Thursday, April 12, 2018

Drama as I was walked out of stakeholders’ meeting at Abuja By Dr Modestus Ezenwa

For asking what appears to the officials of the Federal Ministry of Education a hate-filled question, I was asked to leave the venue of the 19th Stakeholders Meeting on Unity Schools/Colleges. The order came in such an uncharitable, direct and malevolent manner! It matched the same venom that gave vent to it. I was not allowed to pick up my files and say a few words to colleagues. I must leave, and leave immediately within split seconds.
What did I say?
Priscilla Ihuoma, the spokesman of the Minister has just announced what appeared to me, the information that brought me to Abuja. I was waiting for this announcement. I got it. I predicted the minister. She played into my hands. I had waited for an opportunity to share my thoughts on my hatred, opposition and stance against Unity Schools and the injustice in Nigerian education system. I missed the opportunity in 2016 and 2017 to present my views. Then, the meeting was a hushed one. This time around, we were told the meeting would drag to two days. And stakeholders who have views could easily share them as the Minister would entertain such.

Mrs Ihuoma, the announced the breakdown of the registrations for the 2018 Common Entrance Examinations. A total of 71, 294 young boys and girls were registered for the examination, a little shortfall from the 81,930 that registered in 2017. Lagos State hit the top with 24,465, FCT came next with 7, 699. Of course you know why? Igbos in Lagos and FCT are included! Then, she murmured a well rehearsed statement: Zamfara 28, Kebbi 50, Taraba 95. These three states came first from behind.

She went ahead to tell us the obvious: that the nation has 104 unity schools; that most of these unity schools dont get up to their carrying capacity; A budget, running into billions of naira goes into their maintenance each year and that The Unity Schools take up to 45% of the budgetary allocation of the Ministry of Education.
I was bitter. I was overtly burning with rage and hate. I couldn’t wait for the question and answer session. I did all I could to get hold of the microphone and finally, I got to the aisle, looked directly to the raised table and heaved a sigh of relief. I glanced through my notes and let loose the canons:

Why do we have 12 Unity Schools in the East where more than 50% of candidates come from? Mr Minister, why are kids from Igboland not given admission to those Unity schools that don’t get up to their quota/carrying capacity? Honorable Minister, can you explain why A young girl from Imo state,seeking admission into any of the country’s 104 Federal Government Colleges (Unity Schools) must score 139 points out of a possible 300 to stand a chance of being taken. But her counterpart from Zamfara state only needs to guess two answers right?.Why does the young boy from Abia be denied admission even when he scores 198 while his counterpart from Gombe who merely wrote the examination ( but scored zero) is allowed to study in any unity school of his choice? Why do we have only 2 Igbo principals in the 105 Unity schools in Nigeria? Does this reflect intellectual preparedness or merely a reflection of the wishes of the leadership of the nation and that of the ministry? Why must the federal government set up a well funded advocacy team to persuade villagers, traditional rulers in North and clergy to encourage their citizens to send their wards to unity colleges while efforts are not made to accommodate thousands of kids from the East who are denied admission yearly. Our Minister, I hope you are aware that Last year, Nigeria’s four Federal Government Colleges did not produce a single candidate that scored five credits that included English and Mathematics, needed to gain admission into the university.
Hon Minister, i hope you are aware that, Federal Government Girls’ College, Bajoga (Gombe State); FGGC, Bauchi (Bauchi State); FGGC Gboko (Benue State), and the Federal Science and Technical College, Kafanchan (in Kaduna State) did not produce a single pupil with credits in English and Mathematics.
Honorable minister, I hope you are aware that In 2013, human rights lawyer and former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, filed a suit at a Federal High Court in Lagos over admission inequality in Federal Government Colleges. The court declared as unconstitutional, the decades-long state-based, quota system admission into federal government colleges. John Tsoho, the trial Judge, in his ruling declared that the action of the Minister of Education in prescribing and applying different requirements for candidates seeking admission into unity schools is in violation of Section 42(1) of the 1999 Constitution. If this is the case, and definitely that is the case, Why, does the Minstry of Education under you refuse to adher to the court ruling?
Why does, Zamfara State, with 28 candidates for the 2018 common entrance examination have three Unity Schools, while my state of Imo has only two!!! Why do we have three Unity schools in Taraba ( that has only 95 students this year) while Enugu State has only two. Hon. Minister, I can go on and on to…

It was at this point that heavens was let loose. Stop there!!! Voices form the elevated table raged. It was amidst claps and jeers, heckles and clear disapproval from those whose benefits have been threatened; acclamation from those whose grievances have been let loose, that i was ordered and whisked away from the ICC, venue of the stakeholders meeting. No harm befell on me. I retired to my hotel room, got enough rest and made a Lagos-bound journey. I am sure, the organizers wouldn’t invite me to subsequent meetings. But who cares?
From Dr. Modestus Ezenwa.


