By Agunloye Adewunmi Bashiru
Nigeria as a nation is presently embellished with different kind of crisis ranging from ethno-religious crisis, insurgency, herdsmen carnage, kidnapping, hostage-taking amongst others.
The myriad of slaughter, massacre, mass murder and butchery of people in recent time in some states have caused much havoc and threatened the unity of Nigeria as a nation.
First, it is the activities of the Boko Haram that dominated the scene and still making waves. Now herdsmen carnage activities are now rampage. Many lives have already been lost and farmland destroyed.
Years are gradually passing by when the criminality by the terrorist group; Boko Haram abducted 276 school girls from the Government Secondary School in the town of Chibok, Borno State on April 14, 2014.
After the intervention of the international community, especially the International Red Cross and the Swiss Government, which resulted in the released of 103 girls, the remaining ones in captivity have been left to their fate.
The same Boko Haram recently abducted over 100 school girls in a similar fashion in Dapchi, Yobe State, but they were released after a negotiated settlement without one Leah Sharibu who failed to accept Islam.
That action of the Boko Haram not to release the girl based on religious belief negates one of the tenets of Islam that says: “There is no compulsion in Religion” ( Qur’an Al- Baqara 256), meaning , “ Do not force anyone to become Muslim”.
Apart from the kidnapping of school girls, Boko Haram has massacred hundred of innocent citizens of Nigeria through suicide bombings and other means, to carry out their notoriety.
Herdsman (plural herdsmen) can be referred to ‘a Herder, a worker who lives a possibly semi-nomadic life, caring for various domestic animals. In Nigeria, the Fulani herdsmen or Fulani Pastoralists are nomadic or semi nomadic Fulani herders, whose primary occupation is raising livestock mainly cows. The activities of herdsmen in Nigeria in recent times are barbaric, destructive and inhuman.
Fulani herdsmen continued their rampage in some states in Nigeria. Recently, four police officers and seven other residents were killed in Ayinbe, in Logo Local Government Areas of Benue State. Also in Nasarawa , herdsmen went on rampage, killing scores of Tiv villagers at different locations across the Southern Senatorial District and simultaneously carried out the dastardly attacks in Awe, Keana, Obi and Doma Local Government Areas, where many casualties were recorded and several persons were severely injured. The marauding herdsmen also sacked over 100 villages.
Looking at the similarities in their operations, no one can jump into conclusion that the notorious Boko Haram perpetrators are the same as Herdsmen, found wanting in killings of the innocent people with no just course.
In Nigeria, the herdsmen are reported to be in possession of sophisticated weapons such as AK 47 Rifles and other weapons of mass destruction. The herdsmen activities are presently threatening the unity of Nigeria because of their notoriety. This year alone, several killings of people have occurred and no one is sure of what may happen to Nigeria’s unity.
Like Boko Haram, herdsmen carnage is destructive, barbaric and inhuman. Boko Haram activities and any forms of self destructive action is condemnable and must be rejected by all, no matter the religious or ethnic lining.
Boko Haram perpetrators hiding under religion is fluke because from the research carried out Islam, as a religion, is against any forms of violence, killings and massacre of people with no just cause. The Holy Qur’an of Muslim, Chapter 5 verse 32, condemned the killing of people unjustly with the quotations thus “Whoever kills a person (unjustly) It is as though he has killed all mankind. And whoever saves a life, it is as though he had saved all mankind.”
Therefore, on what authority are the Boko Haram continued to be killing innocent people if not that they are just vampires; always thirsty for human blood to drink.
If the continuous notorious activities of the Boko Haram and the Herdsmen killing, kidnapping and destruction of property are not totally controlled or curbed, it may soon result to the breakdown of law and order; and ultimately, the disunity of Nigeria.
Agunloye Adewunmi Bashiru is a Lagos-based public affairs analyst. He can be reached on [email protected]