…these sorts of stance make no sense. “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”. If the slaughter of 73 people by herdsmen in Benue is barbaric, wicked, and condemnable, the killing of seven Fulanis by irate mob in Benue State is likewise inhuman.


All is not well with Nigeria. It now appears that the prolonged herders/farmers crisis in Benue State is gradually morphing into a lethal inter-ethnic crisis.

To claim otherwise, or get carried away by the politics of who occupies Aso Villa in 2019 is living in a fool’s paradise, until the ticking time bomb explodes. The handwriting on the wall is clear.

A few days after the 73 victims of the herdsmen carnage in Benue State during the New Year were buried en masse, it was reported that a Tiv man killed a Fulani man in Ekiti State. In retaliation, it was also said that a Fulani man also killed a Tiv woman in the same State.

Another horrid scene played out last week. Seven Fulani nomads heading to Okene, Kogi State, from Jalingo, Taraba State, were reportedly lynched, doused with petrol and set ablaze by irate youth at Gboko central motor park, Benue State, as reported by PREMIUM TIMES.

There were claims that the seven persons killed at the Gboko bus park were not Fulanis. But such claims do not change the fact that seven human lives were brutally wasted.

The leader of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders in Benue State, Garus Gololo, was noted as saying that the seven persons were Fulanis. And, shocking is the fact that the excerpt from the police statement on this sad incident, published in newspapers, did not mention if the men caught were in possession of arms.

It, thus, becomes logical to see the incident as a fallout of the recent killing of 73 persons in Benue State or that the seven Fulanis were killed just because they shared a common culture and origin with the killer herdsmen that have been terrorising Benue State.

The failure of the Buhari administration to fairly serve justice, with regard to the herdsmen menace, and be seen to be doing so, by all and sundry, is breeding more hate, suspicion, violence, and gradually pushing the country towards anarchy.


Going by records of several devastating attacks reportedly carried out by herdsmen across the country, one could be tempted to quickly justify this barbaric act, arguing that the Fulanis only got a little dose of their own medicine from some aggrieved people of Benue State.

Or, in other words, one could argue that the innocent Fulanis who were murdered in Gboko were the burnt sacrificial lambs for the sins of the killer herdsmen who have lately made Benue State Nigeria’s field of blood.

But, these sorts of stance make no sense. “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”. If the slaughter of 73 people by herdsmen in Benue is barbaric, wicked, and condemnable, the killing of seven Fulanis by irate mob in Benue State is likewise inhuman.

This is not overlooking the agonies and trauma of those who have been at the receiving end of menace of the herdsmen in Benue State. Or taking side with the Fulanis who have been demonised as a result of the nefarious activities of some killer herdsmen among them.

We, however, need to speak in favour of our collective humanity that is suffering, as it now appears that human life has lost its sanctity and value in Benue State and Nigeria at large. We are not in a jungle.

To imagine that the incident happened in broad day light in a bus park should prod us to imagine how many of such atrocities happen in secret places. As such, defending or justifying any attack, be it against the Fulanis or the people of Benue State, is tantamount to giving up our collective humanity to take on the nature of beasts.

Come to think of it, why is Garus Gololo, who in an interview with BBC News pidgin English brazenly said that herdsmen attacks on Benue State were in retaliation for over 1000 of their cows stolen by Benue locals, not arrested and grilled to produce those behind the killings in Benue State?

That those in Benue State can no longer sleep with their two eyes closed or farm to support food production in the country; that Fulanis or whoever looks like them are now endangered in Benue State as some aggrieved persons seek to annihilate them, points to what is to happen in the future should Buhari not assume his duty as an unbiased commander-in-chief.


Could it be that the Buhari-led government shares the view of Gololo that killing human beings for the loss of cows is OK or what?! Is Gololo above the law because he is a special citizen or what?

These are questions begging for answers.

But, the Buhari administration, being what it, is a nepotistic and highly deceitful government, and the State Security Service (SSS) would rather move swiftly to gag Isa El-Buba, the founder of EBOMI ministries, for charging his church members to vote out Buhari for “failing” to secure Nigerians against rampaging herdsmen, while characters like Gololo, who confessed to being aware of those behind the herdsmen terror in Benue State, remains untouchable.

It is, therefore, highly ridiculous that the Buhari-led government could be fooling itself, claiming that a section of the media is promoting hate speech and stoking the Benue herders/farmers crisis, when it is guilty of mismanaging the crisis in the first place.

The failure of the Buhari administration to fairly serve justice, with regard to the herdsmen menace, and be seen to be doing so, by all and sundry, is breeding more hate, suspicion, violence, and gradually pushing the country towards anarchy.

That those in Benue State can no longer sleep with their two eyes closed or farm to support food production in the country; that Fulanis or whoever looks like them are now endangered in Benue State as some aggrieved persons seek to annihilate them, points to what is to happen in the future should Buhari not assume his duty as an unbiased commander-in-chief.

The brutal killing of seven people in Gboko last week signals that killer herdsmen do not have the monopoly of violence. I hope that Buhari will wake up to tame them all in the national interest.

Ahmed Oluwasanjo writes from Abuja.