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(Published in the”ON THE LORD’S DAY” column in the Sunday Tribune newspaper of Sunday, April 10, 2022).
“Once again, I would like to quote the late Gen. Sani Abacha: ‘Any insurgency that lasts more than two hours, a government official has a hand in it” – Ibrahim B. Babangida.
“God just exposed the corruption in the railway ticketing (with the recent bandits’ attack on the Abuja – Kaduna train)! No wonde,r they did not want to introduce online booking; when it was eventually introduced, it was always said to have been fully booked, especially the business class. Currently, they are having problems with the Chinese because the Chinese want to run the train and introduce real online booking!
“Now, 970 passengers were on board the attacked train but only 398 were on the manifest. From my in-box: 398 tickets were sold; 372 of the ticket holders boarded (but) head count was 970 on board. Can you now see why it took the NRC 56 hours to produce the manifest? Even the figures (produced) were unbelievable. They were doctored! A thorough audit (forensic) will reveal that not up to 150 ticket fares were remitted to the government’s coffers. A whopping 820 fares must have been stolen!
“Let us assume the fare was N2000; that will be N1.64million per trip. A minimum of four trips a day will be N6.56m. In one month N196.8m will be going into someone’s pocket! Evil people everywhere! – From Ayo Ojeniyi.
“Unexplained mysteries about terrorism in Nigeria: How are the terrorists able to move freely in hundreds on bikes and in vehicles to commit crime for hours and get back to their camps in states under heavy security surveillance? With all our NIN and digitalisation of personal records, why is it that there is no tracking of telephone conversations about receivers of huge ransom paid by families of the abducted to “buy back” their relatives? Why is the huge ransom not traceable to any bank just as the CBN and DSS had claimed they traced the movement of funds to the accounts of #EndSARS sponsors and receivers?
If, truly, many of these Fulani bandits/terrorists buy cows with the received ransom as claimed by some notable Fulani leaders to replace their rustled cattle stolen by another group of bandits, then, why can’t security officers trace such trade to those cattle markets in and outside Nigeria to trap the bandits? Why is it that no major sponsors of terrorists/bandits have been arrested, prosecuted and jailed so far? It is no more a secret where the forests and various camps of terrorists are: Gov. Nasir el-Rufai has again confirmed this; the question, then, is why can’t the president order continuous bombardment of their camps instead of giving lame orders that security agents should shoot on sight any bandit seen with AK-47 in public?
The argument that innocent people will die if security agents invade bandits’ abode in the forest looks selective because when the same security agencies bombarded Sunday Igboho in the night as well as Nnamdi Kanu’s home, they didn’t think of innocent citizens that would die. Yet, these are not terrorists but ethnic rights agitators! Why is the government not releasing the full names of sponsors of terrorists as promised?” – Writer unknown .
Last week we quoted the Kaduna state governor, Nasir el-Rufai, as saying: “We have been pressing for the past two years for the military from the air and the ground to bomb these forests while the soldiers on the ground kill all those that escape the bombs. I do not believe that there is any innocent person in the forests… With the declaration by the Federal High Court that these bandits are terrorists, there is a need for security agencies to take extreme actions to terminate the bandits”
So there are no innocent persons in the forests! When did el-Rufai get to know this? Before or after his Ondo State counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu, had ordered illegal occupants out of Ondo State forests? Remember? Some Northern elders, governors, Presidency officials and Miyetti Allah were the first to fly in Akeredolu’s throat. Remember? Akeredolu gave the order on Monday, 18th January, 2021, allowing the illegal and murderous herdsmen seven days within which to comply.
Remember that Presidential spokesperson, Garba Sheu, did not waste time before he tackled Akeredolu the next day Tuesday, putting the full weight of the presidency behind the herdsmen. The Northern Elders Forum followed the next day Wednesday with its own support for the killer herdsmen. Gov. Bala Mohammed of Bauchi said the killer herdsmen did not need the permission of Akerdolu to live in Ondo state forests – to perpetrate and perpetuate their nefarious activities? That controversy was over a year ago – where was el-Rufai and what were his views then?
Consistency is not one of the virtues of many Nigerian leaders. Neither is standing by and for the truth. Usually, they are motivated and driven by a selfish agenda. Northern leaders, especially those of the Fulani extraction, do little to hide rabid Fulani sentiments. Between them they have said an injury to one Fulani man is an injury to all; that the Fulani man never forgets and never forgives but will take revenge no matter how long it takes. Between them they have also said any Fulani man anywhere is entitled to lay claim to Nigeria. The ethnic cleansing by the Fulani in many parts of the North is the direct consequence of this ideology.
Concerning Fulani leaders,, tongues have wagged about their role in how foreign Fulani fighters masquerading as herders not only found their way into Nigeria but also got ensconced here and are no longer willing to leave. El-Rufai described bandits as business men who are to be preferred to separatists like the IPOB or other self-determination groups and activists! Hear him: “Bandits are just collections of independent criminals. It is a business for them. It is not a case of Nigeria must break up” Just a collection of independent criminals! Just! Of course, anyone who wants the break-up of Nigeria, which is the Fulani’s pot of soup and which they have touted as their inheritance from their fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers, is an enemy but the bandits who are their own brothers and who had been brought into the country by them for the purpose of appropriating the country for and unto themselves, are allowed to engage in the “business” of banditry to help push forward the agenda of ethnic cleansing and land-grabbing while also empowering themselves economically to the chagrin of the country as a whole as well as of its other ethnic nationalities, especially those opposed to the Fulanization agenda.