Thursday, April 5, 2018



The Yoruba Council of Elders is right that Nigeria’s biggest security problems are concentrated in the North and these problems are draining the country’s resources. Are the Boko Haram terrorists not Northerners, mainly from the Northeast? Is religious violence not concentrated in the North? Are Muslim fanatics that attack Churches and loot Igbo shops in the name peaceful protests not Northerners? Are these mobs that extra-judicially lynch non-Muslims for alleged blasphemy not Northerners? Do Yoruba Muslims take the laws into their own hands by lynching others for alleged blasphemy? Don’t the Southwest have Muslims? Why are they not behaving violently in the name of religion? Why is religious extremism and violence concentrated in the North? Are the violent Fulani bandits not Northerners? If you argue that the violent herdsmen are foreigners, then why are foreigners claiming right to grazing land in Benue State by violent means, which led to introduction of anti grazing laws? Are the notorious ethnic militias that murder children and pregnant women not Northerners?
While the Niger Delta leaders have always played active roles in the achievement of peace by talking their youths out of violence, why have the Borno Elders, the ACF, the Northern Elders Forum and others failed to play any effective role in ending the violence that engulfs the North? These Northern groups are more active in terms of calling for the return of political power to the North and retaining power than in ending the violence for which the region become notorious.
In May 2014, when former President Jonathan offered amnesty to the Boko Haram terrorists, what efforts did these Northern leaders make to give the initiative a fillip? Virtually nothing. Instead, they were accusing Jonathan of being behind Boko Haram to “depopulate” the North for the so-called political advantage.
When the late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua offered amnesty to the Niger Delta militants, the leaders of oil producing region had proved their relevance and influence by persuading their youths out the violent agitations. Not only that, they also persuaded their boys to lay down their arms and they did and peace returned to the region. Instead of giving Jonathan’s amnesty offer for Boko Haram a push, Northern leaders were living in denial about the reality of the terror group being a Northern problem, despite the fact that Kanuri boys dominate the membership of the gangs of mass murderers. In fact, some even ridiculously believed that it was a CAN agenda to destroy or eliminate Muslims, despite the fact that Boko Haram suicide bombers were targeting Churches almost every week or day. The so-called Borno Elders were busy playing politics with the issue while the monster was getting stronger and crueller.
The problem with us Northerners is that we don’t want to acknowledge the reality of the problem on our hands. We always look for excuses to comfort ourselves, from religious fundamentalism, violent extremism and the menace of the herdsmen. Instead taking a stand against these evil realities. If you say herdsmen are not Nigerians, why should foreigners claim a right to land in Benue State or anywhere else, and kill farmers that resist their encroachment? There are Fulanis in Mali, Chad, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Niger Republic and other parts of Africa. Why are not engaged in the massacre of the people in those places? If they are obeying the law elsewhere, why are they behaving with impunity in Nigeria?
We should not allow murderers to ruin our peace and peaceful coexistence because of ethnic, cultural, and linguistic affinity. Nobody will come from another place to solve these problems for us. It is our baby, we must deal with it, it is time for action. It is time Northerners spoke with one voice over these evils that have blighted the progress of Northern Nigeria, a region that ranks lowest on the ladder of the development index.

