The Farmers Herders imbroglio is an aged long ethno territorial skirmish in nigeria, way before I was born, yet we had relative peace across the country, what’s presently alarming however, is the WRONG LABELLING of criminals by various government officials for ethno-political benefits, the soft romancing and preferential treatment giving to CRIMINALS who should be crushed with every military and security destructive storm is appalling, these politically labelled criminals as BANDITS OR HERDERS WHEN THEY ARE NEITHER are TERRORISTS, they are the spill over of BOKO HARAM from sambisa forest as a result of the military firepower, migrating to the Northwest, South West and South Eastern Nigeria using cattle as a cover.
The credible intelligence at the disposal of the government, the weaponry and their day-today modus operandi are evident of this fact, so why the negotiations? Why the amnesty proposal? Why the dialogue? To what end ? This is a demoralization of our law enforcements, How can we send troops and manpower to search for, and arrest criminals bearing arms in one region and send a delegation to negotiate with criminals bearing arms In another region ? How can there be unity in the country when there is no unity of purpose from the government? We fought, niger delta militants in South South, even though there was a negotiation afterwards, we are fighting boko haram in the North East and ESN in the South East, so why the hell negotiate with bandits in the North West and North Central? A criminal in the south East, is a criminal in the North West, likewise a criminal in the North East is also a criminal in the South West, a civilian who carry arms is no longer a civilian but an enemy combatant.
These politically prefered criminals carry a browning GPMG or C6 which uses 50 caliber 12.7mm armour piecing bullet, RPG and AK-47 assault riffle which uses 7.62mm bullet full metal jacket NATO STANDARD, same as boko haram terrorists, these weapons are NOT your regular kind of toys, they are tools of DEATH, they invade villages at will, they kill, maim women and children, rape young girls, farmers can no longer farm on their lands, people travel by road in fear, businesses close once it’s sunsets, and these are people you negotiate with instead of crushing them, the government knows the sponsors but will not arrest them for political reasons, after all 2023 is by the coner and so, every action of the government is tagged a political which-hunt regardless of it’s legal substance, our traditional rulars refuse to tell the government the truth for fear of cutting their emirate councils’ allocation or being labelled a rabel monarch, our clerics choose to pray rather then speaking out and our youth prefer a shortcut to success and social media war instead of getting a voter’s card to change any nonperforming government when elections come, our security agencies are not completely giving a free hand to operate. Ladies and gentlemen, where are we headed? how can Insecurity ever end when we reward the perpetrators instead of jailing them, it’s a monumental embarrassment to see a self acclaimed negotiator a (Sheikh) having a handshake with criminals in the pictures below, it’s an insult to the patriotic souls of our armed forces who are killed by the same people everyday, even with a sterilized hand-glove i will not shake a criminal.
There can never be a meaningful development in any country without security, the conspicuously displayed lack of competence and political will power by our state actors to tackle Insecurity is enough pretext for the federal government to declare a state of emergency on security in the county, arrest those who are benefitting from it for whatever reason, the misguided politicians are pitching us against each other and they are succeeding, that’s why we see the pathological hatred we see in the country, Igbos hate Hausas, Hausas hate Igbos, Yorubas are told that Hausas are playing them, using their heads politically, Hausas are told that Yorubas are Hypocrites, they should be careful with them, but in the end we are all victims of bad leadership, economic dilapidation, educational disintegration, healthcare deterioration plus Insecurity that brought us where we are as a nation, so we must unite and open our eyes to the catastrophic reality before us.
This is not an ethnic profiling of criminals because there are criminals everywhere, a criminal’s bullet does not know the tribe of it’s target, this is about safeguarding nigeria and providing safety and peace for the common man which is the least the government can do for the poor since the rich can afford close protection bodyguards and bullet proof vehicles. So let’s call a spade, a spade, let’s call criminals by their names without attaching any religious or tribal affiliation to them, the only weapon authorised to civilians for self defence is SBSG pump action automatic or manuel, and there are proceedures involved in getting the licence from the licensing authority which is the Nigeria Police (NPF) under the FIREARMS ACT 1958: LAWS OF THE FRN.
So, if anyone carry any other category of weapon under whatever pretext be them Fulanis, Igbos, Yorubas, Tivs, Igalas, Ibibios, Itsekiris, Biroms, Sayawas, or Tangales are CRIMINALS and should be treated as such. I am a proud Northerner and I do NOT support crime and criminality of any kind! FIGHT THE CRIME AND LEAVE THE TRIBE.
Ahmed Saleh Jnr. Is a Forensic Scientist and Public Security Analyst.