Arms Dealers, Herdsmen And Graveyard Of The Innocents
Nigeria News takes a look at the politics of the killings between herdsmen and farmers.
The killings in Nigeria has become a tit for tat affairs. I have read how herdsmen had killed farmers and vice versa.
In Plateau, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Taraba, Oyo, Ondo, Ekiti, Edo and lately Benue states, farmers had killed herdsmen and vice versa.
However, each time there was an attack and of course death, the narration had always taken a different perspective. It is either Nigerians view it from an ethnic or religious standpoint.
The common questions are; where has the president come from? What language does he speak; what is his religion? These are the questions that will dominate the social media space.
The media reports centre on the numbers of deaths and how many Muslim and Christians were killed; how many Yoruba and Igbo were victims? Which tribe has killed another and why has the government failed to act now?
I have asked myself, which weapons are the warring factions using to take off lives of a multitude in a jiffy? It is gun.
A less sophisticated AK 47 rifle costs about $1, 200, which is about N500, 000. A herdsman must be ready to sell about 5 cows to get one AK 47 rifle.
I am very sure that only a few herdsmen can part with 5 cows to buy a gun. But instead of the stick that they carried around in the past, most herdsmen now carry AK47 rifles, which of course were not bought by them.
According to findings, there are political elites and money men in the society who do the business of cattle breeding. They buy high numbers of cattle, hire herdsmen, put it in their care to rear for profit making.
They go to the extent of buying guns for the herdsmen to protect themselves in case of an attack while roaming in the bush to graze the cows. As a matter of fact, many Nigerian politicians and businessmen are into cattle business and they are also gun dealers.
The political elites keep their children far away from where the bullets can hit them. They enrol their children in foreign schools while those who provide the cow milk and skin are being hacked down by the day in the bush and villages across the country by locals whose crops are being destroyed on a daily basis.
The farmers also carry guns and one begins to question how and who provide sophisticated weapons for these group of poor Nigerians to kill themselves. The peasants and herdsmen live in the rural areas but with highly sophisticated weapons that are not common in the cities.
And when death happens, the opposition party would not address issues over the proliferation of guns but capitalize on the death of the innocents. They used the mourning time to curse the government. The graveyards of the innocent farmers and herdsmen easily become the campaign ground for politicians.
The bereaved families cry profusely at the graveyard, the gunrunners jubilate as they expand their market while the politicians shout ethnicity, tribalism, religions to seek relevance for the next election.
This is the time, Nigeria needs leadership that will address the proliferation of guns; provide security for Nigerians irrespective of their religions and ethnic biases. Politicians are now calling for restructuring as if the system will stop gun runners from doing the business.
They speak hate speeches, create a new winning idea on the grave of the innocent victims whose faces and names were not known but their numbers mentioned in the death toll.