By Sulaiman Badamasi (Mahir)
In a non distant past, last week to be precise, reigning on the media was a mayhem, which swept at least 7 lives, while inflicting pain on members of Nimbo community in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State. In a swift public reaction, the maim was attributed to the Fulani herders, who habitually steer their herds all over the map in search for pastural lands. Although, many voices trooped in, denouncing the condemnable exhibition, which every true patriot must fret about, I voluntarily reserve my psyche at the wake of the matter, because when a situation gets rowdy, only the loudest whoop can be heard.
Whwn the news went viral, bitter condemnations were made and the convinced public suggested stern measures on the herdsmen, However, the Nigerian Police Force's result of investigation, surprisingly falsified the known version of the matter by posing that, the incidence's root was traced to a fireworks between some groups of ruffians. In a statement released by her Public Relations Officer, Mr Ebere Amaraizu, the Nigerian Police Force said:
"The attention of Enugu State Police Command has been drawn to various publications in some sections of the media regarding the incident at Nimbo Community in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State and hereby present the facts as follows for the guidance of members of the public and to avoid being misinformed,” the statement read. “On the 25th of April 2016, at about 0630 hours (6.30am), some hoodlums invaded the fringes of Nimbo community in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State, killing six persons and injuring 11, and one person subsequently died."
Immediately after that, a police officer, simply identified as Chukwu was arrested for being responsible of coordinating the attack and aiding its perpetrators. This Day news paper reports on 28th April, the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase has ordered the detention of Corporal Chukwu who coordinated the attack.Therefore, for people to ignore all these facts and put the whole blame on Fulani is unfair. The suspected police officer's name (Chukwu) alone is enough a reason that the man is not and cannot be a Fulani Herdsman, rather a typical southeastern Igbo. But his involvement or readhandedness is also not enough a reason to vindicate the alleged group involved. Therefore, the incidence should be called "a joint coordinated attack by a terrorist Igbo police man and some alleged Fulani Herdsmen", since non of the Herdsmen was arrested or even seen at the scene. Can the Herdsmen carry out this attack? "Come let us reason together":
How many were the said Herdsmen compared to the population of Nimbo community? Of course, if the attackers were fewer, they could not have had the courage and ability to do carry it out successfully and if they were higher in number, then how did they gather themselves and move into the community in a large number without being seen? Which way did they follow and where did they first gather at without being identified, because Fulani people, especially in the southeast can be easily be differentiated from others; A typical Fulani man is usually thin-bodied, thin-voiced, light completioned; After committing the crime, how easy is it for a group of armed outsiders, in different looks sneak out of the community without being seen or even captured at probably between 7 o'clock and 9 o'clock am, since the attack began at around 6:30 am? It was not every member of the community that was affected but less than 20 persons, then where were the rests' mobile phones that they could not use them to raise an alarm? No levelheaded person will easily accept this unless those highly vulnerables that are held captives by the media's poisonous breeze and casualties of propaganda, engineers of which go the whole hog to ensure that a certain group is being maligned and maliced.
In my view, the allegation, untill substiated, remains an unwelcome fabrication, against the Fulani folks and was a deliberate move by those who cook it, in order to lay a ground on which they mistreat Hausa/Fulani folks that are living in their region. It has not come as a surprise when I saw a campaign flying in the social media calling on all Fulani natives to vacate Enugu state immediately after the incident. Knowing well enough how the people of the southeast, especially those that advocate for Biafra have been using different ways to part ways with the
north, which is largely dominated by Hausa/Fulani, through harassment, provocative statements, physical assaultd even killings can convince us that, this is simply part of their daily business.
In the twilight of April 2016, in the same (now innocent) Enugu state, three Hausa/Fulani men by the names: Babangida Sale, Ashahabu Dauda and Ismahil Abdulahi were found murdered and buried in a church foundation in Ugwuaji, along Enugu Port-Harcourt Express road. naij.com reported this on May 02, 2016. In a similar discovery, five murdered Hausa/Fulani men by the names: Mohammed Gainako, Ibrahim Mohammed, Idris Yakubu, and Isa Mohammed Rago were identified in a forest in Abia state amidst over fifty suspected Hausa/Fulani shallow graves, but no body talks about it.
A statement issued by DSS spokesperson, Mr. Tony Opuiyo, in Abuja on Saturday read, “Service has uncovered the heinous role played by members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra in the abduction/kidnap of five Hausa-Fulani residents, namely Mohammed Gainako, Ibrahim Mohammed, Idris Yakubu, and Isa Mohammed Rago at Isuikwuato LGA in Abia State.
“The abducted men were later discovered at the Umuanyi Forest, Abia State, where they were suspected to have been killed by their abductors and buried in shallow graves, amidst 50 other shallow graves of unidentified persons. “Arrests and investigation conducted so far revealed that elements within the IPOB carried out this dastardly action.” The Punch, 10 Apr 2016.
By making mention of the above, its not that we are being tribalistic or vindictive, rather vindicating a criminated innocent. Many sad stories of this kind have been at our disposal for quite long, but we do not mention them publicly so that the country's state of peace remains less susceptible.
God Bless Nigeria.
May 4th, 2016