The fight against terrorism and violent extremism in the sub-Saharan has been a serious issue these past years, especially in countries located around the Lake Chad Basin. The international community, as well as national and local authorities, in the past decade, have drawn on strategies, policies, and models to determine how to get out of this predicament inflicted by terrorists. The authorities of each country located around the Lake Chad Basin have done a great deal to suppress these terrorists and re-occupy territories that are occupied by the terrorists through the presence of a highly sophisticated and well-organized military force. However, as the fight against terrorism intensifies in sub-Saharan Africa, especially in Nigeria, a new sort of killing that targets the innocent Christian citizen has emerged. The Hausa-Fulani herdsmen, nowadays in Nigeria, have become a serious threat to peace and stability as they forcefully occupy people’s farmland, and even go as far as killing innocent citizens if they oppose their occupation and domination. This all occurs in the of face local authorities, who remain silent to this satanic and demonic acts, probably because of ethno-religious sentiments.
For over five years now, southern Kaduna inhabitants have been constant victims of Hausa-Fulani herdsmen attacks, and each time these Fulani herdsmen go scot-free in the face of unprotected Christians. December 24th, 2016 is celebrated worldwide as Christmas Eve by many Christian fellows, but while others in other regions or states in Nigeria celebrated with joy and happiness, the people of southern Kaduna celebrated Christmas Eve with bloodshed, sorrow, agony, and desperation. On the December 24th, 2016, armed Fulani herdsmen attacked and destroyed Goska village, which is situated in the southern part of Kaduna, by killing, burning, and maiming. This attack took place in this area after the state government put this area under a 24-hour curfew, which was as a result of the brazenness and sense of impunity on the part of well-armed Fulani herdsmen. It should be recalled that Goska village is found in the Kaninkon Kingdom of southern Kaduna, and there is a high Christian dominance. However, this year, Christmas for these people was bleak. On the 24th and 25th of December, last year armed Fulani herdsmen attacked and destroyed the people of Goska village.
Over the past five years, the Fulani herdsmen have been constantly demonstrating extreme violence in southern Kaduna, with the attack being termed by many as a “broader genocidal war against the people of Southern Kaduna state.” It should be recalled that this is a war that has survived over the past five years now and has seen thousands of people being killed in their homes and farms, all because they are Christians. But the question is what are the local authorities doing about it or is it that the Governor of this state, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, is happy about what is happening and considers the war an ethno-religious war? Today an estimated 53 villages lay in ruins and some of them are presently occupied by Fulani herdsmen. With that said, who recall’s the European annexation of African territory? Alternatively, is it that we are witnessing another form of colonialism in the 21st century? I think the answer is YES.
In addition, what really surprises the poor masses of Kaduna State, especially in the southern part, is the way their State Governor is handling the issue, which has eventually inspired actions that wittingly and unwittingly transformed what was a low-level series of massacres into a full-blown genocidal war. This is probably due to his incendiary character, his insensitivity, and his inability to moderate his thoughts and actions, all of which has contributed to his low-level of popularity. As history would have it, Governor El-Rufai is highly regarded as a Fulani supremacist due to his tweet in 2012, where he said: “We will write this for all to read. Anyone, soldier or not that kills the Fulani takes a loan repayable one day no matter how long it takes.” Later on, he tried to justify the actions of these armed attackers known as Fulani herdsmen.
As well, he placed a sense of belonging immediately, as he became Governor of the State by telling the attackers that a Fulani, like them, was now governor. In this way, he essentially made an appeal based on ethnic kinship and brotherhood to a group of foreign killers who are targeting the people in his own Nigerian state.
He says the attackers attacked southern Kaduna on Christians because of the incidence after the presidential election of 2011. When the Fulani herdsmen were passing through southern Kaduna, they were attacked while some of them were killed or had their cattle stolen, which was claimed to be revenge.
Thirdly the Governor stated that he had paid off these inhuman perpetrators, who were killing the residents in his state as a way of stopping them from continuing the killings.
This is, of course, a new 21st century way of exhibiting genocide. Now, many scholars and academicians have been asking what the national and local authorities of this state will do to stop the killings so that peace can reign in this area again since Governor el-Rufai is not a man to rely on. Before these Fulani herdsmen end up being a national threat to peace as the Boko Haram terrorists have been for the past 10 years, it is interesting to know that the administration of Muhammadu Buhari, which accepted the Boko Haram terrorist groups’ flag in the Presidential Villa (Aso Rock), now seeks a sustainable solution to ensure people’s lives and properties are protected.
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