Last week, the petit Kaduna governor was at it again! He boasted he and his other like-minded Northern colleagues would bring in (foreign) mercenaries to fight the bandits that have made Kaduna a “no-go” area. Kaduna under the watch of el-Rufai has become Bandits Zone: Keep Off! Last Sunday, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, asked the question, why Kaduna? That question is fully loaded and pregnant with meaning. Why Kaduna? And where are those who have turned Kaduna into killing fields and hell on earth turning their attention to next? Who is next?
A news medium reported it thus: “The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, has threatened to bring in foreign mercenaries to fight bandit terrorists if the federal government of Nigeria refuses to do the needful. According to him, the terrorists need to be treated with stronger force than what is obtainable right now. The Governor stressed that it is obvious the bandit terrorists are getting bolder by the day with every unchallenged attack they launch successfully and are even getting confident about attacking the military. He lamented why the security agencies have failed to respond to calls for the forests where these bandits are hiding to be bombed and destroyed”
El-Rufai was quoted to have said: “‘I have complained to Mr. President and I swear to God, if action is not taken, we as governors will take action to protect the lives of our people. If it means deploying foreign mercenaries to come and do the work, we will do it to address these challenges’. Emphasizing why he believes the bandit terrorists should be bombed and destroyed, Governor El-Rufai said if the criminals are not neutralized now, they may one day destroy Nigeria as a whole… ‘And I have been saying that the forests where these bandits are hiding, it is high time that we go there and bomb them all. Everyone in the forest should be killed. Unless this is done, this problem will persist and it is capable of destroying Nigeria as a whole. These people (terrorists) are getting money. The way they are so emboldened; they fear no authority, no soldier and so why won’t security agents go to their enclaves and kill them all? We know where they are, SSS gives reports on them every day; they (SSS) have their numbers including that of Dogo Gide and what he is planning.”
There are two plausible propositions: The first is that el-Rufai is born-again and repentant of his sins in the role he allegedly played in bringing foreign Fulani herdsmen into Nigeria in general and Kaduna state in particular. He is fed up with their atrocities, especially as they have become “independent” of their erstwhile masters and sponsors. The criminals have found more lucrative means of making more money than their erstwhile masters were willing to give. The bandits also must have discovered that their sponsors fleeced them; gave them peanuts while keeping the largest share of the spoils for themselves. Thus, things fell apart and the falcons could no longer hear the falconer. Therefore, things are no longer at ease in Kaduna and elsewhere. He who rides on the back of the tiger has a problem disembarking. The Frankenstein monster has become destructive of the very purpose for which it was created. Time, then, to dispense with it. And there is no better way of doing this than to destroy it. There are many members of the cabal, however, who still think the foot-soldiers will soon be needed and must be kept active and alive. Reconciling these two tendencies remains a hard task for former comrades now taking divergent steps and acting at cross-purposes.
The second proposition is that the next stage of the Fulanization project requires more foot-soldiers. As pressure from all corners mounted, the powers-that-be had been forced to acquiesce to some decisions that have led to the decimation of the foot-soldiers on ground. Their numbers have decreased. Besides, many of the foot-soldiers have made money from the “business” of kidnapping and direct looting and stealing and have become independent of their erstwhile masters. Because of the way they were allegedly abandoned after the 2015 elections, trust and confidentiality between both have been seriously ruptured. The drivers of the Fulanization agenda need more foot soldiers; they also need more loyal and less money-conscious warriors. Do not ever believe that anyone is bringing foreign mercenaries to fight bandits to solve the problem of insurgency or insecurity. Their goal is to pour petrol in the raging fire of insurgency to further advance their goal of ethnic cleansing all over the country! Assuming but not conceding that, for this once, they are being honest: What is the assurance that if they could lose the control of the foreign Fulani warriors they brought, that they will not also lose control of the foreign mercenaries they are now proposing once those ones set foot into Nigeria? And by the way, where will the foreign mercenaries come from? What is their tribe and religion?
Nigerians, shine your eyes as we return to the opening quote above of the self-acclaimed “evil genius” IBB! The ongoing raging insurgency has the government’s hands and legs in it. Those who created it and who continue to nurture it for their hideous and selfish agenda are in the corridors of power. Not all of them are yet convinced of the need to abandon their selfish agenda and end the carnage. Tell the Nasir el-Rufais we are not deceived. And tell Muhammadu Buhari: Mission impossible!
*Former Editor of PUNCH newspapers, Deputy Editor-in-Chief and Chairman of its Editorial Board, BOLAWOLE was also Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of The Westerner newsmagazine. He writes the TREASURES column n the New Telegraph newspaper every Wednesday and the ON THE LORD’S DAY column in the Sunday Tribune. He is also a public affairs analyst on radio and television.
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