntled actors are using you for their proxy wars, don’t be deceived. All men for themselves ne oh! It started with the Shia upheaval, then the Agatu pogrom, there was the IPOB antics, the restructuring agitation, the avengers’ debacle, the #EndSARS quagmire, etc. – all these divisive strategies failed like badly arranged cards under the manipulative hands of the wind. The next selling card is the tribal profiling, join the frenzy and we are doomed.

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I’m not gonna say much but be cautioned that the elites have nothing to lose in the event of war. The war comes, like the rains, it will come with drenching fury. A word is enough for the wise. Ask the people of Liberia, Rwanda, Sudan and Mali, they will tell you that the opposite of war is death. Don’t be a statistic of war.

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