The cows are not aware that their hate has become the nexus of discordant political parties through which members could confer and issue edicts. Of course there is hardly any difference between one political party or another in my country; it is only a means by which people who desire to rule over us shamelessly shuffle themselves from one party to another, for many of them, not for service but self-aggrandisement. The cows are not aware that most of those who labelled one of the political parties as a Muslim party working clandestinely to Islamise Nigeria are now trooping into it like locusts. That is politics, they say, it’s all about interest!
“There is no good in much of their secret conferences save (in) him who enjoineth alms giving and kindness and peace making among the people..” (an-Nisaa 4:114). Doubtless, a conference that sought to impede the movement of herders and their cattle, a right vested in them by the letter of the laws of the land, was not dispensing ‘kindness and peace making among the people.’ If you describe this flouting of the law by the group of 17 haters as something of “questionable legality” their leader, like a wilde dog, pants with his tongue out and attacks you (ask Garba Shehu) for working “assiduously, for extraneous interests whose game plan stands at variance with the expectations of genuine lovers of peaceful coexistence…” as if he was not the one who “ordered cattle herders to leave” his state because according to him they had “encroached” his sanctuary, “government forest reserves”. That unlawful eviction was what Sunday Igboho and terrorists like him were waiting for to expel Fulani settlers from their dwellings, killing those who were obdurate and scorching their huts.
One would expect a similar reaction from cattle rearing leaders, but their ability to make good judgement prevailed and they admonished caution. Governor Nasir El-Fufai ‘advised Nigerians not to allow the criminal actions of insurgents and bandits to tear the country apart.’ Rascals and vagabonds like Sunday Igboho are ubiquitous in this part of the country also, and the governors need not look far if they decide to recruit and goad them behind the scene to mischief and “expel settlers” from the cattle rearing areas! But cattle rearing folks are a special breed of homo sapiens. Dealing with animals makes them discern when a human being is acting like cattle, and they will bring conscientiousness and sagacity to the table and they will not be like them. That is why people like Governor El-Rufai, at the peak of provocation, called for caution. They demarcate between criminals and law abiding citizens; they do not paint all with the same brush. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” (Ezekiel 18:20)
These cow-haters, who pride themselves on superior scholarship and exposure, treat that all Fulani as bandits and kidnappers, therefore, they and their cattle are fair game wherever they are found. To them all cases of kidnapping for ransom go back to one source – Fulani. Now that clergymen can contrive their own kidnap case to make their flock pay the ransom, the Fulani are taking many forms.
I like the Malami logic: open grazing is the spare-part business of the cow rearing areas, and if the image of one is smeared with the iniquitous acts of a few – banditry and kidnapping for ransom, the image of the other is greatly associated with armed robbery, arson, drug trafficking and internet fraud, yet, nobody paints all of them with the same brush.
As I said last week, everything centres on the persona of the President; unfortunately for the cow-haters, Buhari cannot take another form other than being a Fulani. He cannot process another religion other than Islam. He cannot be born-again to become a member of the cow-haters enclave. All these agitations will die out when Buhari is no longer there. They hate him so much that everything he stands for is gravely affected. Cow-haters are everywhere including people within the inner sanctum of the State House who are part of whatever Buhari is accused of. Why are they deafeningly silent at the face of these acts of sabotage and hatred directed at their principal?
“O ye who believe! Take not for intimates other than your own folk, who would spare no pains to ruin you; they love to hamper you. Hatred is revealed by (the utterance of) their mouths, but that which their breasts hide is greater. We have made plain for you the revelations if ye will understand.” (Aali Imraan, 3:118)
The cow-haters, according to the Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF), are encouraging “ethnic monsters and hiding behind them to whip up sentiments” to actualise ‘their sinister motive’.
“It is now clear” said Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmad, the NEF Spokesman, in a Statement on Tuesday, May 25, 2021, “that elected people sworn to protect the constitution and protect the unity and integrity of Nigeria have decided to surrender to deeply divisive or outrightly irredentist and secessionist tendencies and movements.
“Governors are building ethnic monsters and hiding behind them to whip up sentiments in a crude attempt to extract concessions no one is in a position to give or guarantee.
“A desperate but futile attempt is being made to split the North along lines that suit people who ignore its complexities and plurality when it is convenient to lump all northerners and submit them to humiliation or attacks,”
“In the South-East, governors are yielding their political turf and mandates to secessionists, criminals and subversives who think they can exterminate federal presence and Northerners from the region and achieve dubious political goals related to 2023, or break away from the country.
“In the South-West, elected leaders and pampered ethnic bullies are closing ranks to provide a front that apes the the do-what-we-want-or-we-leave-the-country strategy of the marginalised leaders of the South-East.
“The South-South is squeezed between fear and uncertainty and its leaders are gambling that they can benefit from further weakening the federal administration and the North if it rides along with the rest of the South.
“The forum supports a citizen-driven national dialogue and a campaign to get the government to accord its outcome the respect it deserves.
“The forum extends its hands to groups that genuinely believe that Nigerians should demand and design the type of country we want and should not wait for people we elected to set the boundaries and conditions of our existence.
“The forum restates that the North will not be cowed and stampeded into escorting political ambitions of politicians at the cost of its rights, security and dignity,” the statement said.