Fulani Herdsmen and Boko Haram: The invisible hands of the same vested interests in Nigeria.
A wise soul once said, “Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.” Another, perhaps lesser known, was known to have said, “You can fool many people most of the time, but you cannot fool all people all of the time.” Well, so much for adages, for clearly these wise souls never contemplated a phenomenon uncommonly known as the “Nigerian Syndrome;” an affliction so sudden and debilitating that it paralyses the victim with an acute sense of fear, helplessness, and the desire to flee. The “fight or flee” instinct imbued by nature is thus truncated to flee only. In primitive civilizations of hunters and gatherers, men distinguished themselves through conquest and defense of their communities, and did so consistently as a matter of course in abnegation of physical well being, but selflessly for the gods, family and community. The Nigerian Syndrome is diametrically opposed to this human instinct nurtured and perfected through centuries of habituation.
The point at hand is that Nigerians, as a collective lot, seem to abandon the natural instinct of self-preservation when confronted with danger. The overwhelming reaction is to either flee or cry for help; no other collectivity of humanity has shown such lack of will to stand and take the bull by the horn. That Boko Haram ravaged the country for years with impunity has nothing to do with their strength or bravery but much to do with the Nigerian Syndrome. That the Fulani herdsmen have become deadlier than Boko Harem, their forerunner, is because the collective will to stop them in their tracks is wanting; the Nigerian Syndrome strikes again. The question to ask now is how long can Nigerians remain docile in the face of danger and still pretend to be a community of rational men and women that want to remain whole and intact?
Since 2012, the Fulani herdsmen have slaughtered more Nigerians than Boko Haram, a universally known terrorist group. In 2014 alone the herdsmen killed approximately 1229 people in villages and towns across the country, a staggering feat that compelled Global Terrorist Index to call this rag-tag of men the 4th deadliest group in the world. The Fulani herdsmen are boys and middle-aged men armed with automatic rifles; from whence these weapons came cannot be a mystery. If government officials claim ignorance of the sources of the weaponry deployed by these herdsmen, then everyone should really run for cover, close the hatch and give the key to a foreign power.
The time to stand and defend Nigeria from itself is now; wait another day and we would everlastingly lose the soul of the country; and that would be unforgiveable.