Friday, March 23, 2018



By Anayo M. Nwosu
It was about the second week of November 1907 when the town crier announced that the attention of the adult men and women of the entire Ọkpụnọ Otolo Nnewi community was required at Obi Ezechukwu; that some whitemen needed to address them and to also distribute some gifts to the members of the community.
It was an Orie market day hence many people were in attendance. The meeting conveners must have been advised not to fix the meeting on Nkwo or Eke market days. Nobody would have attended as Ọkpụnọ people didn't play with those two market days.
Reverend Moonlight was very courteous in his gait and was too condescending for a whiteman as he tried to shake the hands of all the titled men in attendance. He could tell the titled men by their red caps adorned with one feather or more depending on their ranks.
The whiteman's interpreter, a fellow Igbo man from Opobo, thrilled the audience with his eloquent interpretation of Rev Moonlight's speech. The natives wondered how long it took him to learn, interpret and speak the whiteman's tongue.
Rev. Moonlight started by telling his audience that he and his organisation were not part of the colonial government; that he came to introduce them to a superior being who created the world and who all human beings must worship. He told them how God sent his only son into the world to save mankind.
After ten minutes, the whiteman paused and asked his assistants to start the distribution of clothes, combs, mirrors, shoes and wrappers. They started from the titled men then to the women and the youths. The visitors ensured that majority of the people in attendance got one item or the other.
The gifts enlivened his audience especially those that got mirrors. For the first time, they could see themselves more clearly, much more than they ever saw themselves as a reflection from Ụbụ stream or from a pool of rain water. Also, the elderly who got wrappers tied them there and then as it was the height of the harmattan season.
When Rev. Moonlight recommenced his message, he had before him a happy audience but he chose the wrong topic.
He decided to tell his audience about 10 Commandments of his God.
All went well until he got to the 6th Commandment "Thou shalt not commit adultery.”
"You should not have sexual intercourse with any other woman besides your wife", the whiteman explained to the disapproval of the adult males present.
"Dunu Ụmụagbala, ị na anụkwọ ife nwoke anyarị a na-ekwugheri?" meaning "did you hear the nonsense oozing out of the mouth of that albino", Nzeribe Ámáoké asked his friend.
The 6th Commandment didn't factor in the age long practice of Iko or Agịlị in Igbo land whereby a married woman was expected to have a married male friend known as her Ọyị, Iko or Agịlị.
The female Ọyị or Agịlị had the right to visit her friend at his home without the man's wife raising any eyebrows.
However, male Ọyị, Iko or Agịlị were not encouraged to visit theirs in their husbands' houses. But, no man killed his wife for having a sexual relationship with her Ọyị or Iko.
But the husband must approve of his wife's choice of Ọyị, Iko or Agịlị even as some women might decide not to have any Agịlị or Ọyị expecially the proud, frigid or contented type. But, it was very rare to see a man without an iko or agịlị except "ndị ume ngwụ" or men who ordinarily couldn't do long distance races.

Whenever a man went to market to buy clothes for his wife, he wouldn't fail to buy some for his Agịlị.
The Ọyị, Agịlị or Iko system ensured that no woman became barren because of the inability of her husband to impregnate her. This was in line with Nnewi adage that "onye egbe ya nyụrụ ọkụ e nyere ya aka" meaning "someone would have to help another man whose gun has failed to discharge bullets".
At that time, no greetings or pleasantries was complete without asking a man about his "ezi na ụlọ". Ezi represents the man's Agịlị while Ụlọ represents his immediate household.
Therefore, the elderly men could read the mischief on the face of the Opobo man, the whiteman's interpreter as he kept on shouting "akwana iko ma ọbụ agịlị", "ayịna ọyị"! All meaning, "don't commit adultery"
The interpreter knew quite well that the happiness brought about by material gifts distributed by Rev. Moonlight would soon disappear with the criminality the 6th Commandment would bring to the people's long-term sweet cultural practice of Iko or Agịlị.
During the question and answer session, Dunu Amaoke had the last word, "Rev. Moonlight, I'm glad to hear you say that your God answers prayers. Please ask him and his son to modify the 6th Commandment for us to cover only the unauthorised access to a woman's honeypot without paying bride price or without the husband's consent which in our land is also a taboo. We call it "ije ohi ọtụ" and it is not tolerated.", he paused as he adjusted the feather on his cap.
"I so request because ọkwa mba na-achị na olu na olu", meaning that "because we are different tribes or races, we are bound to have different cultures and shout in different tones", Dunu Amaoke ended to a high sounding applause from all adults present.
By Anayo Nwosu

Thursday, March 15, 2018



You must have heard, seen or know someone that is a victim of the on going daily sad news across Nigeria. 
In case you haven't, let me run a brief lines: 

  • Over 1,000 houses burnt in Kaduna in a clash between Muslims and Christians, 
  • Boko Haram kidnapped 110 Dapchi schools girls, 
  • Fulani herdsmen kill hundreds in Benue, set houses and farms aflame, 
  • Fulani herdsmen set Olu Falae's farm ablaze in Ondo, 
  • Fulani herdsmen kill scores at Nasarawa, 
  • Fulani herdsmen kill hundreds and burnt down house in Plateau, 
  • Gov. EL-Rufai paid the Fulani herdsmen to stop killings in Kaduna, but the killing continued.
  • Militants threatens to bomb oil pipe lines in Niger Delta, Militants clash with Nigerian army. 

I can go on and on and on.
But, just pause a minute, reflect back to history and ask yourself, what was actually the Biafrian War all about? 
The Biafra war was all about Emeka Odimegwu Ojukwu drawing a map and saying all people of the old Eastern States, since you're being slaughtered like a fowl, come over to this land and be safe. Simple. 
But, Yakubu Gowon, Danjuma and the same people being slaughtered today refused. 

