A Nation Under Siege

By DESMOND EKWUEME
What seemed like the old tales of communal clashes between settlers (mostly herdsmen) around farmlands owned by locals over destruction of cash crops by stubborn or "wayward" cattle that got out of the control of herders has gradually turned into a political discourse threatening to destroy our nation.
The big debate now is whether there is a hidden agenda behind the activities of the herdsmen to spread terror across the country or if truly the call by the leadership of Miyetti Allah for all herders across West Africa to storm Nigeria for a HOLY WAR of occupation of lands....or the call for cattle colonies by the Federal Government is the real deal behind the reinforcement of the herdsmen...or someone somewhere is sponsoring terror across the country under the guise of herdsmen.
But how did we get to this point? Perhaps this is the million dollars question leaders like Yakubu Gowon won't want to hear, attend to or answer knowing that at some point in the history of Nigeria they had the opportunity or privilege of solving this problem which now sinking the nation. If you fail to plan they say, you indirectly plan to fail. The likes of Gowon used herders who were turned into militia group to fight the civil war at some point, but that is an issue for another day.
Today, Ondo has been touched by the herdsmen via burning over six hectares of farmland belonging to Chief Olu Falae. Adamawa was not soared as Don village witnessed near genocide. Taraba got a dose of the treatment of the herdsmen. Benue buried 73 of her own sons and daughters. Ogun lost two farmers around Ipokia. Kaduna, Southern part of the State precisely has bedn a "killing field" since May 2015. Hardly does a month pass without the herdsmen slaughtering, maiming and burning human beings who are citizens of Nigeria. Obi and Awe Local Government Areas of Nasarawa State have had their share of bloodbath and deaths....and Enugu lost 40 souls in 2016 in a daylight swoop.
Just a couple of days back, it was alleged that security agents have uncovered bases of a terrorists group known as Islamic State of West Africa (ISWA) in Edo, Ondo, Kogi and Nasarawa States. The danger posed by these bases us the spread of terror across the country. This is the reason many opine that the "herdsmen" are Boko Haram members disguising as herdsmen and fast moving across the country.
With the creation of Cattle Colonies in 16 States by willing governors, many fear that these colonies could later become branches or annexes of Sambisa Forest where more and more terrorists will be comfortably groomed....and since they are occupying strategic locations across the six geo-political zones in the country, it is very easy and possible for them to strike at anytime and overpower state security machinery to seize power and force citizens to live according to their dictates.
With AK47s hanging on the shoulders of virtually every herdsman, it is just a matter of time for the worst to happen as Nigerians are living with deep fear of the unknown and uncertainty. If a herder could afford three AK47s shared among his three sons who are within the age bracket of 15-18 then danger looms.

Many say the herdsmen's killings are an agenda of this administration to Islamize the country. But I find it extremely difficult to believe such allegation....Why then will President Buhari be seeking re-election when he knows that such idea will naturally backfire? I sincerely think there is more to these herdsmen killings than meets the eyes. May God save Nigeria because it is clear she is under siege.....perhaps by foreign mercineries under the guise of herdsmen.
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