The fact that the government and good people of Ondo State believe that the time to stop the menace of kidnap for ransom, rape and pillaging of their communities by a handful of alleged Fulanis operating from the forest is now, is in it very right, handsome, rewarding and wholesome.
The fact on the other hand that a group of people believe that the government and the good people of Ondo State do not have the constitutional prerogative to safeguard their lives and communities from the marauding and pillaging ragamuffins sequestered in the dense foliage somewhere in the state, is no doubt nauseating, grandstanding and obfuscatory.
It is true that the first task of any sane person, and by extension, a sane government, is the protection and preservation of lives.
And that to my mind is what Rotimi Akeredolu, the good Governor of Ondo State not only did, but taught the All Progressives Congress led federal government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
It is on record that the federal government has overtime and through the likes of the Spokesman to the President, Garba Shehu, and some other northern political jobbers, rushed to the aid of the Fulanis, offering excuses on their behalf whenever issues bordering on crimes perpetuated by the latter come to the fore.
I for one have never been surprised at such. If anything I had expected such ‘zanga-zanga’ approach to the matter seeing of course, Mr. President’s legendary and incendiary style of governance that exalted nepotism to the level of state policy.
In fact, and on the other hand, I have been much surprised at the apparent show of naivety and self-hypnotism displayed by many Nigerians who expected something different from the self acclaimed champion of the Fulani course- Muhammadu Buhari.
When the Fulanis went berserk in the middle belt, states like Benue and indeed southern Kaduna paid steep prices in human lives and property.
At the last count the Kaduna State Governor who would latter setup a peace committee in this regard; earlier boasted (and openly for that matter) of settling his Fulani brothers with mouth watering cash gifts to as he said, lay down arms.
When this happened not a few non-cursory observers quickly pointed out the danger of rewarding criminality.
Alas! Such warning fell on deaf ears as time and again the governors of Zamfara, Katsina and Niger (the records are there) borrowed a leaf of daunted-wisdom from their brother in Kaduna State.
And whoop! It was bazaar for bandits and their sponsors.
All that was required to become a millionaire in the north became to get a league of misguided, ill-informed, rag-tag, hunger battered, bush-dwelling Fulanis and arm them with the customary AK-47 riffle.
And then a booming kidnap business is started with of course the larger chunk of the largesse going to the sponsors while these foot soldiers are, according to Kaduna based Islamic Cleric, Mallam Gumi, left with tattered slippers.
Now, because of the laid back attitude of the federal government in proactively nibbing the menace in the bud when it started, it wasn’t long before the sponsors of this evil enterprise got inspired to widen their business network either by way of franchise or by direct corporate control.
And then metamorphosed the monster into the South West which prior to this time have been a political and economic annex of the Fulani oligarchy.
And who says that good friends can’t become strange bed fellows where ideological intercourse, or say the real copulation itself is becoming threatening to personal or corporate interest.
And that is the case of Ondo State and indeed the South West.
What in this case needs to be done has rightly been done by governors of states in the south west who arising from a recent meeting issued a communique banning among others, open grazing.
The communique also did not discountenance the position of the Ondo state government regarding the expulsion of Fulani forest reserves dwellers.
In fact, if the Fulanis are any smarter, now is the time to feel the pulse of nation towards them and begin to consciously change their thinking and disposition towards Nigerians, in every area of life, especially politics.
The arrogance they’ve displayed over the years arising from the sense of entitlement supposedly bequeathed them over the political leadership of the country; by their forbearer, Uthman Dan Fodio, may be the tribe’s undoing whether now or in the future.
This is the time for the nomadic tribe to renegotiate their affairs in Nigeria as the generation that once knew little about their antics and wishes for other country men and women have become wiser with time.
As former first lady, Dame Patience Jonathan would say, “this blood you’re sharing” has gotten more Nigerians wiser, and Ondo State may just be a drop in the ocean.
Disclaimer: This article is entirely the opinion of the writer and does not represent the views of The Whistler.