THE DRUMS OF WAR AND OUR ‘DEAF’ PRESIDENT

Way back in 1984, there was an “Andrew” who was so disgusted with the happenings in Nigeria that he decided to “check out of the country”. In the same vein, there was somebody called Wole Soyinka who equally left the country because he was “tired of dialogue with the deaf”.

At that time, things were so difficult that only the iron willed, the thick skinned, and those with no option, were still left in the country. That was when some of our journalist colleagues began to make mental trips to Afghanistan, “Afghanistanism”, to chronicle events in that far away country, while closing their eyes to events in their own country, to avoid the wrath of “Decree No. 4”.

While all those things were happening, our man in khaki simply closed his ears and refused to listen. Shortly thereafter, there was martial music, followed by “I General…”. The rest is now history.

Today, all over the country, the drums of war are sounding. The North and the South are practically divided, sounding discordant tunes. Those who know how to dance the war drums are in the field, trying to perfect their dancing steps, itching for battle. They want war now, now.

But some of us who are chicken-hearted, who are weak-willed, who are pacifists, are panicking, pleading for restraint. We have seen or heard enough of the horrors of war and we pray that such would never happen again in our life time.

Read part of a press statement credited to a group known as Fulani Nationality Movement (FUNAM), which was signed by one Badu Salisu Ahmedu, National President, and Umar Amir Shehu:

“Our attention has been drawn to the series of campaigns being waged against the FULANI NATIONALITY following the killings in PLATEAU where some civilians who have been tormenting the FULANI nation…

“The killings in Barkin Ladi was motivated by previous killings of FULANI men and women by Birom youths in collaboration with certain minority ethnic groups in PLATEAU. We hereby justify this retaliatory attacks and warn that we shall continue to defend ourselves and uphold the FULANI heritage now and in the future. Let it be known that the Fulani Special Force coordinated the attacks;

“For the avoidance of doubt, our heritage is that ANY ATTACK ON A SINGLE FULANI IS AN ATTACK ON ALL. ANY OF SUCH ATTACKS MUST BE COUNTERED WITH…

“There is a clear agenda to divide Nigeria and exterminate the FULANI people. We are long aware of this plot. We call on FULANI all over Africa to prepare for this inevitable war and set our people on an offensive path rather than being weaklings that choose a defensive strategy in warfare.

“We have said it over and over, that Nigeria is the only inheritance we have in Africa and anywhere in the world. This land belongs to us, from Sokoto to the banks of the Atlantic Ocean. This was the destiny bestowed on Uthman Dan Fodio which would have been fulfilled since 1816 if not for the obstruction of this great assignment by the British.

“It is no longer time to play the ostrich. Our men are waiting. We are eager to fight. We are boiling with the zeal to actualize our dream; enough of double dealing and ambivalence by FULANI political leaders who unfortunately think the FULANI can only take back what belongs to us through appeasement and elections destined to reflect cultural values antithetical to the preachings of Uthman Dan Fodio.

“We warn that nothing will be able to save those raising their voices against us and Allah. Nothing will be left behind, from the East, West and Middle Belt except those who accept the creation of Allah and the leadership place of Fulani in fulfilling this destiny.

“Since this irresponsible Western notion of democracy was imposed, the Fulani have been shortchanged and maligned. The Middle-Belt, the West and the East should be prepared. We are already here…

“Insha Allah, we shall take this battle across the sea, on the land, in the air, on the mountains, in every territory currently occupied by the Kafirs. This is our position. This is our destiny. For those who think they can stop or continue to conspire against us, we wish them good luck”.

But our President did not read this press statements. He did not hear about it. He closed his ears to it. He did not ask for arrest of the authors of that seditious statement.

The other day, another group, the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), in a statement signed by one Abdul-Aziz Suleiman, said they would hold Buhari responsible if anything happened to any herdsman in the South. He then called on Fulani herdsmen to begin to move freely in the South, maiming, killing and destroying farmlands and people’s property. But our President did not hear about it.

On his part, foremost Niger Delta militant leader, Asari Dokubo, in a statement in Port Harcourt, said: “We, the people of the Niger Delta today, resolved to be part and parcel of the actualization the United States of Biafra.

“What has brought us here today is the dark cloud that is gathering. In 1967, we did not ask for war, war was imposed on us and millions of our people were killed. Our properties were destroyed and so many people until today are carrying the scars of that imposed war.

“Our people have not gone to Kano, Kebbi, Sokoto, Borno to ask that land be forcefully given to us or that our resources should be used to give us properties in the north.

“But northern organizations and northern individuals have come up to say we must surrender our land to them to create colonies on our land. Are you going to allow that?

“We will not surrender one grain of sand of our sacred land to anybody. We will stand on our land and wait for you to come and carry out your threat and inshallah by the grace of God we will defeat you.

“We have heard that you have called your people to come back home. They should all go, we will assist them to leave (because) this is what we have been looking for all along.

“We call on our people, Igbo, Ibibio, Ikwerre, Ijaw return back home. If anything happens to you and these coward spines on you, you would have yourself to blame. We would not continue to risk our integrity and our pride because of you, return home now.

“We extend a hand of fellowship to our brothers in the middle belt who are suffering the same pain and deprivation as we do. We are with you in your hours of grief and pain and we will stand with you to the end”.

These are drums of war, and our President is not hearing them. He has closed his ears to them. We sincerely plead that he opens his ears to these war drums and rise up to the challenge before it is too late.

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