By Femi Fani-Kayode
In 1994 almost one million Tutsis were murdered in cold blood in the space of one month by members of the ruling Hutu tribe in Kigali, Rwanda.
The genocide that took place in Rwanda at that time ranks as one if the most sordid chapters of African history and it must never be allowed to happen anywhere again on our continent.
Sadly we do not appear to have learnt the lessons of Kigali in our country probably because most Nigerians have no knowledge of history because it is not taught in our schools.
That single failing and lack of understanding and knowledge may well lead to our final undoing as a nation because the parallels and signs of what led to the butchery and tragedy that occurred in Rwanda are slowly unfolding here today. The dark clouds of blood are gathering but sadly most of our people cannot even see them.
They seem wholly incapable of discerning the season and the times. This is my greatest concern. Our people are behaving like turkeys that are celebrating the approach of Christmas and like rams that are rejoicing on the day before Sallah.
That in itself is a tragedy of monumental proportions and the implications and consequences of our collective indifference, amnesia and naivety are calamitous and far-reaching.
The title of this essay owes an intellectual debt of gratitude to my friend and brother Chief Dele Momodu who happens to be one of the most engaging writers and columnists in Nigeria today.
“Bobby Dee”, as Dele is better known to his numerous fans and close friends, was a strong supporter of the June 12 struggle and something of a protegee of the late and great Chief MKO Abiola, the winner of the June 12th presidential election in 1993.
He wrote an essay at that time and during the heady and dangerous days of NADECO and General Sani Abacha, in which he used this title. It was a brilliant essay and the title has stuck with me ever since because it really captured the moment.
I believe that we are back on the road to Kigali again in Nigeria and I pray that Dele will forgive me for using the same title, On The Road To Kigali, as he did approximately twenty years ago. Now to the point.
The number of Igbos slaughtered by Fulani militants in Enugu on 25th April 2016 has gone up to 100.
Many churches and homes have been burnt to the ground. When will President Muhammadu Buhari appreciate the fact that NON-FULANI LIVES MATTER?
In reaction to this horrific situation, Mr. Babatunde O. Gbadamosi, a highly respected Lagos-based businessman, wrote the following on Facebook:
“Scores slaughtered by #FulaniTerrorists in Enugu, but the Fulani President, Muhammadu Buhari, his Fulani senior security commanders and government functionaries are more interested in pipeline vandals that are killing no one!
Nigerians, if you don’t arm yourselves and fight back, na una sabi.
Those of you Yoruba APC zombies that think you are special, when they finish with the MiddleBelt, the South South and the South East, you will be next, and there will be no one left to defend you.
I am referring to you, my Muslim uncles and aunties, who think the Fulanis will see you as kindred spirits and spare you. They will not.
Just as they are fake Muslims in the eyes of the Arabs, you are also fake Muslims in their eyes, only useful to help subjugate your people under their rule, then you will see pepper.
Kill Afonjaism now, and stand for something, or your children will one day curse the day you were born”.
Mr. Gbadamosi’s insight and understanding of the situation is second to none. His counsel is as priceless as it is timely. Let us hope that someone is listening.
In his own contribution to the debate on Facebook Mr. Lere Olayinka added the following:
“In this April alone, Buhari’s Fulani herdsmen killed almost 200 Nigerians, but Buhari’s headache is Niger Delta”.
On his part, Mr. Charles Ogbu, an obviously intelligent and gifted young man, wrote the following on his Facebook wall.
“The Fulani vampires are at it again. Today, Enugu, my state is their target. Dozens of people have been reportedly killed and hundreds displaced with buildings including a Catholic Church burnt.
This murderous group killed hundreds in #Agatu and occupied their land. The Fulani president did nothing. The Fulani headed DSS did nothing.
They went to Anioma in Delta state, abducted and killed their king. The Fulani president did nothing. The Fulani headed DSS did nothing.
They went to Awgu community in Enugu State, killed dozens and abducted dozens. The Fulani president did nothing. The Fulani headed DSS did nothing.
Only the police and the army did something this time: they arrested 78 indigenes of Awgu who are the victims and dumped them in prison and denied them bail on the allegation that they planned on attacking the Fulanis. Meanwhile, the perpetrators were allowed to roam free
It took a #hashtag campaign on social media for the #Awgu78 to be released.
