By Femi Fani-Kayode
“Ignorant and useless Zamfara people where are you? We are here in your Zamfara and we are urging you to come out and face us!” —ISIS West Africa, ISWA.
These are just some of the ugly and boastful words that were spoken in a graphic video that I posted on my Facebook page by an ISWA commander and the barbarians and terrorists that are decimating and butchering our people. I had his words translated from Hausa to English.
The video shows ISWA Fulani terrorists and militias on the rampage somewhere in Zamfara State boastfully challenging and insulting the people of Zamfara and telling them to come out and fight them.
Sadly, their activities and operations are not limited to Zamfara or, indeed, the core north; and the bitter truth is that they have unleashed a full-scale, no-holds-barred war, against the Nigerian people and State.
What is going on in Zamfara and in parts of Katsina and Kaduna states today, is that the terrorist Fulani militias are wiping out the local Hausa and other indigenous communities and they’re taking over and stealing their lands and resources.
Like an ocean of demonic and devouring locusts that strip bare everything in their path, they move in large numbers, with death on their wings. They are a dark and evil wave of life-wasting and blood-sucking zombies. They are like the infamous and terrifying ‘Army of the Dead’ in HBO’s famous blockbuster series titled Game of Thrones: they burn, slaughter, decimate and destroy every living thing that lies in their path.
Their brutality, power, military capability, boldness and sheer audacity are growing by the day and Nigeria is now in serious trouble. It is only a matter of time before they break through and make incursions into the satellite towns and environs of Abuja, and then the South.
If you doubt that, then know this: they have already amassed in large numbers in Nassarawa State and they have operational units, spies and sleeper cells in every state and zone in the north.
Worse still is the fact that our country is now exhibiting all the basic and fundamental characteristics of a classic failed state where, in parts of the north, the Federal Government and its security forces no longer have any control and can no longer claim to exert a monopoly of violence.
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If this were not the case, why would the Federal Government be offering Miyetti Allah and the terrorist Fulani herdsmen (who are the forerunners of ISWA) billions of naira to stop butchering, maiming, kidnapping and tormenting the Nigerian people and stealing their lands and mineral resources?
Governments are meant to fight and crush terrorists and terrorist organisations and defend their people and not beg or negotiate with them. The Buhari administration is on record as having paid billions of naira to the terrorists in ransom and protection money over the last four years and this has strengthened the Islamist insurgents and assisted their mutiny and armed rebellion against the Nigerian State enormously. That, together with the massive support and funding they are getting from ISIS and their Arab collaborators, has done the trick.
Boko Haram now holds sway in many parts of the North East, while ISWA Fulani militias hold sway in many parts of the North West. Meanwhile, both of these terrorist armies and militias constantly go on massive killing sprees of the local Muslim and Christian indigenous communities of the North Central.
Let us be clear: these people are NOT mere bandits and kidnappers. They are well-funded, well-organised Islamist ISIS-backed ISWA Fulani militias and their objective is to kill everything and everyone on their path in their quest to establish a new Islamist Fulani Caliphate and take total control of the lives and destiny of the local indigenous populations.
Under Buhari, the power of these Islamist Fulani terrorists has become irresistible and unbearable and thousands are being killed in the north every day.
I saw all this coming four years ago and when I spoke out about it I was labelled as a liar, an alarmist and an extremist who hated the north and Islam and who wanted to set the country on fire. Now I have been vindicated. Yet the saddest aspect of all this is the fact that the respected columnist Mr. Farooq Kperogi was right when he said the following just a few days ago:
“I told someone a few days ago that if many of the people expressing outrage over the bloodbath in Zamfara are told the dead are Shias or Christians, the outrage will instantly turn to joy. That’s the extent of the shallowness of the humanity of people in Nigeria.”
Our country, under Buhari, is imploding and what we are faced with is an existential threat which, if not addressed quickly and effectively, will consume us all. May God grant us the fortitude, courage, wisdom and strength to appreciate the gravity of our situation and do something about it before it is too late.
Permit me to conclude this contribution with the words of Mr. Tony Nnadi, who is one of the powerful and emerging voices in the new generation of Nigerian intellectuals and leaders of thought and who, over the last few years, has displayed a very high degree of consistency and foresight.
Yesterday, he wrote, “The Federation of Nigeria collapsed in 1966. The Fulani caliphate seized its carcass after killing 3.5 million easterners between 1967-1970 and imposed the 1979 unitary constitution which it revived in 1999. Seizing power in 2015, the caliphate is now on a conquest mission to wipe out the indigenous peoples so as to own Nigeria 100%.”
Whether you agree with Nnadi or not, one thing is clear: if Nigeria is to survive into the distant future as one entity, she is in dire need of a deliverer. And the sooner the deliverer shows up on the scene, rises to power, puts a stop to the ethnic cleansing, genocide and mass murder and rights all the wrongs, the better it will be for us all.
