Nigeria’s president, Mohammadu Buhari, can’t be a happy man. And it has nothing to do with his battles with Atiku Abubakar. His kinsmen who are cattle herders must now go back to the North “where they are safe”. According to Northern Governors Forum,NGF and Coalition of Northern Gruops, CNG( don’t you just wonder at the speed with which Nigeria invents names and groups but nothing else?) . A slice of these group two week ago, gave Mr Buhari a 30-day ultimatum to “implement RUGA of face the unpleasant consequences”. Some said he was “irresponsible” in suspension the program.
Even a worm will turn, as they say. And so, as the South refused to budge, gets more alerted appear ready for the worst, the group reckoned that an all out confrontation will consume the herdsmen population.
To add to Mr Buhari’s pains, Southern leaders think that the recall has sinister undertones. Their theory is that, a few cattle and herdsmen will be seen heading North while the real killers who are already entrenched in various forests unleash more mayhem.
Yinka Odumakin, National Secretary of Afenifere, a Yoruba group said that the call
“smacks of insensitivity and arrogance for people not to betray any emotion over innocent blood being spilled by Fulani militia trooping into our communities under (the guise) of cattle grazing.
“If you ask that herders leave the south, are you giving the same directive to the sleeper cells of terror?
Ohaneze, the group that speaks for Ibos, wonders why nothing beyond cows has been discussed since Mr Buhari came in for a second term. Almost two months into the term, for instance, Nigeria does not have a defence minister nor does it have one for the Interior. And it doesn’t help that Mr Buhari hasn’t accepted that he is incapable and or unwilling to solve the problem. “When will this sensational outbursts stop? It’s quite embarrassing that each time, we waste time talking about cattle, herdsmen, colony, etc. We should be talking about modern ways of living”. A spokesman for Ohaneze said.
Now, it looks like Mr Buhari must now please two masters. His cabal must give the impression that there is a country that runs smoothly and ,in another fashion, try to help the herdsmen who now claim that they “put a government in place and inaugurated a national assembly “.
And so, the call for Fulani herdsmen to return to the North must now be “ignored” . A statement by Shehu Garba,one of Mr Buhari’s army of spokesmen, said Wednesday. Mr Buhari says the Northern groups can’t speak for the North. But when the same groups gave an ultimatum to Southerns to “vacate ” the North, Mr Buhari kept quiet. Buhari, one of nature’s worst diplomats, must now do a balancing act.
Mr Garba thinks that
“No one has the right to ask anyone or group to depart from any part of the country, whether north, south, east or west.They have no one’s authority to make such pronouncements”
“They should not be allowed to mislead anyone, least of all the Fulani herders.
“The Buhari administration is fully devoted to finding a lasting solution to the herder-farmer clashes in different parts of Nigeria- one that would be acceptable to all the parties involved.”In trying to act presidential, he must offend his herdsmen and if he doesn’t, the nation gets engulfed in flames. And the problem that Mr Buhari faces is clear to all but the president himself. Nothing has shown that he is in charge of affairs, a point Olusegun Obasanjo raised in his latest letter to the president.
Two months after his inaugural, Mr Buhari is yet to address Nigeria on any issue. News of closed-door meetings are announced daily by Nigeria’s pesky media. But nothing else. Those who acted on his behalf to win the elections are now acting on his behalf to govern. He is trapped by his own people.
Another problem is that Mr Buhari over estimated his powers while ignoring the power of resistance that the South can generate when faced with death. He also not exactly a politician.
The party that brought him to power, the APC, was a convenient coalition of former enemies. Now that he wants their ancestors land ,they have become enemies again.
Mr Buhari is not really helping his people. The main reason Nigerians are opposed to RUGA is because of the raft of crimes perpetrated by Fulanis and the government’s apparent endorsement of those crimes.
Mr Buhari has also put a bad spot light on his people. To most people, Fulani is now synonyms with brutalities . Those without criminal intents are not able show their innocence.
Finally, Mr Buhari might be right when he said anyone can live freely anywhere in Nigeria. But he is wrong when those who aims to live freely don’t abide by the rules that bind others. He is wrong when it is ok for foreigners to brandish AK47 rifles as they move unchallenged by Nigeria’s security. Mr Buhari is wrong when no Fulani herdsmen has ever been jailed for offences regular citizens won’t even contemplate. Finally, it is not true that those Fulanis who are not Nigerians can live freely anywhere in Nigeria.
Mr Buhari said a couple of day ago that those who criticize him ,are not “patriotic”. Perhaps the meaning of the word is alien to him. A patriotic president, for instance, will ensure an accurate census if only for purposes of planning. He will seal the borders against illegal immigrants because his people don’t have enough. But Mr Buhari is doing the opposite: Increase the population with aliens and thus raise the misery of the people to new levels. That is very unpatriotic.