Today, these vultures are back again, visiting death and destruction on defenseless Uzo-uwani people of Enugu State for no just cause.
The president will not say anything about this. The DSS will not say anything. The police will describe it as a mere misunderstanding between farmers and herdsmen. They will hardly confirm that anyone was killed neither will they arrest or prosecute any of those invading Fulani vultures.
The governor of Enugu State called Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi will neither say nor do anything about this.
The religious criminal called Father Mbaka… the one who swore that Buhari is the Lord’s anointed… will not talk.
Basically, the citizens are left with no choice than to defend themselves by any means necessary.
You either die fighting to defend your honour, your family, your land and your dignity as a human person or you die cowering in fear like some coward. Either way, you stand little chance.
Permit me to point out one fact here:
The Fulanis are not invincible (undefeatable) because they posses some kind of special fighting prowess. No! Not at all.
These Fulanis are invincible because they are enjoying govt support/cover/protection in their murderous activities. The impunity with which these guys operate is state-sponsored.
This is a fact, not just my opinion. Deep down, you know it. I know it.
President Buhari has a constitutional duty to protect the lives and properties of all Nigerians. He swore to do this. He is being paid to do this.
He has deliberately chosen not to do this. He has chosen to place the interest of his Fulani brethren above the lives of innocent Nigerians.
Buhari believes that his Fulani people are superior to other Nigerians. This is no different from the mindset displayed by Hitler which led to the world war. We know how it ended.
The silence of President Buhari over the murderous activities of his Fulani brethren is a moral tragedy! This is the height of man’s inhumanity to man!
Believe it or not, it will come to a time that Nigerians will rise up in their numbers and confront the Fulani beasts together with their sponsors.
There is a limit to what a man can take.
Let it be on record that Buhari is the one setting this country on the road once travelled by Rwandans in 1994″.
On her own part, again on Facebook, Miss Santors Ugwuada Ezirigwe wrote,
“Before now, the Fulani herdsman were generally a group of cattle herding nomads plying their trade with every sense of innocence.
Then his dagger and sword was primarily for personal use and self-defense in the wilds.
However, this narrative has changed since the recent past especially since after the election of President Buhari in 2015.
The Fulani herdsmen have become purveyors of violence, rape, kidnap, robbery, arson and murder.
They are professional and coordinated in their terrorist activities, an indication that it is an organic group with possibilities of hierarchical command structure.
Little wonder they have metamorphosed into the 4th most vicious terrorist group in the world.
Terrorism is the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear. And this has become the hallmark of Fulani herdsmen.
Some allege that they have the backing of top Fulani officials in government and security apparatus.
Others allege that they are offshoots of Boko haram terrorists while some others allege that they were assembled by some elements in the North, trained and stationed to attack Nigerians in the South in the event that GEJ wins the 2015 elections.
GEJ conceded the election to their greatest surprise but the trained Fulani terrorists were never debriefed and disarmed, hence the surge in their terror acts since PMB took office as President.
Whatever be the case, one common denominator in these narratives is “the mission to terrorize”. We seem to be at war in Nigeria, though undeclared. Otherwise, why are there as many deaths from weapons of warfare?
Unfortunately, there are no signs of abatement. And the victims of this undeclared war have no one to run to for safety and no hope of salvage.
Rather than create assuring facts that will contradict the Biafra narrative, President Buhari has more than anyone else, through his continued silence to the activities of his murderous brothers, among his other body language of contempt and abhorrence of the Igbo, helped in creating Biafra.
His continued silence remains suspect. Such an attitude from a supposed national leader sends the wrong signal to both the vanquished and the valorous.
To the vanquished victim, the leader cares less about his plight and predicament. This as a consequence diminishes his confidence in such a leadership.
To the valorous, the leader “understands”. And this as a consequence emboldens him to up the ante of terror against the vanquished.
It is this loss of confidence that has led many to advance self-help as an immediate and strategic response to the activities of the murderous terrorist Fulani herdsmen.
These indeed are ominous and grave in consequence. The Nigeria state apparatus have failed in her primary responsibility to protect life and property of the victims of the terrorist Fulani herdsmen.
The federal government, under President Buhari’s watch, have done very little to inspire confidence and assure security of life and property in the face of the prevailing harvest of kidnaps, rape, armed robbery, violent attacks, arson and genocidal war by his brothers against indigenous peoples of Nigeria.
