Benue Killings and Buhari’s Deafening Silence 

By Ikechukwu D. Maduike

It is two weeks now since over seventy innocent people were gruesomely murdered in Benue state, yet our president has not deemed it necessary to visit the people of Benue or at least address the nation. And we wonder why other countries look at us with disdain. We wonder why a teenager dying in London or Paris is breaking news in the international media; even two girls killed in Pakistan is breaking news, yet scores of people killed in Nigeria hardly gets a mention and most times, completely ignored by international media.

Who would blame them when we, nay, our leaders don’t value our own lives. Really, why would they take us serious? A country where every now and then, hundreds are killed by marauding herdsmen yet, our president does not do so much as to address the nation or pay a simple visit, perhaps because the perpetrators are his kinsmen.

President Buhari has consistently shown not only that he is more of a Fulani president than a Nigerian president, but that he is also a vile and unfeeling sociopath with no moral conscience. His sectionalism has made a mess of our security agencies and apparatus and undermined the integrity of these agencies and indeed, the country. When all the heads of our security agencies are from Fulani and see themselves as serving the president and not the people, is it any wonder that these herdsmen have the effrontery to kill with reckless abandon. 


Even, when we find out where some of them come from to rape, steal and kill us, we go to them and pay them money to stop killing us, like one governor admitted.

It is even more saddening that a certain idiot has claimed that they carried out the mass murder because their cows were stolen, yet the idiot still walks free. Our police have not seen any reason to arrest him. Every day he walks free not only emboldens this rampaging Fulani murderers, but actually tells them to kill more. What deterrent do they have not to attack again? None! That was why they attacked again, this time at Birnin Gwari, Kaduna killing over 10 people. And as is characteristic of him, our clueless and hard-hearted president is again silent. And this killings is likely to continue until our president grows a heart and start seeing himself as accountable to all Nigerians and not to the Fulanis. I doubt, we will see this change anytime soon (or ever) in our president. There is a saying: you don’t learn to use the left hand at old age.

Recently, the president of America allegedly called us, along with other African nations, shithole and some African leaders including Nigeria are feigning offended. This is not to say I believe president Trump did call us shithole (frankly, I don’t believe anything negative American media says about Trump) but, assuming he did, should we be angry at him or at our president? A Facebook friend, Benjamin Nwosu, wrote: “I hear someone called our country a shithole. We should be angry, not at him but at ourselves for undermining our country. Don’t call it insult. Truth is not an insult. In fact, anyone who cannot tell you the truth is not your friend. Isn’t that so?
One thing I appreciate about Trump is his honesty. I am tired of pretenders. Imagine that our president speaks honestly. Imagine that our leaders have that quality. Can’t you see that we have lost respect before other countries? South Africans just wake up and kill our people in large numbers without fear. 

They even make a video of it and share so it is in our face. They know we will do nothing about it. Next thing, the Indians are killing us too. Libyans are selling our people as slaves.  Even El Rufai admitted that persons from small neighbouring countries come into our country, kill, steal, rape and kidnap our people. Our government found these guys and paid them. We actually paid them.

In our country at present, herdsmen are in charge. They dictate what laws can be passed and what laws will not be allowed to exist. They kill our people in large numbers and go on air to tell us why. In response to this act of treason, the giant of Africa wants to build “cattle colonies” to appease this mighty army of cattle breeders. And we haven’t even talked about poverty and all other “shitly” stuff that have now become normal to us…. If you are angry like me, I hope we start doing something about it.

 I hope someday we make the Trumps eat their words. But for now fellow Nigerians, “shithole” is putting it nicely.” I hope too, that we start doing something about it. 2019 is an out-and-out opportunity to do something about it. 

Until we start taking ourselves serious, until our president, Muhammadu Buhari, start seeing himself as a Nigerian president and not a northern or Fulani president, until our national leaders start seeing themselves as representing the entire nation and not a section, untill we and those who lead us start putting importance and value to our own lives, I doubt that other nations we look at us with anything other than disdain. 

Until then, whenever the international media ignores mass killing in Nigeria and rather reports about a child that breaks his foot in Paris, or whenever a foreigner calls us anything unpalatable, we should not be offended because that is how we’ve made our bed. 

Ikechukwu D. Maduike is an Abuja based lawyer,
Principal, King Soul Attorneys and the Secretary General, Basic Rights Enlightenment Foundation (BREF)

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