They abused the Igbo man and called us names. From Kaduna South, Jos Plateau, Benue to Nasarawa, men took up arms to force the Igbos back to Nigeria. 
One Nigeria we're, One Nigeria we remained.

Any true student of history will tell you that the nation has never been this divided. Even during the Nigerian Vs Biafra Civil War, you will discover that at a point, virtually all the other ethnic groups were united against the Igbo people.
So, it was a matter the Igbo verse the rest of Nigerians. This is unlike what is happening today, there's virtually division, identity crisis, ethnic division, extrem religious bigotism , cultural division along all the ethnic groups in Nigeria. Courtesy of Buhari, most of the people who use see themselves and belive that they're part and parcel of Northern Nigeria are feeling betrayed. They woke up in the middle of nowhere and they cannot explain what hit them. Nigeria today is a time bomb waiting to explode and another 4 years of Buhari leadership will set the nation on fire.
Before Buhari, the various ethnic groups in the north use to feel proud to be tagged and associated with northern Nigeria. But, since Buhari came to power, the level of killings going on in some part of Northern Nigeria has made most people from those areas to lose their sense of belonging.
The absolute absolute hegemony the Hausa/Fulani use to enjoy in the North. The One North philosophy has been rubbished.
The Nupes ethnic group located primarily in Kwara, Kogi who are the dominant group in Niger State, and in the Middle Belt who use to keep calm when they are counted as northern Nigeria, are feeling betrayed. They want a sperate identity from the Hausa-Fulani.
The Zaurus people in Kebbi State who are predominantly Christians, as a result of the persistent killings don't want to be associated with Hausas or Fulanis anymore.
The Igalas in Kogi state are not speared either, though they're in smaller numbers in Anambra, Edo, Enugu and Delta. And, they are predominantly Christians, they equally fought against biafria, but today feeling cheated and leftout, they don't want to be identified as Hausas or Fulanis
The Igbiras that found in Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa and Edo States who are predominantly Muslim, are equally being slaughtered by the Fulani herdsmen. They're equally now pushing for a strong case for the separation the Middle Belt from the north.
The Oculus people found in southern Kaduna are cursing their stars and regretting why they ever fought Biafra in favour of Nigeria. Over 50 years after, they are now sharing the biafrian ideology of demarcation of a safe land, where Fulanis cannot come and kill their people anyhow and take their lands.
The Alago and Idoma Nokwu people of Benue and Nasarawa States are in tears. Just few months ago their leaders were ridiculing Nnamdi Kanu and calling biafrian agitators jobless people. Today, courtesy of President's leadership that has brought about the worst insecurity in the history of the nation, they're are slaughtered like chicken. Their lands are being taken over by the Fulani herdsmen, being aided by the federal forces. They have joined the Biafrian ideology train. They want a nation of their own.
The Egom who are found in Nasarawa, Kaduna & Benue States, have seen fire. Destruction and killings is the thank you they got from the Hausa-Fulani people for their support. Given another chance, am sure they will not fight the war on Nigerian side.
The Bajjus in southern Kaduna who are predominately Christians are being slaughtered by the same Hausa-Fulani they supported. They too now share the Biafrian ideology. So also Kaninkon people who are found in southern Kaduna.
We take a trip to the Bassas who are found Plateau and some parts Kogi State, and ask them how far? How is their One Nigeria doing them for body?
One of the worst hit are the Tivs, Idomas and Igedes from Benue State. As the security agencies look the other way, Fulani herdsmen are killing them and taking over their lands. The doctrine of One Nigeria sounds like a nightmare to them now. While the Biafrian ideology has started to look ideal.
As we land in Taraba State, we will first of all pay a courtesy call to the palace of Gen. Theophilous Danjuma and and ask him, how market? This is because of what the Wurkums from Taraba has been going through in the hands of the Hausa-Fulani.
All also feeling betrayed and being slaugthered by the Fulani herdsmen are the Nupes, Babur, Margi, Kilba, Lunguda and Michiko people who are found in Borno  &Adamawa. The same faith is what is confronting Kare-Kare, Bole, Tangale and waja people from Yobe and Gombe.
Now, this systematic ethnic cleansing are being targeted at communities in the old North, who fought on the side of Nigeria only crime today is that they're northern Christians mostly, and that they're not cure Hausa-Fulani.  
Most northern leaders has noticed that the Buhari regime is deeply dividing the old north as they use to know it. They're aware that in time to come, in the not too distance future, this division will come to hurt the electoral power of the north. 
What the South is going through under Buhari is temporal, but, in time to come there is likely going to be a joining of forces by these ethnicities that are feeling betrayed in the north. They are going to reject Nigeria as it is presently constituated, they're already asking for a restructured Nigeria. 
It was the same thing Ojukwu asked for in Aburi and insisted on that they gathered to fight him that they're waking up over 50 years after to request. Now we are all Biafrian

