Benue’s Fulani Invasion/Centenary Celebration: A Mockery of History!

Posted: February 26, 2014 in life and human interest, Opinion
Tags: , , , , , ,

When the news of deployment of extra security operatives and the presence of a Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police, Mr. Michael Zuokumor, came filtering in, many who heard the news with me, were already beliving in the possibility of an end to the rape of peace in Benue state by heartless fulani marauders and their mercenaries.
However, in my mind I had already waved away any positivity in the quick or even possible attempt to end the crisis owing to the temporary relocation of the DIG. I knew the crisis had not climaxed to allow for less action.
Just days ago we also witnessed a presidential media chat by President Goodluck Jonathan, where he as usual assured of quelling national violence.
In the wake of the foregoing Benue state and even the nation has witnessed very bloody attacks, claiming nearly 50 persons, mostly children.bkhm
While basking in these reassurances, I recieved calls of  gunshots occassioned by Fulani marauders who were believed to be on their now percieved to be normal attack of defenseless Tiv people who must have been ususpectingly ambushed.
Just as this news was begining to sink in, did I see the breaking news bar on my old television set, reporting of scores of innocent lives, all children lost to Boko Haram in the customary North East Nigeria. In the same region our president claims to be on top security wise.
The irony of the above pictures is the painful fact that the Nigerian Security agencies are claimed to be on ground in both places; North-East Nigeria has the Joint Task Force, while in my dear Makurdi, a whole DIG was drafted in to be ontop of the situation. This is even as the president in an internationally broadcasted media chat bragged of the efficacy of his military interventions.gg
For those of us who grew up in Makurdi (especially North Bank) we are aversed to the fame of the legendary 72 Airbone battalion and its infantry in peace keeping exploits around the world. We are also aware that the Nigerian Airforce Tactical Air Command is also a strategic  military position which ranks amongst the A class in the nation; the Nigerian Army School of Military Engineering( NASME), another elite military establishment; most
recently ignorant, bloody civillians like me also boasted of the full proof security paraphernalia in the state with the addition of a Naval Training School in Makurdi. The Nigerian police also has an obvious presence with the Zonal headquaters of the Zone 4 commanding various states sited in Makurdi, a recent deployment of troops to reinforce these (even when they have done nothing to tire them), just as the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have also established their presence with their armed squad; not leaving out the armed squads of the Nigerian Immigration Service and the Nigerian Prisons service who have a fair number in the state . Not also to be left out is our array of competent jeep driving thugs who have also played a “significant role” in maintaining the “peace and security” of the state; not to be left out is our fame for having a strong presence of violent confraternities who do not take rubbish from anyone! However our station for security presence is like a proverbial woman whose feminity has no value but just her womanly creation!
I dare to ask here that is there any state in the nation with a stronger security presence than this mentioned above? How much more do we need, to be secure? How logical is it for mere fulani herdsmen to attack such a properly security stock state? Is it not even more disgusting that these marauders and invaders are actually operating and sacking homes situated around the mobile police barracks? Does this not underscore the level of insecurity of the Nigerian security apparatus?
At a time when we should be celebrating Nigeria’s acclaimed centenary celebration, we are instead cajoled by events to mourn it. The celebration reminds many of us, the history lectures that have brought us the understanding that we have been deprived us of our reasonable identity and worn upon us the toga of a supposed to be better identity, Nigeria.
Before and after the yet- to- be- considered well intended amalgamation, the Benue valley was famed for its tribes’ superior military might as reported by the Royal British Army which was severally defeated by the Tivs of the region even with superior firepower, earning them the derrogatory title of barbaric in the Governor General’s letter to the queen in request for troops reinforcement. The Usman Danfodio jihads (who many believe these fulani attacks to be a renewal) were halted by this same warrior tribe (stories of the famed Damkor defeat abound). This singular identity of the region of being warriors was enough security until we were cajoled to submit our security and destinies to be part of an entity we supposed will take better care of us. ggg
As we celebrate this 100 years of surrendering our identity and security to an amalgamated security arrangement it will be wise to ask what benefits it has reaped us.
This piece is in no way aimed at undermining the importance of a one and undivided Nigeria, however it is aimed at juggling our memories to the good old days and thus moving the lucky would- be delegates to the national dialogue to remember our glory and negotiate in this light as they husstle out the millions carved out of the national cake for their having.
Just as president Goodluck Jonathan emphasised, I also  reiterate that “the unity of Nigeria is not negotiable”, however the fruits and benefits of such can always be negotiated and even renegotiated as deemed fit. Now is such a time! Our security which should normaly not be an issue for negotiation need be discussed, prioritised for better national harmony. For how do you explain a people who before the amalgamation could handle their business without any formal security apparatus now become handicapped and defenceless with the presence of the security installments they gave up their premordial set ups for?
Our security is not just one of the issues! It is the issue to be discussed, to remain one Nigeria!

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