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Bloodbath: Danger Signs For Common Humanity

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We live in abnormal times that have thrown our days under the shadow of death. Not only are we submerged in internecine conflicts of such monumental proportions among warring groups seeking supremacy in our nation, these groups that have turned into enemies of our humanity, are threatening our existential prospects. As Nigerians, we live on the throes of extinction and before our eyes, we are experiencing the worst of times.  Nigerians’ lives don’t matter anymore as we are forced to groan over the dreams of our founding fathers. We are living on a degraded existence as we see men and women created by God being turned into tools for the attainment of political and selfish motives.

We see our fellow citizens only in their ethnic groupings and religious garbs. When news of killings and destruction invade the cyber space, we are quick to probe on identities of victims and make conclusion in order to render our consciences lukewarm. While we pray that God intervenes in the affairs of our nation, we meet under the wings of the night to plan and deploy our negative ingenuity to unleash terror. Political power is now not meant for development but a treacherous manipulation towards subjugating the people and weakening the bonds that once held our people united to the common cause. Politics of development has now been replaced with politics of conquest. You either fall in line and accept the fatality of your fate or be damned, annihilated.

Notwithstanding our groaning for a new dawn, our dream of returning to the old path of our common humanity is fraught with impediments. Blood flows in our cities and towns that were once bastions of hope and a rallying point of our existence. The angels of death may have left hell and taken permanent residence in our country. We need no seer to tell us that frightening uncertainties now stalk our lives. Our unborn children are ripped off from the wombs and killed before they are born. Thriving towns and communities are soaked in blood and decimated to rubbles. Here, we count the number of death and hurriedly bury them in hushed tunes. We are too ashamed and too afraid to speak out. In our fears, we are told that speaking out could attract reprisals and many more deaths could be harvested. The blood of the innocent seeking justice has turned our nation into a hell hole of justice seekers. Both the dead and living seek for justice, and the innocent blood shed in our various towns and villages has turned our country into carnival of bloodshed.

Life has been reduced to a number, as gory pictures of the death and the wounded, including hair-rising destruction of properties, no longer attract our sympathies. We have long forgotten that the red blood that flows in our veins also flow in the veins of others. As long we can be safe with our loved ones, we seem too careless of what fate that may befall our fellow humans. Despite admonitions from our two religions that preach love, we have become enemies of our religions. We forget that God is neither a Muslim nor a Christian; he remains the creator of humanity. God is an inexplicable concept that cannot be fully understood within the prism of religion. We failed to appreciate the fact that God cannot be understood. He is only to be believed.

In the hilly town of Maru in Zamfara State that is populated by Fulani and Hausa farmers, cattle rustling and other criminal activities have left distressing attacks on the people. Not even the deployment of a 1,000 troops by the Federal Government has resolved the issue. The feud between herdsmen and Hausa farmers, who are predominantly Muslims, has led to the death of nearly 4,000 people, yet the bloodshed is far from being over as no fewer than 80 were recently killed.

Katsina State is gradually turning into a den of abductors and robbers, with some of the victims fleeing to neighbouring countries for safety. Even Governor Aminu Masari has cried out over the security problems bedevilling his state and sent a May Day message to President Muhammadu Buhari to rescue his state from the jaws of these criminals. Plateau and Benue State are no stranger to these messengers of death, considering the number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps housing victims.  Borno is set to be the global headquarters of IDPs, with the deployment of billions of naira obtained from international organisations to avert humanitarian crisis. Yobe, Adamawa, Taraba and Nasarawa, among others, are yet to have complete respite from these conflict actors whose capacity for trouble most times turn out to be overwhelming. The Birnin Gwari axis of bloody crimes in Kaduna state has lived up to its billing as axis of bloodshed, as hundreds have been killed, and other hundreds abducted. Cattle rustling and abduction of citizens have been elevated into a thriving industry, with many becoming vulnerable in the face of increasing danger.

The southern part of Kaduna state is in the news for yet another barbaric slaughter that has left over 4,000 displaced, and hundreds of deaths in Kajuru Local Government Area. Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai had on the eve of postponed elections disclosed that no fewer than 66 Fulani were killed by Adara people. Not yet done with the death toll carnage of the herdsmen that drew denials, the governor was later to announce an increase of the death toll to 130.

Since Sunday March 10, 2019, Adara communities have come under heavy attacks. Not only have lives been incinerated, prospects for peace has taken a back seat and increasingly becoming forlorn. Maro town has come under heavy attacks, just as other villages are now shadows of their past. Elected representatives have remained silent and pretending to be working at the background. There is absence of synergies between political leaders and traditional institutions targeted at ending the massacres. Those who should speak up to end these butcheries have embraced silence. We all have become victims and conspirators in the horrendous decimation of our shared humanity by the enthronement of silence.

The massacres that have rendered many states in the North prostrate, including the tension sweeping across our nation, are red flags that our tomorrow is already imperilled by the refusal of our leaders to confront our unadorned present realities. More troubling is the absence of backdoor negotiations to end these bloody confrontations. If we fail to end the chaos that threaten our corporate unity as a nation, we may as well be heading into the valley of barbarousness. As a people, the present times have exposed our inability to forge a common ground to salvage what is left of our civilization. The political class are so unconcerned, as long as their re-election bids are realised. Traditional and religious leaders should step in. The need for religious, community and traditional leaders to rally for common consensus is now. This is no time for silence. The National Peace Committee, headed by General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), should step forward and stop these shocking savageries that have turned our nation into a cynosure of barbarity. It’s time we forgot our political, ethnic and religious leanings and work against forces trying to turn our nation into a flowing stream of massacres. Nigeria must not be allowed to turn into Rwanda. We have wasted too many lives in keeping Nigeria united. Looking the other way while the little fires rage to disintegrate our nation is a dishonour to the memory of those who paid the supreme price so that we may be one.


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