As Nigeria trudges on the road, seeking peace relentlessly, some citizens have remained resolute in their wanton proclivity to see that the country does not succeed in this search. The actions of these Nigerians in our traditional, religious and political landscape show that they enjoy seeing Nigeria enmeshed in the cesspool of anarchy.
Since these nefarious few enjoy seeing Nigerians take up arms against one another, they are also doing everything to ensure that she remains split along religious and ethnic divides. Their moves may not be audaciously conspicuous, but they are clandestinely sneaky.
They use ethnic and religious schemes to keep unsuspecting Nigerians blindfolded to their plans and ploy to entrench disunity. No two Nigerians deploy these mechanisms so well than Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State and Gani Adams of the Odua People’s Congress.
Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State
Bauchi State governor, Bala Mohammed, has lately been at the center of fueling ethnic tension in the polity. His actions speak and stoke violence. This is someone that would readily give credence to marauding herdsmen carrying AK-47 even when the Nigerian Firearm Act (1990) clearly stipulates that no person or groups should be in possession of firearms except by authorization or due license. This act is meant to check the proliferation of arms and ammunition across the country.
Bala Mohammed sets the road for complete anarchy, fueling the notion that the Nigerian government has failed in its duty to secure lives and property and so everyone should be at liberty to go the extra miles to defend themselves; even if it means taking up arms against one another.
The Governor was reported as saying that Fulani herdsmen who have been indicted in criminal activities across the country have no option but to carry arms because of the insecurity they are confronted with, in the course of herding their cattle through various forests in Nigeria.
He added that the forests in Nigeria belong to everybody and not to a particular state or tribe, in an obvious reference to the order given by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to herders to vacate Ondo forest reserves some weeks ago.
As a result of his unguarded utterances and intolerance, division and acrimony has gained ground on Nigerian soil. Or how could Bala Mohammed not see the dangers of such careless outburst in a country like ours? This is coupled with the fact that such a statement has the capacity to be misconstrued to mean a support for the evils perpetrated by marauding herdsmen. By the time Bala Mohammed came out to do some damage control by insisting that he used AK-47 as a figure of speech, it was already too late. The time bomb had already ticked and it became the music for the violent dance that played out in Shasha, and other communities in regions where tensions had remained high.
Bala Mohammed’s conduct, from his recent comments, is bereft of ethics and decorum. His outburst with Governor Ortom of Bauchi State is an attestation to this. Apart from defending the rights of Fulani herdsmen to carry weapons, the governor openly condemned Samuel Ortom, his Benue State counterpart, and some governors in the Southern states over their handling of the farmers-herders conflict. The Bauchi State governor painted them as enemies of the Fulani race, and it is not surprising to see that what followed recently was Northern agro-traders’ unions cutting off food supplies to the South. The rhetoric was that “they are killing our people in the South”.
Understanding that it wasn’t possible that harm wouldn’t come his way having being painted as an ethnic profiler by Bala Mohammed, Ortom shouted on National TV that if anything happens to him, Mohammed should be held responsible. Although the two governors have reconciled and Bala Mohammed is now singing a new tune, it leaves one to ponder why the Bauchi governor went that far in the first place.
Gani Adams, leader of the Oduduwa People’s Congress, is one man that enjoys fanning the embers of war and it is not surprising given the glorification of thugs in Southern Nigerian politics. Prestigious Yoruba institutions and positions are now accrued to thugs whose spurts for violence know no measure. He started out by saying that the North will be resisted from Yoruba land. He went on to allege that, “The Fulani, in their conqueror agenda since 1818, has caused a lot of damage to the South-west. And it is clear that the South is their target; that is why anybody going against the Fulani herdsmen automatically becomes their enemy.”
He joined forces with Sunday Igboho whose actions generated the violence that erupted at Ibarapa, Oyo State. The Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland lent his voice in full support of the cause of Sunday Igboho. He declared that he was strongly behind Igboho because he is fighting a good cause.
The Yoruba leader said the famous Igangan native is only speaking the minds of the people. He noted early in February that the Fulani herdsmen have the backing of President Buhari which is why they have the temerity to keep instigating crisis in Yoruba land.
In addition, in 2019 Gani Adams had said the Yoruba ethnic nationality will react to the killing of the daughter of a senior leader of the Afenifere. It said the group should not be blamed when that happens. Police said she was attacked by kidnappers, but the influential Yoruba sociopolitical group insisted that she was killed by Fulani herders.
Apart from the above, Gani Adams recently joined forces with Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Sunday Igboho, and the Oduduwa People’s Congress under the leadership of Prince Segun Osinbote to launch a campaign against cows; which is a covert statement directed at the North.
The campaign, which is tagged ‘Anything But Cow Day’, would be launched on Friday, March 5, 2021, and is being held in response to the South’s boycott by Northern traders. The campaign, which is themed, ‘A one-day symbolic beef boycott towards terminating the cow pandemic- with the hastag End COWVID-21′ is expected to trend on Twitter with endcowpandemic.org’ and will be streamed live on Odua Peoples Communications YouTube channel.
These are nothing but actions intended to spread further division and throw the country into greater disunity.