Igama and the indicia of an invaded country

Kenechukwu Obiezu

Kenechukwu Obiezu

Today, Nigeria, the Giant of Africa is wounded in many places, and the fear is real that if the wounds are not bandaged and the bleeding stanched, they may become gangrenous, narrowing down available options to either amputation or death.

On Sunday June 12, 2022, armed men suspected to be Fulani herdsmen attacked Igama in Edumoga Ehaje in Okpokwu Local Government Area of Benue State, killing at least 30 persons.

Reports had it that attackers descended on unsuspecting victims in the early hours of the day, killed residents and burnt houses to the ground. Following the attacks, villagers fled their homes in fear for their lives.

A trail of blood

The recent attacks in Igama continued a trend of violent attacks on the communities in the State which have continued from time to time for years without concrete efforts by the authorities to give rural communities who only want to lead simple, stable lives a sense of security.

In February 2016, armed herders in Agatu LGA attacked and killed over 500 villagers, displacing over 7000 in an incident that jarred the nation awake to a new harrowing reality.  At that time, a leader of the Gan Allah Fulani Association, Saleh Bayeri, one of the groups fingered in the attack said that the bloody raid was a reprisal attack against the Agatus whom he accused  of killing a prominent Fulani in 2013.

In May 2021, over 100 persons were massacred and many others rendered homeless in Katsina-Ala LGA of the State.

In April 2022, at least 23 villagers were killed when persons believed to be herders attacked the Mbadwem and Tiortyu communities in Guma and Tiortyu Local Government areas of the state.

On April 5,2021, a group of local militants in Bonta, a town in Konshisha Local Government Area of Nigeria`s northwestern Benue State, waylaid and killed some soldiers coming from Okpute in the Oju Local Government Area of the state.

On April 29,2022, criminals suspected to be armed herders killed two personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and two other villagers in separate attacks on communities in Makurdi and Logo Local Government Areas of Benue State.

Untold human suffering.

There can be no doubt and there isn’t any that these constant attacks on vulnerable communities in Benue State which echo other violent attacks on rural communities in Nigeria`s Northeast, Northwest and Northcentral regions has caused imponderable human suffering, reducing the food basket of the nation to its blood basket.

Many of these villagers, already dirt-poor, are slaughtered during these attacks. Their livelihoods are wiped out; what little property they have is destroyed and those of them who survive are forced to live as internally displaced persons in  camps sticky with squalor.

 A failed state?

That these attacks have continued non-stop indicts the response of the Nigerian authorities to these attacks. In spite of the fact that over 100 gallant security operatives have been felled in the state since these violent attacks started, that the criminals who continue to attack communities in the state have somehow sustained the attacks increasing their intensity each time gives away the response of the Nigerian authorities as feeble.

The insecurity gripping the state at the moment feeds off the many tributaries of Nigeria`s insecurity and continues to call the government of the day to account for just what it has done in carrying out its primary purpose which is the welfare and security of Nigerians.

Terror continues to spread throughout Nigeria with chilling temerity. That it is those already sitting on the margins of the country that have are being most affected by these terrorist attacks betray the Giant of Africa as one big boiling cauldron of injustice.

Until justice is served on both the victims and the perpetrators, Nigeria will continue to flow with  blood shed by invaders who   have so far  continued to evade justice.

 

 

Kene Obiezu,

keneobiezu@gmail.com

 

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