Tuesday, August 9, 2022
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Cattle breeders and marauding terrorists

When will this mindless bloodletting stop? When will the mindless expansionist dreamers end their foolish dreams? When will the curse of the Berlin Conference of 1884/85 leave Africans to live their lives? When will the negligible minority who has cornered power and position realise the emptiness of this transient life and allow fellow human beings to spend their brief days on planet Earth in peace? When will mankind submit itself to reasoning and reasonableness?

The recurrent disturbing news broke again that the innocent farmers struggling to get mere subsistence living were hacked down in Benue State. And the perennial culprits were alleged to be those who felt that human lives are inferior to cows’ lives and people must choose between surrendering their ancestral lands either to cows or brutish death.

When will this end? When? When will the programmed killings going on now in Southern Kaduna stop?

We must begin to make the distinction between cattle breeders and terrorists if we are ever going to be able to get to the bottom of these recurring horrendous killings in our land. And we must once and for all debunk the ruse that all the killings, arsons, butchering and kidnapping-for-ransom have anything to do with religion.

Cattle-breeding is a harmless business practised all over the world. Cattle-breeding has nothing to do with bows and arrows, AK-47 guns and Bazookas! Cattle-breeding like any other private occupation has nothing to do directly with any government anywhere in the world beyond the normal general regulatory guidance given to businesses. There are cattle herders who look after cows at the ranches.

General Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd), a former military head of state is a cattle breeder. I have visited his expansive farm in Minna, Niger State. His well-fed cows do not roam the streets of Minna and they do not trample on other peoples’ property or destroy other peoples’ means of livelihood. I understand General David Mark; a former Senate President is a big cattle farmer. And of course, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) has perpetually maintained 200 heads of cattle in his ranch in Daura. My late grand Uncle, El-Hadj Yusuff Ogunjobi, alias Ankuri Magani, a great cattle breeder in Ijebu,Ogun State, kept several heads of cattle in a large enclosure. That was as far back as the 1930s. I too was a cattle herder; herding cattle from Ibadan to Ijebu in the mid 1950s.

Those we see on the roads traversing hundreds of kilometres with cows in front of them are not cow breeders. The majority of them do not own a single cow. And those who carry lethal weapons and invade and destroy other people’s farms are merely using cattle grazing as cover for ulterior and sinister motives.

Those who are hell-bent on changing the demography of Nigeria are the ones sponsoring, financing and arming to-the-teeth foot soldiers to clear the way for the eventual actualisation of their expansionist and territorial occupation agenda.

All sorts of ploys have continued to be experimented with in the bid to actualize the expansionist and demographic changing Agenda. Archaic grazing routes, establishment of cow farms by soldiers in their local communities, water-ways Bill, RUGA and other self-serving schemes have been touted by latter-day expansionists and modern-day local and imported imperialists.

If those who want to do cattle breeding business are sincere and genuine, they should have bought the Fodder Technology which this writer, after a visit to Spain, introduced to many governors in the so-called Cattle Breeding zone in 1984. With Fodder, a technology first introduced to the country by Dr Godwin Bakare in 1982, cattle breeders could conveniently create ranches in the driest portions of Sahel.

These killers had spread their ruinous escapades to virtually the length and breadth of the Nigerian space. Farmers in Taraba State and those in that axis stretching downwards to the former eastern region of the country have seen and experienced hell fire in the hands of these butchers. The situation in the North-West geopolitical zone is even worse. Hundreds of thousands in Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi and stretching South to North of Yoruba country have been daily subjected to horrendous assaults including killings, pillaging of farmlands, sacking of huts, hamlets and villages, raping and kidnapping with glee.

We must be frank with ourselves and Nigerians who got themselves yoked into a whimsical, un-negotiated, unilateral and invidious marriage should stop being made fools by those who assume that they alone are masters of political deceit and chicanery.

We have terrorists from all over North and West Africa.

At this juncture, what is paramount is to ensure that all these bloodletting and silly ambition at domination are discouraged and stopped. All the foot soldiers planted in forests, bushes and huts in the ancestral lands of the Tiv, the Biroms, the Ijaw, the Igbo, the Yoruba, the Ibibio, the Efik and Muri emirate and scattered all over Katsina, Kebbi, Zamfara etc should be disarmed.

It is no longer possible in this world for any group of people to think they can overrun any other group and take over their ancestral lands without fierce resistance and severe consequences.

The reason why other multinational, multi-cultural, multi-religious, multi-linguistic nations live in relative harmony is that no one group in such nations dares attempt to dominate, displace or wipe out another group.

Nobody wants war. War does not solve or resolve any conflict. All wars end at the roundtable. Why not go to the roundtable today and save the peoples of Nigeria the horrendous horrors of war. Let nationalities that wish to continue to live in the contraption called Nigeria remain and those that want their separate sovereignty go their way.

  • Chief Adeniyi is a former Chairman/MD/Editor-in-Chief, Daily Times Conglomerate

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