The North And Vanity Of Power
By Charles Ogbu
Northern Nigeria is a tragic paradox. A walking contradiction, I mean.
For over 40 years, the North has ruled Nigeria and controlled every aspect of her national life. The current President of Nigeria is from the North and virtually every security agencies in Nigeria including the paramilitary ones are in the hands of Northerners. Yet, almost half of the North is firmly in the hands of terrorists, bandits and other criminal elements operating under different names. Both our Army Chief, Defence minister and even the Commander-In-Chief now need to be escorted by almost the entire Nigerian armed forces before they visit their home towns all in the North. As I type, some of the bodies of dozenS of people butchered by bandits Friday evening in President Buhari’s own home state of Katsina are yet to be interred.
All the revenue generating agencies in the country from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) etc are manned by Northerners. The richest man in Africa is from the North. Yet, according to a recent report released by World Bank, 87% of Nigerians living in poverty are in the North.
Beyond poverty and insecurity, the North boasts of having the highest number of out-of-school children estimated at 12 million by a UN report. The worst case of infant and maternal mortality in Nigeria is in the North. The worst case of illiteracy and drug abuse is in the North. It is also in the North that the highest number of unemployed and unemployable youths are found.
This raises the question: What exactly has the Northern elites done for the North with all the long years they’ve controlled political power in the country? Of what use is power if you cannot use it to change the fortune of your people?
In the midst of all these internal contradictions, why do Northern youths still seem to worship their political elites as some god instead of seeing and treating them as the real authors of their misfortune? Why do Northern youths only care about helping their elites acquire political power without deploying that same energy towards making sure they use that power in a way it will benefit the average Northerner?
Funny enough, despite the consensus on the nothingness that is the Buhari regime and the entire North becoming a hotbed of terrorism and banditry under a Northern Commander-In-Chief, if elections were to be held today between President Buhari who has failed beyond every doubt and a Southern candidate with excellent record and a credible chance of transforming Nigeria, chances are the average Northern youth will vote Buhari even if doing so will conclusively put the country on the way to golgotha. He will, because all that matters to him is having a fellow Northern Muslim at the helm of affairs. Mind you, if the North were to be a separate Nation, Northerners would never elect someone of Buhari’s intellect and competence to head even a hamlet because they know he has nothing to offer. The only reason they support Buhari is because they care more about dominating others than they do about performance.
It is a cultural thing. It has a name: Feudalism.
And this is exactly why the North and the South can never coexist happily because the two regions have a world view and value system that contrasts sharply with each other. One wants to explore the world and her full potentials while the other simply wants to dominate everyone and force others to go back to the dark ages with her.
I understand that we are in a time when truth sounds like hate to those who hate it but it must be stated in an unmistakable term that the Northern part of Nigeria is a huge liability to the rest of the country. If the region fails to take immediate steps to address her issues, the North risks collapsing under the weight of her internal contradictions. And when it happens, it will drag the rest of the country along as we are already witnessing.
Southern leaders must start making preparations for the day-after-tomorrow because if a man cannot stop a bad rain from falling, wisdom demands he should at least take measures to protect himself from being beaten by the rain.
Ogbu is a socio-political analyst and good governance advocate. He tweets from @RealCharlesOgbu
‘Dear Igbo Governors, You Don’t Have Sense!’
By Baron Roy
The Yoruba governors eschewed party affiliations, personal pride and all. They sought the help of their intellectuals, sociocultural groups and technocrats and established the South West Regional Security outfit.
The Northern Establishment went mad with rage! They got the President of Northern Nigeria to summon them, threaten them and attempted to intimidate them. But the governors, with the backing of their people (and indeed Southern Nigerians) stuck to their guns, and told the Northern President to ‘go f@ck himself!’ We clapped and danced in delight!
And the Fulani Terrorist Herdsmen are on the backfoot in the Oduduwa Region now.
But what did the South Eastern governors do?
They ignored every single sociocultural group of South Eastern extraction, approached the Northern President like the regular neanderthals they are, and declared their support for his moronic security policies.
Whereas the Yoruba governors align with their citizens to ensure the security of lives and properties in the Oduduwa Region, the gubernatorial slaves of the South East threw their own people under the bus just to get a patting on the back from the Northern President!
Dear South Eastern governors, you don’t have sense! You’re very stupid!
Disclaimer: Opinion articles are solely the responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official standpoint of Oriental Times or any of its editors thereof.
Osun: The Storm Foreseen (1)
By Abiodun Komolafe
To a casual observer, the philosophy of maize signifies that the process of life is gradual. The first thing you see in maize, when it is growing, is the root, followed by the shoot, before the leaves eventually appear.
