I believe the stage we are at, today, is no longer about discussing restructuring or how we can live together as a people under one Nigeria.
It is now about a STATE OF EMERGENCY, indeed, a surreptitious state of war against Nigeria by some Fulani-dominated countries in West Africa and beyond.
So, this has gone beyond politics!
Any federal government who refuse to see and address the issue in this context can and will be suspected as aiding and abetting this gradual invasion.
Any State government, particularly, of the affected units of the federation, who stupidly and for selfish reasons, diminishes the issue as a political challenge, will be suspected as having a hand in encouraging the Fulani onslaught on their people.
This is STRICTLY and SOLELY, a SECURITY matter affecting the lives and properties of Nigerians.
If the Northern Governors have decided to capitulate to this post independence domination of the Fulani in their region; and the federal government, made up of their own indigenes, decide to look the other way, it is entirely their problem.
For us, in the South, this cannot and WILL NEVER be allowed to happen.
I’ve read in many divisive letters and statements from individuals and in fact, the audacity of the words and body language of the Miyetti Allah, that the Fulanis have the men and machinery of government behind them.
In other words, they are telling the rest of us, there is nothing we can do about it.
Another vexatious matter is the UNDUE privileges Fulanis arrogate to themselves in the South, when such is not accorded to the Southern Nigerians living in their region.
That has to STOP FORTHWITH!
It has been established that that is one major window being used to bring in the Fulani mercenaries from outside Nigeria to come and cause untold sorrow and sadness in the South.
That should and will no longer be tolerated. If you can jail a young man for barbing an ordinary hairstyle or slaughter our daughter and countless Southerners in your parts (‘legitimately, according to your Sharia Law and no one is held accountable), how free, indeed, are Southerners in your Northern region?
Yet, you can come to our side of the country, forcefully take over our land, destroy our farms, rape our women and murder our men; and we should just take it; like that!
You must be crazy!!!
As they have seen, today, Sunday Igboho has become the symbol of our resistance to the nonsense; and that’s not only the beginning; It is a tip of the iceberg.
To our brothers and sisters in government, let them take note that if they do not bear their father’s name properly by being patriotic and representing their Homeland well, in this matter, they had better know the time has changed and the rules of the game have been modified to suit regional patriotism, at this time.
Gone are the days when the politician will use a bunch of men in military uniform and the might of Abuja, a la federal government, to intimidate your people at home.
Nigerians are no longer scared nor intimidated by any of that. As a matter of fact, if you are not careful, that particular power or influence may be your undoing at home.
If you think, as a Southern politician, that when the ‘yawagas,’ you will run out of the country with your loot,that will be worse for you; because Nigerians in the diaspora will be waiting for you and your family, with deadlier force and vengeance.
For the rest of us, we must know that this is no longer the time to be envious of your neighbor or your brother or sister; it is a time for us to come together and resist this stupidity being visited on us as a people.
Sunday Igboho could have behaved like his fellow wealthy and influential political thugs, as one BabafemiOjudu rudely described him; by staying away and enjoying the fruit of his political thuggery.
But OUT OF LOVE and concern for his neighbor and people, he came out to risk his life, wealth and reputation for a people he does not know, in person.
He has come to risk his life and all he has for his people. He didn’t come out so he will become a Governor or Legislative representative of his State or region.
He came out to genuinely protect his people and the land of his father’s; knowing that he may be powerful today to protect his personal space; but scared that when he is not there tomorrow, there may be no one to protect that same space for the children and generation he will leave behind.
This is the sentiment that should guide and galvanize us all into full action against any attempt to subjugate and suppress us a people.
Therefore, every segment of our society in the South and any other interested part or parts of the North (interested in their liberation) should rise up in one accord and voice to DEFEND NIGERIA; and if some Fulanis are allowed to use the federal machinery to frustrate any effort to preserve and protect our national unity, then let all be to their tents!
At the micro level, all our tech kids should be mobilized across neighborhoods to unleash their wizardry in this war.
Since, the government, at Local, State and federal levels have not seen or refused to see that one of the easiest ways to combat the Herdsmen menace is the application of technology, let groups, NGOs and concerned residents of the different communities come together to mobilize deploy drones and CCTV cameras for surveillance of our forests and neighborhoods.
Secondly, any Herdsmen seen with an AK 47 Riffle should be declared a terrorist, arrested and ‘treated’ to the point of confessing the ‘big’ idiots behind his evil acts. Just capturing killing or releasing these guys will no longer suffice.
When you arrest them, find out who owns the cattle they are herding and who gave them the weapon. That’s the real enemy.
That’s the person you go after. By the time, we make few examples of those so called ‘big men,’ I am convinced the idiots, across our ethnic and religious divides treating Nigerians like animals all these decades will talk to themselves where they can all hear each other and there will be peace in our land and hopefully, the country, at large; once and for all.
Finally, President MohammaduBuhari should understand that even the deaf and the blind know Nigeria is not at ease and is fast slipping down a slope. His continued silence is subjecting itself to various interpretations.
Justifiably, many Nigerians believe, and as have hinted in series of Public statements, that Buhari is backing his Fulani brothers.
As Prof Woke Soyinka stated, in his most recent BBC interview, national broadcast denouncing and supporting civil efforts to flush out these foreign Fulani bandits from our land and our forests is the ONLY words that will heal and help solve the situation now. Nothing less!
Though, it is late. But better late than never.
He should ACT now before it becomes too late and uncontrollable.
But let the Fulanis, whoever or wherever, they may be; be warned:
This is no Uthman Dan Fodio time when you had easy conquest over lands and took over kingdoms.
We are in an era today, in which the weak kingdom of yesterday have become strong States and indeed, countless, today.
So, if you believe you have all the trappings of political and economic power to overwhelm and over run the South, you deceive yourself.
You will be SURPRISED and will be reduced to your level and your rightful place, properly speaking in a sane Nigeria.
As we say on the street, in the South, ‘ we will give you your proper size.’
God bless you
God bless our community
God bless the Federal republic of Nigeria.
Chris Otaigbe is a journalist and writes from Lagos