You can call it restructuring or what may fancy you. The truth is that four more years of Buhari, and the herdsmen killings will get worst in their attempt to gain as much grounds and villages they can before Buhari leaves power. There's going to be so much tension in the land that the same people today who are rejecting restructuring will go on their knees begging for it, and it will be nowhere to be found. 
Now that we are all Biafrians why don't we come together and first  render an apology to the Igbo man. He was an oracle that saw tomorrow.
©Peter Agba Kalu

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, walking, standing, crowd and outdoor

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Fulani Herdsmen

Kenneth Okonkwo Makes Shocking Revelations About Fulani Herdsmen

All herdsmen are farmers (animal farmers) but not all farmers are herdsmen. The crop farmers consider the livestock farmers a worthy ally in the whole process of making food. The waste from the livestock provides a veritable source of manure for the crops. It is one of the best set of organic fertilisers. So good is it that the crop farmers even pay for it. The livestock farmers depend on the waste from the crop farmers for the feeding of their livestock. They buy grasses and unused crops, after harvest, from the crop farmers to feed their livestock. At times, the crop farmers even reach an agreement with the livestock farmers to allow them move through their farms during years of fallowing the land to allow the land to rest and be re-energised.
The movement of the herds through the land, during those periods enables the herds eat up the remnants of crops and grasses in the land while giving the lifestock opportunity to directly defecate on the land, thereby giving the land the desired manure and making the land richer and better prepared for greater yields when the crop farmers resume the cultivation of the land. Such was the symbiotic relationship that existed between the crop farmers and the herdsmen, whether local or foreign. This relationship ensured bumper harvests for the crop and livestock farmers those days and made food available for all at very cheap rates. Everybody benefited.
As expected, just as it happens in all other existing relationships of mankind, there is bound to be clashes between these set of farmers. Some herds (cows, sheep, even local goats) stray into lands with ripe or unripe but unharvested crops and eat them up without the authority of the farm owners. Some farm owners can harm some herds which make such unauthorised foray into their lands. But the beautiful thing those days was that the world of farmers had traditional ways of peacefully resolving those conflicts among them. They knew they needed each other, so they guarded their relationship jealously. No conflict was too big to be settled peacefully. No blood was ever lost or even contemplated to be lost as a method of resolving any crisis.
The Fulani Herdsmen and their lifeclass were particularly intriguing and fascinating. Apart from the Igbos, the Fulani Herdsmen were the most travelled of the other tribes. That’s why the Fulani Herdsmen and the host communities in those days were natural allies. Whereas the host communities dwelt in cities or rural areas, the Fulani Herdsmen dwelt in bushes; indeed they were the bush masters. So skillful were they in the management of their forest life that they earned the admiration of the host communities in Nigeria. They were simple, not greedy, in love with their cows, strong and untiring, not violent (in fact largely unarmed with only staves and knifes for domestic use),
As children, there were a lot of myths they told us about them that made us rush outside to watch them with admiration in Nsukka land, the Land of my nativity. We were told that they live in bushes. That they understand the languages of animals and the animals understand their languages. That snakes and other animals in the forest do not attack them because they have the juju that enable them morph into any animal specie and live peaceably with all animals. That when they are hungry, and have run out of food in the forest, they will morph into cows and eat grass before they morph back to human beings. To convince us on this myth, we will watch to our chagrin how a little boy of 5 years will be commanding cows with only a staff and the cows will be obeying him while whenever we get near to the cows they will send us running away with a mere sound. We will voluntarily offer them water to refresh themselves. We thought then that they owned the cows and marvelled on how rich they were yet how loving and caring they were to the cows that made them even sleep with them in the bush.
The Igbos were so thrilled with this lifeclass that they composed Igbo poems to show their admiration. Let me state one poem. “Anyi na aga ebe Anyi na aga, Anyi wee nepu anya n’iro, Anyi wee hu ka efi na aga, Anyi wee tie okokoko!!!, efi awusa, nine ebuka, efi Igbo, nine epeka”. Translated in English, it reads, “We are passing by and just looked around and saw cows passing and we screamed okokoko!!! Hausa cows are so huge and admirable, while Igbo cows are so small”. Anybody that understands the Igbos know that they don’t accept being second in most things. But when it comes to the issue of nomadic cattle rearing, they concede to the Fulanis. Such was the beauty of the relationship those days. The Fulani Herdsmen were regarded as the most peaceful partner to their host communities, their only red line being the protection of their cows. The question is what has gone wrong today?
