2 sides of a coin │On Terrorism, Militancy, and Herdsmanship
Some many years ago, in my senior secondary school days, my government teacher stepped into his class period quite earlier than his usual routine. It was clear to us that today wouldn’t be like every other day.
He adjusted his translucent glasses and cleared his throat as though he was demanding our maximal attention. Soon the whole class breathed in tranquillity, except for a baritone whisper at the extreme-back corner of the class.
Arinze always had one or two jibed comment of each teacher’s attire or habitual gestures.
Our government teacher wasn’t the best fashionista of his time. But as I would say, he was always the cynosure of all eyes, especially during the morning assembly. His choice of clothing and style was literally out of this world.
He hung a caftan on his scrawny shoulder and padded his canvas with tissue papers.
I really appreciate that he came quite early that day since the time allocated to every class period wouldn’t have been enough for a, particularly stammering teacher. When virtually everyone had their gaze fixed on him, he started:
“What is the difference between an armed robber, terrorist and a militant?”
At first, the question seemed like a piece of cake. Too basic. I wondered what he hoped to achieve by the time the whole class has exhausted their answers.
Some answers were out of this world. Some were out of contest.
The last response came from my best friend. I did all I could to stop him from raising his hand. Whether or not I had an inkling of the answer, I wouldn’t take the chance of being wrong.
“Armed robbers are from the south-east, terrorists are from the north while
militants are from the south-south”
In summary, that response earned him a nickname- terrorist.
By the end of the class, I had figured that all three had much more in common than they were divergent. I mean, look at their modus operandi; unleash terror, foist interest, organized attack, et cetera.
Has Nigeria experienced all three? Sure
What did the government do? Let’s see…
It wasn’t until the Boko Haram sect started planting explosives and opening fire on victims in public places did the government gear up. Billions of naira were disbursed in the fight against terrorism. Yes! Billions.
In 2016, when the Niger Delta militants bombed oil pipelines, President Buhari vowed to deal with them the same way he supposedly dealt with the Boko Haram sect. Of course, they may have crossed the line. Bombing a pipeline is not only savage, it is dangerous to indwellers.
Yet again is the occasion of Evans who abduct people for a living. There’s only so much we can say of the woe that shall betide him in a while.
You see, the Nigerian government as wacky as it is, can actually be said to have put in petty efforts in the fight against crime.
Someone, please help me out here, what’s with the Fulani herdsmen? What for goodness sake is the shit about them that has kept our military cum civilian president from acting? It turns out our president, who happens to be the grand-patron of the Miyetti Cattle Breeders, is pretty much responsible for the Miyetti Cattle Breeders’ Association than he is to Nigeria, for some shitty reasons we are yet to find out.
The Herdsmen has demonstrated all the trappings of terrorism, militancy, and robbery. The illegal possession of firearms. The massacre of hundreds of Nigerians, especially in Benue. For once, I would think Nigeria is a business firm and they are the Board of Directors, otherwise, you can’t just sack people out of their land because you want to graze. The president may have blinded his eyes to all these, but soon the repercussions will be a blast. It was in the same vein, Gov. Ortom was all solitary about the herdsmen-farmers clash until they brought down his farmhouse. Like a lost puppy, he cried to the federal government.