NIGERIA: COWS AS FIRST CLASS CITIZENS (A MUST READ)
What have cows not done to us in this country? We’ve lost lives and properties, our farmlands destroyed too. Schools have been invaded by cattle.
By Ofonime Honesty
My soul mourns. My body trembles in utter trepidation. Situation report so weird but true. Our worst fears have manifested. Alas, here we are facing a nightmarish reality. A reality of copious bloodletting, brazen double standards and chronic cluelessness. This is it, the worst symptom of our self-inflicted insanity.
We thought we had seen it all when the agents of death were afraid and ashamed to show their faces. They used to hide in obscure corners and caves. They used to hide their faces while addressing us via propaganda videos on youtube? Dear reader, compare and contrast yesterday with today. Have we ever had it so bad? This is now a country where people appear on television to brag about how they will continue fomenting trouble if a state government doesn’t revoke the anti-cattle grazing law. They say, over their dead bodies will they stop destroying human lives, farms and properties. This is beyond a blip, it is full-blown anarchy!
Methinks Nigeria is ill courtesy of a condition known medically as boanthropy. Boanthropy is a psychological disorder which makes people have an erroneous belief that they are cows. They try to live their lives as cows.
Currently, terminologies like anti- grazing law, cattle colonies, herdsmen etc. have become popular in the polity. We live in a country where affordable housing for the citizens is a mirage, but we have a Federal Government which focuses on establishing colonies across the country for cows. Aren’t we a nation of inverted values?
Mothers have died, fathers have died, children have died, but the killers are hell-bent on killing more. The security agencies are not doing their jobs properly. Mass burials have become the order of the day. As you read this, the Benue State government is planning a mass burial for the latest batch of people killed by herdsmen. This precedes the mass burial of the 73 earlier buried.
What have cows not done to us in this country? We’ve lost lives and properties, our farmlands destroyed too. Schools have been invaded by cattle. Our roads are no longer safe as hordes of cattle ply with swagger. Recently, Omusu community in Benue State was invaded and 23 indigenes killed by herdsmen. Reports have it that the attack came as reprisal following the youths’ decision to prevent cattle from muddling their stream –the village’s only source of water.
Who has not felt this evil wind? Those who are not hacked to death by herdsmen are not so lucky in the hands of armed robbers and kidnappers. Those who are not abducted by herdsmen are stolen by insurgents. As I write, over 100 female students who hitherto schooled in Dapchi, Yobe Town, are in captivity having been carted away by insurgents. All they wanted was to be educated, but here we are, doing nothing even as they are abused on daily basis at God-knows-where.
We have security agencies whose operatives are as clueless as our political leaders. Did the Police Inspector General not tell us that the bloodletting in Benue is a mere communal clash? Did the Police Public Relations Officer not label the Benue Governor ‘a drowning man’ for calling for the resignation of the Inspector General of Police? Was the Police spokesperson not promoted thereafter? What have we not heard or seen so far in this country? Even when a substantial number of persons are killed in cold blood, the police will still claim to be “on top of the situation.” God, may I not pen what just crossed my mind!
The military’s case is even more pathetic. Did the army not tell Nigerians how they rescued the Dapchi girls? When the Yobe State government punctured their balloon of lie with facts, Nigerians realized that they were hoodwinked. This is the army which has claimed to defeat Boko Haram, but members of the terrorist sect are still wreaking havoc in the polity. Instead of being defeated, Boko Haram has formed an alliance with the world renowned dreaded Islamic State (IS) terrorists.
The incompetence and double-standards being exhibited in Nigeria can make any sane person puke. For as long as we condoning this maddening preference for inconsequentialities, Nigeria is headed for a crash. In this 21st century, we have to rise and reject the attempt by some barbaric persons to take us back to bygone centuries. At this age, should cattle be Nigeria’s problem. When countries are making giant strides, here we are, locked in a fierce survival battle with cattle.
I end this short piece by positing that we’ve been fooled by our leaders for far too long. We are been pushed to rear. Methinks it would be commonsensical to conjure resilience. Dear reader, being ‘colonized’ by cows is disheartening. Anyone who masterminds or supports such smell the coffee and wake up.
As for President Buhari, Wole Soyinka’s message to him is apt: “Mr. President, I think you are under a trance. The sooner he gets out of it the better. So many unforced errors are going on.”
May I pause awhile!
(Ofonime Honesty is a journalist. He writes in from Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. email@example.com)