Sometime in September 9, 2001, some group of 16 youngmen hijacked 4 US planes and in daring terrorist attacks brought down the twin world trade centres, damaged the Pentagon and attempted attacking the White House. The plane that was heading to attack the white house was crashed by the patriotic US citizens inside the plane who got information that the plane was heading towards the white house to destroy it. President George Bush called them terrorists. He refused to attach any ethnic and religious colouration to their action. This is inspite the fact that they belonged to one religion and were predominantly from one ethnic group. This strategy helped him to isolate the terrorists and enlist the support of the Arabs and moslems in America and abroad to the fight against terrorism. This was the birth of modern day terrorism. Those terrorists were part of Alqaeda based in Afghanistan, which had no government that controlled the whole country. In other words terrorists operate better and freer in places where there is anarchy or friendly dictatorship.
Who is a terrorist? The Dictionary defines him as a person who terrorizes or frightens others. It defines terror as violence or threat of violence used for intimidation or coercion. From this definition, we can see that the whole idea of terrorism is the quest for power and resources using the method of intimidation and coercion. That is why they invade cities, communities, kill, maim, destroy mercilessly so that the victims out of fear will surrender their power and resources to them. In order to achieve this, they need to first instigate anarchy. These terrorists use falsehood and the media to cause confusion and mutual suspicion among prior established peaceful relationships in order to cause infighting among the groups and forment anarchy which enables them to move in to take over power and the resources of both parties.
This modern version of terrorism became known and popularized in Nigeria around 2009, when a group emerged and proclaimed that western education is an abomination. They were nicknamed Boko Haram in line with their ideology. Initially, they unleashed unprecedented violence on their fellow moslems who subscribed to western education. They were roundly defeated with their leader killed because Nigeria rose up with one voice and attacked them. This was possible because they were given a name in line with their ideology devoid of any ethnicity or religion.
When the terrorists saw that they failed to instigate anarchy and were roundly defeated, they headed into the forest and took over the forest highways with their capital in Sambisa. The forest welcomed a new host and with their superior firearms and training, it was easy for them to overthrow the original bush masters, the Fulani Herdsmen. They became the new bush masters and their first victims were the Fulani Herdsmen and their herds. That was why they manifested first and foremost as cattle rustlers. They killed the herdsmen and stole their cattle to feed their fighters in the forest and sell the rest to enable them raise money to buy weapons.
From their forest hideouts, they started planning on how to instigate anarchy so they can take over territories. They tried inter-religious conflict, where they started killing Christians in churches and their homes. With this, they attracted the sympathy of some unwary religious fundamentalists who started assisting them to use them to settle religious sentiments. But Christians were prevailed upon not to retaliate. They were reminded that the terrorists started killing moslems first and that this is a ploy by the terrorists to destabilise the nation. The terrorists failed. They tried North and South divide, where they started attacking southerners in the North. They bombed southerners, particularly Igbos in Sabongari, Kano and other places. With this, they attracted the sympathy of some unwary ethnic jingoists who started assisting them to use them to settle ethnic scores. Again, the southerners were prevailed on not to react. They failed again in achieving anarchy but were getting stronger.
With their gradual increase in strength, they became a beautiful bride to some ruthless, rutherless politicians, who assist them with funds, just to use them cause anarchy in the country so that the ruling Party in power will be painted in bad light, which provides them with the tool to blackmail the government in power and convince the people to vote them out.
With this flow of resources to them from different channels for different purposes, they became emboldened to start occupying territories, launching suicide attacks throughout the whole of North including Abuja and its environs with its epicentre in the North East. They started forming cells in the Southern part of Nigeria including Lagos and Enugu. They were well trained in the act of Guerilla warfare and the forest became their natural abode. Before the government then in power understood what was going on, it was quite late. The crises formed part of the reasons why it was voted out
The regime of President Buhari came in with a promise to wipe them out. The regime dislodged the terrorists even in Sambisa. Having been dislodged, the terrorists took over the forest highways and started restrategising. They met with the Fulani Herdsmen in the bushes and dislodged them. They became the new bushmasters. As they move towards South, through the forest highways, they change in character and strategy to achieve their objectives of terrorism. They identified traditional trouble hot spots in the country and moved towards such places to operate. Such places like Plateau, Southern Kaduna, Benue, become easy targets as there has been traditional mutual suspicion among the communities and their Fulani neighbours.
