–Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) –By Austen AKHAGBEME:
THE current itinerant herders crisis in the South West of Nigeria has further exposed the legendary fault lines, both real and imaginary, in our body polity.
The ethnicisation and weaponization of any and every known challenge in Nigeria, to satisfy primordial interest, is truly becoming very nauseating.
As at today, ethnic jingoists are having a field day, drumming for war. Like the thermometer, tempers are made to rise and fall like never before, as the voice of reason is gradually being overshadowed by the voice of hate and anger.
We’ve journeyed on this road before – the road to Golgotha. The same ethnic schisms, skirmishes, killings and harassment that was a fore runner to our ugly and unnecessary civil war are here again. And those who have lost this part of our history are nonchalant and ignorantly dancing to the evil beats.
Golgotha here represents our collective madness of the late sixties. It literally represents the the balding and lifeless place of crucifixion and death; a graveyard of abandoned dreams where love and humanity were separated and buried.
In a Nation where angry minds have become alembics for the purification of long seethed ethnic animosity, one finds it difficult to separate truth from vendetta, chaff from the grain and genuine ethnic concerns from its political colouration.
For example, the yoruba enfante terrible, Sunday Igboho and his position in the present crisis is well known. He has chosen to match violence with violence, as long as it assuage the bleeding minds of his kinsmen in such a way that they can now go to bed with their two eyes closed.
The yoruba activist has no consideration for due process and finesse as long as he achieves his aim. That’s the quintessential Sunday Igboho for you. On the alternative, as at today, nobody can accurately decipher the general official position of the yoruba nation vis-a-vis that of their political drivers.
While Femi Falana is angry about Igboho’s ‘unconstitutional’ method, Governor Makinde is threatening and calling for an arrest. Meanwhile, the other leaders are waiting with bathed breath, examining how the Aso Rock pendulum will swing on the matter before they take a position.
The scenario is the same in the north where some groups are threatening for a showdown while others are suspiciously silent but perturbed. The East seems to be sympathetic to the feelings of Igangan victims, but they, too , have an axe to grind with the criminal herders just like the rest of us.
Crisis management has been our bane; be it economic, religious or security crisis such as we are having in our hands now. Even though the Fulani crisis is basically a mismanaged economic crisis that snowballed into that of security, our collective knack to play politics with serious national issues is legendary.
There is no doubt that we have been invaded from without, by those who hates us but looks exactly like us. This is the reason why this crisis should create the long awaited opportunity to solve, not only the Fulani – Farmers problem, but also that of the general internal security challenges, as it regards alien administration and general immigration policies in Nigeria.
It is a window that Igboho and his likes have flagrantly but graciously thrown open, to right the ancient wrongs and move the Nation forward. Anything short of this, will be nothing but another painful trip to Golgotha. God forbid!
- Austen AKHAGBEME is a Columnist with Blank NEWS Online