In the beginning, God created man. He also made the animals, and all the living and non- living creatures. But did that make man and animal equal? Not in the least.
In Genesis 1:26, God said: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over fowl of the air, and over the CATTLE and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”
But what do we have now in Nigeria? The fear of herdsmen. If we have no fear of cows, we fear the herdsmen, the men who lead the cows to pasture. The fear of herdsmen has become, for many parts of our country, the beginning of wisdom!
Now, the prayer is: God, deliver us from herdsmen. Herdsmen are the new face of terrorism in the land. They kill, rape and burn. Then, they simply disappear into thin air. To reappear, to strike again. Leaving tales of sorrow, tears and blood. Leaving a community of orphans, widows, widowers and other distraught citizens. Leaving the people wondering and pondering: Who will deliver us from the menace of murderous herdsmen?
To say our country is under the siege of herdsmen is to put it mildly. We are hostage to the guys with AK47 and long knives, posturing as herdsmen but indeed are killers on the loose. Who will stop the herdsmen-killers? The police? The Army? The government? Are they truly stoppable? And If they are, why are they still running riot all over the country?
Too many questions, but few answers. And the citizens remain helpless.
A conservative estimate, at the last count, puts the number of deaths from herders-farmers clash at over 500. And the number keeps increasing with no end apparently in sight.
The worst hit states have been the North-Central and North-East states. Benue has been bleeding for quite a while now. Wailing women and ambulances paint the gory picture of a people in pains and agony. A people helpless in the hands of their tormentors. Who will stop the killings? Gov. Ortom has asked the people to embrace self- defence in the face of mass slaughter of the people, which itself tells the story of the helplessness of the embattled governor. You can’t blame him. He is chief security officer of his state. But he only bears the name without the authority or power to command even a police recruit or soldier, like his other colleagues.
He cries to the government at the centre. But nothing concrete is done to stem the blood tide. He weeps for his people, who are being slain on a regular basis. His people weep for themselves. And the dead stay dead, with the numbers rising. Who will stop these killers calling themselves herdsmen? The true herdsmen are nice, kind and tender. They show love to their herds of cattle, protecting them even with their lives. But the new herdsmen ravaging our country today know neither mercy nor kindness. Blood is their staple food. They think nothing of spilling innocent blood for no reason whatsoever. Who will stop these killers herdsmen?
In their war of attrition, no place is considered sacred or holy for them to strike.
The recent murder of two priests in the Catholic Church, shows more than anything else the kind of persons or group the country is dealing with.
When men of God are murdered in cold blood, in the holy sanctuary, the nation must be truly worried. An alarm should ring through the nation. A national emergency ought to be declared, because the situation has truly reached cataclysmic dimension. But not here. Tears. Condemnation. And everyone is moving on as if all is well. Then, another strike. And the mourning cycle continues!
The murder of Rev.Father Joseph Gor and Felix Tyolaha, among other worshippers, in the Gwer East Local Government of Benue was particularly heart-rending. The community is still enveloped in grief days after the strike. So are many parts of Benue. It’s a shock and pains that would never go. SATURDAY SUN reports the grieving mother of one of the slain priests asking GOD why He seemed to have forsaken her? It’s the question families of the slain in the wake of the herdsmen attack have found themselves asking. No answer. But the answers stare all in the face: Failure of the government at the centre to protect life and property, which it swore to defend and protect when it took over the reigns of power. Let’s not beg the issue or bend the truth. Lives have been lost and are still being lost, yet no security chief or government official has been made to pay the price of negligence of duty. What a country!
…And Imam died
When our Abuja Bureau Chief, Mr. Iheanacho Nwosu, called to inform me of Imam Imam’s passage, I thought he was either joking or gone berserk.
“MD, Imam Imam is dead,” he said.
“Which Imam Imam,” I asked.
“The same one you know. Gov Tambuwal’s spokesman.”
Was he sick? An accident or what. It was a brief illness, he told me.
Like many others, I was shocked and dumbfounded. I knew him as a young, respectful, resourceful and hardworking spokesman to then Speaker Aminu Tambuwal and later, Gov. Tambuwal.
He was a nice guy, a professional journalist, who truly loved the profession.
All the time I met or spoke with him, I didn’t see death in his eyes. I saw life and the promise of a brighter tomorrow.
But death came calling when it was least expected. May Imam’s soul rest in peace. Amen