In such cities, they manifest as saviours to the herdsmen against the purported onslaught of the communities. They start the manipulation of the parties by rustling the cattle of the herdsmen and convincing the herdsmen that this is the handwork of the host communities and they are willing to help. The unsuspecting herdsmen will in turn provide intelligence for them and even encourage their young children to assist them in the process. They use the ploy to indoctrinate the younger herdsmen and coopt them into their terrorist gang. When they have perfected their plans, they will unleash a coordinated, unprovoked, guerilla-warfare-class attacks on the host communities, raping and killing women and children, slaughtering the men, stealing everything they can steal. The host communities will wake up to their consternation to see the level of destruction on their communities. Of course, their first suspects will be the Fulani Herdsmen. Unknown to them, it is the work of the terrorists. They will revenge by killing the innocent, defenceless herdsmen and their cows thereby confirming to the herdsmen that they need the services of the terrorists for protection. The cycle of violence continues until there is complete breakdown of law and order, while the terrorists continue with their evil agenda.
When they reach the more elitist states in the south, they simply mix up with the traditional criminal elements, militants and cultists and launch kidnapping and armed robbery operations to loot the resources of the people. They provide the criminals with sophisticated weapons. Both of them use the forest highways. That’s why whether you call them badoo cult in Lagos or kidnappers and armed robbers in the South Eastern or South South States of Nigeria, the forest has become their meeting point.
To buttress this point, the Plateau State Commissioner of Police, Undie Adie, “paraded two suspected herdsmen for allegedly killing a seven-year-old, Muhammad Ibrahim, and stealing 15 cows and 14 sheep entrusted in his custody by his uncle, Ibrahim Haruna, at Agigi village in Bassa Local Government Area of the state… Adie said the suspects have made confessional statements on how they connived with some herdsmen to rustle the cows, sheep and kill the boy. The suspects are Bala and Salish while some of the suspects are still at large” (PLEASE SEE PAGE 5, DAILY SUN, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2018).
If this incident had happened in Tivland, Benue, the first impression, without investigation, will be that this was done by the host community. This will lead to the true herdsmen seeking for help from the same terrorists to avenge them of their losses. The terrorists will invade the community killing innocent citizens, burning their houses, properties and looting the remainder. The host community in return will raise alarm that the herdsmen have attacked them and start organising armed militia to attack back. They will now attack the innocent Fulani Herdsmen and the vicious cycle continues, while the terrorists and local criminal elements smile home with their loots.
We have to rise up together as a strong and united country to face this menace, by recognising first and foremost that we are not up against any ethnic or religious group or profession but against a brutal terrorist guerrilla warfare which has combined with some criminal elements to unleash ferocious attacks on all of us whether Christians or Moslems, Tivs, Igbos, Yorubas, Hausas or Fulanis using the forest highways as their natural habitat. They are almost succeeding in creating anarchy among the different communities that have hitherto lived peacefully.
It is in this regard that the use of the name “Fulani Herdsmen” is not helpful in this war against the terrorists as this nomenclature provides a comfortable cover for the terrorists to operate without hindrance. If you address them as Fulani Herdsmen then you cannot deny the Fulanis the right to claim it is a communal clash because everybody agrees that before the advent of the modern version of terrorism, the Fulani Herdsmen have been living peacefully with their host communities. It then implies that after the arrival of this brand of terrorism on our shores, there is a need to appraise our strategies and recommend new solutions.
The immediate solution to this scourge is ranching. Let us recognise that no great army can do anything against an idea whose time has come. Nomadic cattle rearing involves trekking from one place to another in search of greener pastures. This method suits the ancient world, where forests were in abundance and boundaries not clearly delineated among nations. Farming was the main occupation of the people then and modern nations/countries with sophisticated major cities were not born. People were morally upright and terrorism was not on the card.
Today, the case is different. Modern cities have emerged. There is hardly any ancient grazing route from North to South of Nigeria that did not cross a major city. Even if there is no terrorism, nomadic grazing would still come to an end one day because the idea of allowing herds to pass through cities, defecating on the road and on public facilities, posing traffic, hygienic and other health challenges, is incompatible with the tenets of a modern state. The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja once expressed displeasure on the movement of cattle across the roads of the FCT with the attendant consequences. One cannot imagine passing through the streets of London, Paris, Washington and stumble into herds of cattle competing with human beings for right of way in those cities and defecating along the streets, waterways and other infrastructures. So ranching in the first instance is a consequence of a modernized society hoping to make their cities clean and attractive for investment and tourism for the outside world.