Agatu & co were the victims of the terrorist Fulani herdsmen yesterday; it is Nimbo, Uzo Uwani that is the victim today.
Tomorrow will certainly produce more victims unless urgent steps are taken to nip this unfortunate trend.
In devising measures to counter these marauding blood thirsty terrorists masquerading as herdsmen, we must look beyond Nimbo, Uzo Uwani. We must fashion a regional strategy that will require the collaboration of the leaders and the peoples of the areas under siege.
Efforts should be activated to mobilize through churches, Traditional rulers, Market and Town unions and Associations, etc, to sensitize people about the need to be vigilant. “Nkwucha aburo ujo” (caution is not cowardice).
We need to convene a regional assembly to articulate defensive and offensive measures to be taken to reduce our vulnerability to, and deter the terrorist acts of these terrorist Fulani herdsmen.
We should also organize protest rallies across the region to renounce the activities of the terrorist Fulani herdsmen and attract global attention to our predicament lest we be fraudulently labelled as terrorists by the sponsors of the terrorist Fulani herdsmen if we take to self-help before putting the world on notice.
MASSOB and other local vigilante groups should be mobilized to counter the terrorist herdsmen in view of the suspicious disposition of the conventional security apparatus of the federal government.
Governors of South East states and Governors of other states (Benue, kogi, Taraba, Delta, Edo, Ondo, Plateau) so far affected by the activities of these terrorist herdsmen should mobilize and send a strong warning to The Presidency that, never again shall they sit helplessly and watch as the lives and property of their subjects are destroyed by the terrorist Fulani herdsmen.
These are short term measures for restoration of sanity. The solution to this security challenge if we must continue to stay together as a united Nigeria, is to restructure our federation and allow the establishment of state police with full powers to maintain law and order within the states”.
These are powerful words and insights from these young contributors.
As they say there is fire on the mountain and many are concerned.
When one considers all the facts one can only come to one conclusion: this is Yugoslavia downloading. This is the road to Kigali. This is Rwanda unfolding before our very eyes.
A few months ago I wrote an essay in my column with the New Telegraph Newspaper, The Daily Post, Pointblank News, The Trent, The Signal, Premium Times, Breaking Times, and The Sun Newspaper about the atrocities of the Fulani militants titled ‘The Herdsmen From Hell‘.
In that write-up I referred to the murderous militants as “vampires, cockroaches and tsetse flies”.
In addition to that last week I wrote another essay for the same columns and various other media houses titled “The National Grazing Reserve Bill: The Greatest Evil Of All”.
In that contribution I pointed out the grave dangers posed by the diabolical activities of the Fulani militants and the long-term expansionist agenda of their backers and sponsors.
One week before then I wrote yet another article on the same topic and in the same mediums titled “The Murder Of The Fulani: Yugoslavia Unfolding” in which I stated clearly that Nigeria was toying with a massive conflagration in the not too distant future if the Buhari government did not find the will and cultivate the courage to stop the activities of the Fulani militants and if they refused to stop supporting them.
In return for these contributions I received the usual insults from shortsighted Nigerians who have always believed that the best way to contain evil is to tolerate it, bow before it, accept it and welcome it with open arms.
It appears that I have now been vindicated and my concerns have proved to be legitimate.
The very same people that condemned me and called me “‘a Fulani-hating racist”, “a purveyor of hate speech”, “a hater of Muslims” and “a loud-mouthed and paranoid alarmist” just a few months ago are now saying that I was right.
Yet, sadly, it is too late. The vampires are now in control and they have tasted blood. The Nigerian Janjaweed are on a roll and they are determined to conquer new lands for the Caliphate.
Worse still they have the covert backing and unofficial endorsement of the state. They will not stop now and neither will they retreat.
Yet they are in for a shocker. Unless there is divine intervention, what lies ahead for this country is conflict, terror, bloodshed, war and ultimately a very messy and violent division.
It saddens me to say so but that is the bitter truth. That is what “chanji” has brought upon us.
Femi-Fani Kayode is a lawyer, a Nigerian politician, an evangelical christian, an essayist, a poet and he was the Special Assistant (Public Affairs) to President Olusegun Obasanjo from July 2003 until June 2006. He was the minister of culture and tourism of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from June 22nd to Nov 7th 2006 and as the minister of Aviation from Nov 7th 2006 to May 29th 2007. He tweets from @realFFK.