By Uche Mbah
The recent killings of “innocent ” Nigerians-if President Buhari is to be quoted-has received far less attention than it deserves from the media, Politicians and international community. This appears surprising, and has given rise to a spiders web of conspiracy theories which may or may not be provable.
In recent times, Kaduna, the fiefdom of the former head of Bureau of Public Enterprises, Nasir- el-Rufai, has been boiling, but the ruling party has been more preoccupied with power tussle and political snake and ladder games to effectively take note. At the last count, over a hundred people have lost their lives in the killing fields that Kaduna has become. Last February, over ten people were killed, arrests were made but unfortunately nothing appears to have come out of it. The Dave Umahi Panel that was to look into the issue within two weeks accepted their mandate. Since then, nothing has been heard of their recommendations and white papers.
Accounts abound of how killings are being perpetrated by Christians and Muslims alike in there areas of numerical strength, though the cause of the crisis is being pinned to traditional animosities that dovetailed into religious differences. All these despite Police and military presence.
The government has gone under severe criticisms for sending Pythons and crocodiles to the south – a euphemism for military combat operations being tested in peace time-while treating the crisis in the north with kid gloves.
Interestingly, with the advent of politics leading towards 2019 elections, there appeared to have been a lull in the incessant attacks on hapless Nigerians, particularly at the period when most of them were having their party primaries, and Ekiti and Osun states were having their governorship elections. Suddenly there was an upsurge of violence, fueling conspiracy theories of politicians being behind the killings. “The prominence given to the abduction of the Chibok girls, for example, was not given to the Dapchi girls”, a PDP chieftain told this Magazine last week.
True. Even Leah Shuaibu, the Christian girl that was left of the Dapchi girls seem to have been forgotten. Reports of killings of even Aids workers are only making momentary headlines.
This situation is being cashed in on by the opposition Peoples democratic party, PDP, who sees the issue from the perspective of the ruling party’s inability to handle the security situation in the country, which, incidentally was one of their cardinal campaign promise.
The opposition allegation is that the security apparatus was concentrated in the hands of only one ethnic group. In fact, a motion was moved earlier this week challenging the exclusion of the South east from the security decision of the country, but was shut down mostly by Northern Senators. Currently, there is operation crocodile smile in the Niger Delta that is not restive, but police is sent to volatile areas in the North.
The Federal Government kept changing their Narrative on the Herdsmen. First, they are spillover from Libyan Crisis. then they are Fellow Nigerians that must be allowed in the system. then they are part of ISIS in the Sahel region. This has fueled speculations of an ethnic cleansing Agenda by the government, with colonies in sight. Sources from Plateau state indicated that cattle rearers take over the lands vacated by those at the internal Displaced camps.
Whatever be the case, government has to do more to convince the populace that they are sincere in their quest for a violent free Nigeria. if that is not done, it may not augur well for them, particularly as this is an election year.