The need to educate the children of these nomads in this world infested with terrorism has become very urgent and immediate. We know for a fact that terrorists recruit more easily persons who are poor and not lettered. The Fulanis should be more concerned in this regard because these nomadic children who are being recruited now along the forest highways by these terrorists will come back one day to haunt the Fulani nation. Hear the words of an elderly Fulani Herdsman Community Leader on the current crisis between the “Fulani Herdsmen” and their host communities in Ayamelum, Anambra State. He lamented, “The new generation of Fulani Herdsmen are not as civilized and tamed as the ones that came in previous years. We the leaders cannot talk them out of killings without being killed ourselves. The influence of illicit drugs has changed the dynamics. During our time when we first arrived Ayamelum, we enjoyed cordial relationship with the natives, now it is different.” Quartering these children in ranches will assist in their education as all the previous arrangements to educate them, including nomadic education, failed in the past.
Also, ranching will deny the terrorists the cover they operate under. When the herdsmen embrace ranching, whoever is found in the bush wielding AK 47, by whatever guise or name, launching attacks on communities will be treated as a terrorist without hesitation and taken out.
Ranching will increase the nutritional value of our herds and improve the health of the herdsmen. It has been proven that the excess trekking of our herds and the herdsmen under our harsh climate, especially in this era of climate change, impacts negatively on the nutritional value of our herds and life expectancy of the herdsmen. Only the skin of the animals is the most cherished product as the hide from their skin is reputed to be the strongest due to the toughening by the sun.
The lives of the herdsmen themselves are better preserved and secured by ranching. In this era of mutual hostility between the herdsmen and their host communities, no amount of security can protect the lives of the herdsmen who trek into the forests mostly individually or by families with their herds against the anger of a rampaging host community reeling under the pains of a terrorist attack by men they mistake or suspect to be fulani herdsmen. The Fulanis should consider the danger imposed on these innocent herdsmen who are in the bushes, oblivious of the animosity against them, during the regime of a non Fulani in Nigeria.
The armed forces of Nigeria is necessary to any solution envisaged to handle the conflict. This is not a mere police action. The terrorists are well trained in the act of guerilla warfare and deception. We hear about ambushes, invasions, raids and so on. Indeed the Chief Press Secretary to the Benue State Governor, Terver Akase, said that between 2012 – 2017, Benue State has been invaded 50 times. Invasion is an act of entering as an enemy, especially by an army. These are well articulated, sophisticated, military-class attacks by well armed and trained persons. The only persons known to have gone through this training are the terrorists, cultists, militants, who have engaged our armed forces in a war and battles before and occupied some territories in Nigeria, particularly the North East and are now scattered all over our forests.
In order to ensure their optimum performance, our armed forces have to be adequately funded and equipped for their welfare and warfare. Modern fighting equipment have to be acquired for them. Constant training has to be organised for them to enable them keep abreast with the specialized skills needed to take out the terrorists and smoke them out from their forest hideouts.
The need for adequate funds has become more urgent when one realises that necessary intelligence is needed to trace these terrorists and differentiate them from the peaceful Fulani Herdsmen whose interest lies in the safety of their herds and their access to grazing land. Genuine intelligence is costly and risky.
We have to boost the morale of our officers and men by ensuring that any of them that are wounded are given adequate treatment and the fallen ones given heroic burials with their families adequately compensated and catered for. The retired ones rehabilitated and retrained to adapt to their new civilian lives.
We must not allow some purported civil rights activists or professional politicians continue their media and verbal onslaught on our men in uniform when they perform creditably to overthrow the terrorist forces. When General Ifejirika was the Chief of Army Staff, the terrorists could not occupy any territory. He was accused of genocide and threatened with an action at the international criminal court. This demoralised the Army so much that when his successor stepped in, Nigeria lost territories in droves to the terrorists. We must continue to praise the gallant sacrifices of our men in uniform and assure them of their protection when they act within the law as they continue to guarantee our security and welfare by restoring peace in all the troubled areas of Nigeria.



Il massaggio Shiatsu che si effettua tramite la pressione delle dita, dei palmi delle mani e dei piedi e dei gomiti su tutto il corpo, agisce sui punti energetici considerati dall'agopuntura. Stimola la circolazione sanguigna ed il flusso linfatico, agisce sul sistema nervoso allentando la tensione muscolare più profonda, rimuove le tossine dei tessuti, risveglia il sistema ormonale e sollecita la capacità di autoguarigione del corpo.


Live Traffic Feed