INTRODUCTION As I write this, my heart bleeds. I weep for Nigeria, my country, where everything has been turned upside down. A country where the life of a cow is more valued and better priced than that of a human being. A cow is an animal that walks on all fours. A cow is defined as fully grown animal of a domesticated breed of ox, kept to produce milk or beef. A human being like and I, is defined as a man, woman or child of the species Homo Sapiens, distinguished from other animals by superior mental development, power of articulate speech and upright stance. A cow is therefore of a lower specie than a human being, created by God in His own image and likeness (Gen 1:26-27). When bunched in large number, cows form cattle. But, in Nigeria, a cow is shockingly valued more than a human being. It is literally worshipped, pampered and allowed to roam leisurely, the beautiful landscaped streets of Abuja and other major cities in Nigeria, including highways, while human beings take cover for their dear lives. At their pleasure, the cattle are led into farmlands by their automatic gun-wielding herders, to eat, damage, destroy and occupy the crops and their territories. In Nigeria, herdsmen murder in gruesome circumstances that depict Stone Age barbarism and cruelty, human beings in place of allegedly stolen or killed cows. Such daylight butchery has been going on continuously and infamously in towns, villages and hamlets in Benue, Taraba, Adamawa, Borno, Nasarawa, Kaduna, and Bauchi States. This is done with the brute savagery and primeval primitivity that would make green with envy from their oven graves, such historical human monsters as Nero, Empero Hirohito, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Kim II Sung, Saddem Hussein, Joseph Mengele, Tolat Pasha, Elizabeth Bathory, Reinhard Heydrich, Heinrich Himmler, Adolph Eichmann, Idi Amin, Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Vlad Dracular, Ivan the Terrible and Atila the Hun, amongst other beastly creatures. TRAIL OF BLOOD, SORROW AND DEATH In April, 2016, 40 persons were brutally hacked down in Nimbo, Uzo-Uwani LGA of Enugu state, by over 500 heavily armed Fulani Herdsmen that vanquished other villages that included Ngowko, Ekwuru, Ebor, Umuome, Ugwuijoro and Ugwuachara. Residential houses including Christ Holy church International (aka, odozi obodo), vehicles, motorcycles and domestic animals were killed and destroyed in most horrific circumstances. Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi wept for his people. The story was the same in Godogodo and Dogan Daji villages in Kaduna state. Carrying sophisticated weapons such as expensive modern day AK 47, some herders of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association attacked, in most grisly and hideous manner, towns and villages in Benue state, such as in Guma, Logo, two LGAs that were literally razed down, with many indigenes killed. Two years ago, 10 Agatu communities were razed down by the herdsmen, with hundreds of indigenes including women, children and the elderly massacred in cold blood. Only last month, residents of Dowaya, Numan, Demsa LGA, Shafaran, Shawal, were horrendously mowed down in their homes. There is a reign of terror by this new scourge that has since overtaken Boko Haram in murderous and deadly outings. In Niger state, Sabondaga community of about 20, 000 people was sacked as the farming villagers ran away from their ancestral home from herdsmen invaders. In Alor and Oraukwu communities in Idemili LGA of Anambra State, fully armed herdsmen attacked and killed indigenes in 2016. The same fate befell the people of Ugbene, Ugbenu and Achalla communities in Awka LGA between 2016 and 2017. The people of Nekede and Ihiagwa communities in Imo State suffered the same brutal fate in May, 2016, in the hands of these marauders being publicly protected by the federal government. In Taraba State, February, 2016, witnessed the death toll in Zando, Ibi, Wusen, Tungan, Gishsrin Hasan and Gborucha villages in Wukari LGA. In Kaduna, herdsmen again sacked four villages in Chawai Chiefdom in Kaura LGA. From Jangaru community of Awe LGA in Nasarawa State, to Orhua, Oke, Unokpe and Ekpan communities in Uhunmwode LGA and Okpella and Uzairue communities of Edo State, to Umunor community, Ndokwa East LGA, Onicha-Ukwani in Ndokwa West, Ovie Okpare, Warri, Igbodo, whose king was brutally murdered, all in Delta State, the horrendous story is the same. THE METAMORPHOSIS FROM CATTLE ROUTES TO COLONIZATION There has been a gradual metamorphosis and transfiguration of daring cattle rearers, with the active connivance of the federal government, in plying cattle routes, to discussion about cattle reserve, to the new obnoxious and all conquering concept of cattle colony. Does this government appreciate at all, the odious and insultive meaning of “colony” to peoples of other about 368 ethnic groups in Nigeria (Sociologist, Prof Onigu Otite), that speak over 350 languages? Let me gratuitously educate the government that appears incapable of grappling with basic tenets of democratic and civil nuances and predilections. “Colony” means a country or area under the full or partial political control of another country and occupied by settlers from that country. It connotes dominion, protectorate, outpost, holding, possession, territory and dependency. So, Buhari’s 21st century government is conquering Nigerian states as federating units, including their linguistic, religious, ethnic and cultural identity and pluralism, in one fell swoop of imposing another ethnic group on them? Does he not realize the combustible and implosive danger inherent in this neo-colonialism, as the new army of occupation using the smokescreen of cattle rearing, will soon begin to assert their independence from the indigenous people and create their fiefdoms and even Emirates? NOW THIS Gradually, but steadily and inexorably, Nigeria is being carefully prodded by President Buhari, who had, in 2000, stormed Ibadan Government House to accuse the then Governor, Lam Adesina, of allowing indigenes to kill “my people” (Fulani Herdsmen). Of course, trust Lam. He gave it back to him in unmistakable terms, with the President and large entourage, greatly embarrassed by the true facts, departing without even eating prepared food. AND THIS Will Mr President also carve out special “pig colonies” from the North for piggery farmers? Will he also carve out special designated colonies for Ndigbos who are highly versed in commerce and trading, in the Northern States to have free shopping malls, stores and shops? Cannot Mr President and his coterie fawning, bootlicking and groveling advisers and ego balmers, who are urging him to run for a second term at a time massacred Nigerians were being buried in mass graves, see that Nigeria is more divided and divisive under him today? Can’t he see the danger of a possible volcanic implosion from a sleeping magma of ethnic, religious and political schisms? Mr. President sir, can you kindly salvage Nigeria from this imminent precipice of simulated conflagration? Has Mr. President not been advised that all lands in a state belong to the governor of that state and not the federal government, to hold on trust for the people, and that the federal government has no constitutional, legal or moral right to encroach on any state land, for any reason howsoever? Governors are you hearing, hearing and hearing me? Do what the enfante terrible, Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State has just done. Stop weeping and wimping like a baby denied of his candy. Raise your local vigilante group and defend the territorial integrity of your state. Today. Tomorrow may be too late. (To be continued). THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK “I warn you against shedding blood, indulging in it and making a habit of it, for blood never sleeps”. POSTED BY ABRAHAM.
By: Mickey Oro Ugbonwa