By Tor, Shiekuma Felix
No doubt, Benue state is not only the food basket of the nation but also the human abattoir of the nation. The incessant killings of innocent souls in Benue state is indeed a hurdle that is not strange to anybody residing in the land. Benue aborigines are permanently changing their addresses on daily basis because of enigmatic bullets. The natives of the land are no longer enjoying the desired peace and justice connected with democracy. Nobody with an operational brain could ever stand and brag of security again, except someone
who is suffering from mental midget. Peoples’ minds are melted in fear whenever they are setting out for their daily routines, because you can’t just prognosticate what the next minute holds for you.
Therefore, the well meaning people of the food basket state who so much believed in the stability and peace of Benue state are found quizzing about the whys and wherefores behind this satanic-induced and nefarious act. In this regard, many write-ups stuffed the cyberspace and hard media so as to provide adequate justification for this ungodly attitude, but they’ve succeeded in missing out an obvious factor behind the endless homicide that is scourging the land. However, the innumerable killings bombarding Benue state are all handwork of politics of hatred.
There had been several high profile politically-motivated assassinations in Benue state since we returned to democracy rule in May 1999. This is as a result of tussle for what I call ephemeral power. The rules of the game are so many times gamboled and overlooked by these brutal politicians, thereby scheming unscrupulous and dishonorable ways to scramble up to the corridor of power, sans decoding the facial expression of the masses or seeking their blessing. To this end, whoever seems to be stopping them from hitting the jackpot or pouring sand in their garri must forcibly meet his ancestors. Countless Benue born with unwavering vision and focus were shoved to 3 inches hole because of ‘I must win’ principle.
Politicians of easy virtue do not fall in love with the fact that leadership comes from God. If they are operating with this disposition, it will avert them from indulging in diabolic activities of embarking on massive assassination of inculpable citizens, just to secure a political position. Of course, I must win whether by crook or hook principle opted by politicians will be evanesced. Nevertheless, some of them who are politicking on satanic-anchored platform don’t acknowledge God as the fountainhead of leadership and could go at extra length of butchering guiltless people just to become a big cheese
The most exasperating thing is that these coached fabulists seek for plum leadership offices not for the reason of service but to bring to fruition their personal desires. Certainly, if the spur is to serve the hoi polloi then there is no point instigating and sponsoring their quietus.
Politics is mostly esteemed if democrats use well articulated blueprint in wooing the masses to cast their weight behind them. This connotes that one’s dexterity in winning electorates’ heart over his political aspiration is the ultimate in any reasonable and responsible politics. However, the situation in Benue state is an overt antithesis. Visionless Benue politicians institute coercive measures in inveigling people to subscribe to their political desires. One of the coercive measures involves blood bathing of innocent souls by sponsored hoodlums and issuance of threat messages to those who are arrogantly refusing to bow to pressure. This is our blueprint here in the food basket state; blood shedding.
The monstrous murder of Benue youths in Kwande and Tarka in the past years is still pinching my imaginations and punching my thoughts. The more recent one was from Benue New York; Logo. The energetic and highly productive young men with innovative ideas were gruesomely massacred because of mere political reasons. This is quite pathetic! Their destinies were annihilated because of what they have not benefited from. Thereafter nobody stood up to challenge this cruel act because of the fear of Damocles sword.
Politics is an open game for everybody and should be played by all, provided you know how to play your cards. Nonetheless, the few privileged Benue politicians who were early spotted in political realm misinterpret politics as a birthright. They don’t want others to be like them. If anybody who is not anointed by them is found in the forefront of political affairs, such person must be using his hands to dig his own grave. They want to be worshipped as lords of the state and defiant democrats who tried to share glory with them are no longer taking in oxygen.
In advanced countries, politics is a tool for development but in Nigeria and Benue state to be specific, it is a way of amassing wealth. It is only here that a hopeless beggar would sleep and woke up the following as a millionaire, because of cash exuding from unethical politics. In this regard, political office seekers are slaughtering human beings like cows so as to get there and handle the coffer themselves, especially now that political office holders’ salaries and perks received unprecedented increment.
The most reason why democracy received warm welcome after long period of hostile military rule was because of freedom of expression. Democracy allows people to openly express their views, squawk government decisions and even criticize. However, Benue is practicing demo-military because nobody retains the right to either criticize or contest government actions. If you are bold enough to criticize government inhuman resolutions, unknown gun men must pay you uninformed visit in the evening and escort you to untimely grave. I recall to mind how a reverend Pastor was hideously murdered because he made mention of ‘pig’ in his sermon. So many others bite the dust just because of that pig saga.
Even the architects of democracy affirmed that opposition is critical in the democratic processes. Opposition opens bullets of words to ruling parties and triggers them to carry into effects their campaign pledges. Howbeit, opposition here in the agriculture depot is a ‘felony’. So many people who found themselves in the web of opposition were mowed down. That is why the dividend of democracy in Benue state is not more than bullets and tons of blood.
I can’t delete from my memory the cruel slay of Benue personages like: Steven Akirga, Paul Biam. Charles Ayede etc. They were assassinated by monsters just because they playing from different league and their league were receiving uncommon number of fans. This is handwork of acrimonious politics.
Politicians now decide when someone will die; they have taken the position of God. However, they ought to fathom that taking someone’s life illegally is a sin before God, and it’s unconstitutional. I am not in doubt that Nigerian constitution is more of a story book, because its lacks implementation when it comes to issues of assassination but God’s judgment is sure waiting for everybody to account for their vile actions.
Dr. Goodluck Johnathan, the quondam president of Nigeria, maintained in his last presidential race that his presidency does not worth the blood of any Nigerian. I therefore expect Benue politicians to pick lesson here: human beings are far more than electoral politics, so killing people in the name of politics is anti-democratic and unethical; in fact, it is felonious.
Some undiscerning Benue youths are good agents of this egregious and highly iniquitous act. All the so-called ‘mysterious’ murders in Benue state were undertaken by hoodlums, who are mainly youths. Indeed, if they can quiz themselves why such politicians are not sending their children and wards on such virulent missions, they will understand how these fibbers are helping them to throw their families into generational malediction, because the blood of the immaculate souls being slaughtered must stand against them. Even though it’s a lucrative business, the impending doom is much.
The security agencies on their part are not appreciated. The engineers of most of whosale killings or individual slaying are known to security agencies but their responses and actions are not something to write home about. They only condemn such act in Newspapers and on television channels. For instance, police instead on embarking on thorough probe when need arises, all they are found doing is patrolling around the vicinity of the affected places and collecting machines from crimeless Okada men, who are honorably hustling for livelihood and thrashing people with cudgel.
I am a strong advocate of Gov. Samuel Ortom’s amnesty programme, imploring criminals and their patrons to submit their weaponry and get compensation. This is a very giant stride in scaling down or curtailing the spate of arm robbery, thuggery, kidnapping and other social vices. However, after the amnesty period, people who refuse to obey should not be treated as ‘holy sinners’.
I therefore admonish politicians to let up killing of people in the name of politics. They should invest time and energy in killing unemployment, potholes road, insecurity, dilapidated structures and strikes. These are common enemies of democracy that are supposed to be prematurely shove to grave.
Tor, Shiekuma Felix can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org