What this simply means is that, when Gboyega Oyetola came on board as governor of Osun State, he had three notable groups of Nigerians to contend with. The first comprised a cross-section of the people – the agitated, who were banking on the wholesale application of the ‘philosophy of what works’, to demand change ‘with immediate effect.’ To the second class of people, ‘life itself is gradual.’ Therefore, the governor should be given a chance to build development, because ‘destructive change can lead to the disruption of the social order.’ The third category is comprised of the anarchists and pessimists who, right from the first day, have been fortified with the notion that time moratorium is futile; ‘chance or no chance, nothing good can come out of this government.’ In the eye of the objective observer, therefore, how has Osun fared in the last one year, in the context of the hypotheses above?
Well, for those who want ‘immediate change’, it is a lose-lose situation, because, effectively, nothing so spectacular has really changed, except, of course, that civil servants are now paid as and when due, which, in practical terms, is one of the cardinal duties of any responsible government. Talking to facts, policies of government must work; and must be seen to be working. Therefore, the issue at stake is beyond policy formulation because no insight is so far gained or meaningful benefits achieved from the application of sophistry or brand manipulation of government policies.
The most unfortunate thing about the second class of people is that, from the look of things, this set of people will also have to wait, possibly, till ‘Thy kingdom come’ before they begin to see some meaningful development. And the reason is simple: it takes leadership, good vision, foresight, accommodation, resilience and good politics to achieve development in any given society. For Osun, the sad narrative is not about the dearth of competent hands or attributes of leadership. It is, most unfortunately, about a palpable lack of cohesion in the policy machinery of the state. For instance, the newly-appointed commissioners, in spite of an elaborate retreat organized for them at the inception of their cabinet responsibilities, still work as if they are alone, striving individually, rather than as a team, to ‘please Mr. Governor.’
For the third category of people, history over the time, has shown that, unless something concrete and tangible happens to mitigate their agitations, they are likely to win the day! It is therefore for the government of the day to prove them wrong!
Far from waxing lyrical, the troubles with the current administration in Osun are many, some of which may not have been initiated or caused by the incumbent occupier of Bola Ige House. Nonetheless, failure to address these thorny issues with tact – and holistically too – may spell doom for both the ruling party and the sitting government. To put it mildly, one of its shortcomings is that there are too many neophytes, who call themselves politicians, currently in government. When you have cabinet members who do not enjoy robust political patronage amongst the indigenous people; or, widespread legitimate acceptability; or, whose acceptability profile is defective, such a government will be unstable, lacking genuine respect of the use of state’s unquestionable authority! And, that is dangerous for a transformational democracy like ours!
Well, it is possible to carelessly tag the agitations of the ‘old-guard politicians’ as being inconsequential, but they sure know what it means to lose political capital and commanding influence; more importantly, how to gain back any ‘lost’ political goodwill, more than the greenhorns. The general feeling out there is that the old politicians are no longer relevant and some identifiable groups of people within the ruling party, who sincerely worked for its victory in the last governorship election, are currently left in the cold.
The orthodox market women, aka Iyalojas, are no longer dancing while the usual handshake between the street and the Seat of Government has become a thing of the past. The ‘State Boys’ are reportedly trapped in the nightmares of their neglect while erstwhile conversations between the clerics and their long prayers for the state no longer find accommodation in the government’s scheme of things. The political hangers-on are hungry and are ready to write the prescriptions, even, administer the dosage for an ‘Us vs. Us’ implosion in obedience to the intensity of their resentment. Strangely, too, the opposition, though still licking its wounds, is busy strategizing how to capitalize on the alleged political naivety of the government. To a vast majority of these aggrieved blocs, the unbearable realities are showing on their faces and this may have negative effects on the very foundation of governance in the state if either of two things is not opted for.
The first is to accommodate the old structures with tact and caution and learn how to manage them, especially, taking into consideration the place of August 9, 2014 in Nigeria’s rich political history. As a remarkable Nigerian and an accomplished politician, a time like this presents a tempting opportunity for Oyetola to reach out to the useful ones among existing structures, buy them over and make them work for him. After all, politics is about the people; and policy without the people is a nullity! Interestingly, too, winning elections and governance have obviously moved away from party issues. I will return to that later!
In the alternative, the administration may need to talk to the Service Chiefs and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to give state heads of security agencies needed directives and incentives to do the bidding of the governor wholesale. Of course, this may be more costly and unhealthy, especially, in a country buffeted on all sides with problems of insecurity, economic underdevelopment and over-politicization of all sociopolitical issues.
Yes! The political power and influence of the sum total of the diverse politically aggrieved groups of people in Osun may not be able to successfully challenge the state. Nonetheless, the dark side of politics is that, collectively, they stand formidable; and could probably slow the pace of development, or, altogether, render the state impotent. Also, the rightness or otherwise of the structure and relevance of what the active actors do will depend, largely, on who is doing the appraisal or attempting a definition.
May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, grant us peace in Osun State!
(To be continued.)
~ KOMOLAFE writes in from Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State, Nigeria. He can be reached via email: email@example.com