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Fulani attacks and parochial Northern Governors

By News Express on 16/02/2017

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Confucius, the philosopher who lived between 551-479 BCE, was credited as emphatically telling those who are elected by their people to govern their administrative and political affairs: “If your desire is for good, the people will be good.”

Perhaps, Confucius and Plato were indeed so passionate about the need for good governance that they were concerned about the best qualities and skills that leaders ought to have. Plato particularly espoused the philosophical thought that “philosopher-kings” are best suited for leadership role.

The student of Plato, Aristotle, took time to build a broad range of comparisons of governments, especially those forms that were espoused by earlier philosophers. Indeed, Aristotle believed that man, by nature, is a political animal. Although Aristotle said all men are by nature political animals, but he was quick to differentiate between human beings with intellect and irrational animals, even as he emphatically highlighted how members of the human society ought to organise the community of human race, to optimally erect a global community whereby the rule of law would be uppermost in the affairs of humanity.

A modern day editorial writer in a scholarly publication – The Politics Book – noted the  following, on the Aristotelian thought process: “Aristotle identified various ‘species’ and ‘sub-species’ within the Polis. He found what distinguishes man from the other animals is his innate powers of reason and the faculty of speech, which give him a unique ability to form social groups and set up communities and partnerships. 

Within the community of a Polis (city state), the citizens develop an organisation that ensures the security, economic stability, and justice of the state; not by imposing any form of social contract, but because it is in their nature to do so. For Aristotle, the different ways of organising the life of the Polis exist not so that people can live together (as they do this by their very nature), but so that they can live well. How well they succeed in achieving this goal, he observes, depends on the type of government they choose.”

Fast forward to contemporary Nigeria and take analytic view of how the political class conducts the affairs of state, especially in the current dispensation. It is clear that those parading around as governors are deficient in leadership skills and qualities that were generously prescribed by the aforementioned illustrious ancient philosophers. Although Nigeria lays claim to practising constitutional democracy, but the democratic institutions are undermined deliberately by members of the political class to such a dysfunctional level that sane persons whose places of habitation are in the advanced civilisations often wonder why such a potentially great nation-state like Nigeria has been sabotaged, to an extent that life in it has become so meaningless, insecure, short and brutish, almost to a level that Thomas Hobbes talked about in his dreaded State Of Nature.

Worst still, the specie of persons holding offices as Governors of Northern States have shown that they absolutely care less about the provisions of the constitution, and have devoted their times to pursue primordial ethno-religious sentiments. Apart from the fact that these northern governors have failed to provide good governance to their people, their roles in the ongoing unwarranted massacre of farmers by armed Fulani terrorists have left right thinking Nigerians wondering what their agenda is. Again, the deliberate failure of all the security forces to apprehend and prosecute to a logical conclusion all the armed Fulani terrorists and their sponsors has confounded all rational minds. The question being asked is if the current President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has no pan-Nigerian agenda which would have necessitated quick win mechanisms to eradicate the rapidly-expanding genocides by armed Fulani terrorists. Muhammadu Buhari is Fulani so are most heads of Nigeria's security institutions appointed by Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

Few days back, the northern governors met in Kaduna together with the traditional rulers and the Chief of Army Staff, in what they claimed was because of the tumultuous security instability in northern region. But while presenting their communiqué, these Arewa governors displayed the most ludicrous approach towards ending the seemingly unending security threats in the North, posed by the rampaging Fulani marauders. Their spokesman spoke from both sides of his mouth and made unbelievable claim that the armed Fulani marauders wrecking havoc in all sorts of communities around the nation are foreigners from Niger, Chad and Mali.

But few days after they rose from this unholy meeting, the Nigerian Police Force that has so far failed to stop the mass killings by these armed Fulani herdsmen paraded 17 suspected armed Fulani herdsmen responsible for the gruesome killings of mainly Southern Kaduna Christians.

It turned out that the northern governors lied because these suspected killers are Nigerians of Fulani extraction.

But the Northern Governor’s Forum (NGF), had prior to this arrest said it has resolved to work with relevant stakeholders, to secure Nigeria’s borders and register Fulani immigrants entering into the country to rear cattle. Chairman of the forum, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State, disclosed this to journalists at the end of the forum’s meeting in Kaduna. According to him, the governors observed that most of the herdsmen involved in issues of insecurity are immigrants from Senegal and Mali.

“We also mapped out new strategies that would be used by the local Fulani herdsmen to rear their cattle without having to move across the country,” he said.

The police have immediately put a big lie to this infantile claim of the northern governors, going by the disclosure that the suspects arrested for the heinous attacks of Southern Kaduna people are Nigerian Fulani. The Police, at Force Headquarters, paraded 17 suspects arrested in connection with the violence in Kafanchan and environs in Southern Kaduna, which has claimed the lives of many persons and led to destruction of property. The 17 suspects, according to the Force Public relations Officer, CSP Jimoh Moshood, were arrested for inciting public disturbance, disturbance of public peace, causing mischief by fire, culpable homicide, theft and unlawful possession of prohibited firearms.

 Explaining how the suspects were arrested, CSP Moshood said: “Concerned by the recent unfortunate sectarian crisis in Kafanchan and neighbouring communities in Kaduna State where so many lives were lost and properties worth millions of naira destroyed, and the need to put a final stop to the crisis, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris, constituted a Joint Tactical Operations Squad.

“The Squad, known as Operation Harmony, comprised the Police Mobile Squad, Counter Terrorism Unit, Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Intelligence Response Team, SIB, Explosive Ordinance Department, IGP Monitoring Unit, Police K9 (Sniffer Dog Section), Police Air Wing and Police Medical Team, with headquarters in Kafanchan. The operation recorded remarkable achievements in tackling the crisis and preventing further disturbance of public peace across Southern Kaduna. Seventeen 17 suspects were arrested in the act and caches of arms and ammunition were recovered from them.

“The suspects made up of both Fulani herdsmen and natives of Southern Kaduna include Nelson Paul, the arms supplier to the suspects: Bulus Jatau, Magaji Shuaibu, Danlami Yakubu, Idris Bello, Danjuma Barde, Goma Adamu, Samuel Joshua, and Abdulkareem Abdul. Others are Haruna Ilyasu, Hassan Idris, Adamu Haruna, Adamu Umar, Suleiman Saleh, Abubakar Muhammadu, and Muhammadu Jori.”

The Force PRO gave a breakdown of arms and ammunition recovered from the suspects, saying: “A total number of 29 assorted firearms and ammunition were recovered from their possession.”

The Police had earlier arrested armed Fulani herdsmen in Enugu, who were accused of leading the invasion of some communities in Enugu State and the killing of scores of Nigerians. Earlier this year, the Nigerian Army in Abuja reportedly paraded some armed Fulani herdsmen, but it is alleged that the suspects were secretly released by the hierarchy of the Army.

Governments at every level must show political will to tackle these killings, while the Judiciary must be up and doing to ensure that the suspected killers are punished. The respective justice ministries must wake up and pursue the prosecution of all suspected armed Fulani terrorists.

RIGHTSVIEW appears on Wednesdays, in addition to special appearances. The Columnist, a popular activist, is a former Federal Commissioner of Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission and presently National Coordinator of Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria (HURIWA). He can be reached via 08033327672 (sms only) or via

Source News Express

Posted 16/02/2017 09:58:22 AM


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