By Innocent Ikongbe
In Nigeria, some folks pride themselves as elder statesmen in public but in the solitary confinement of the four walls of their rooms, what they do is far from what elder statesmen would even think about. They would use their privileged societal position to whip up unnecessary sentiments when things do not go their way, or when their secrets are about been exposed. Yes, these are the elder statesmen of Nigeria in the 21st century.
I have never been a fan of T.Y Danjuma since his position of the herdsmen killings was put in the public space. I wondered why such an individual with such societal standing would throw caution into the wind and propagate a hidden agenda in his home state of Taraba and other states such as Nasarawa and Benue.
What T.Y. Danjuma would not tell the world is that he is amongst those propagating ethnic war within the Taraba-Benue zone by arming Jukun militias to go after the Tiv people of Benue state and blame it on Fulani herdsmen going about their peaceful business. Also, guess what? This plot indeed worked for him with the country swallowing it hook, line and sinker.
The worrisome part of the whole propaganda is the fact that T.Y. Danjuma is unapologetic about his hatred for the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari as if he contested the elections with him, just like his partner in crime, Olusegun Obasanjo.
I am happy for just one thing, and it is the fact that Nigerians have been able to see through the folly of these two individuals that do not mean well for the country despite what they have benefited from the country from their youths to old age. They would still not allow peace a chance because of their selfish ways.
I stand to be corrected. The bulk of the killings in Benue and Nasarawa states are carried out by sponsored Jukun militias at the behest of T. Y. Danjuma, the warlord of Taraba state. The governor of Taraba state Darius Ishaku is also an active participant in the evil game. This is not surprising because of the fact that this trend of T.Y Danjuma arming ethnic militias started under the Olusegun Obasanjo presidency where he served as Defence Minister.
This is quite ironic, to say the least on how these folks are hell-bent on casting aspersion on the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari by inciting the people against Fulani herdsmen who have all now been labelled as killer herdsmen.
Those that fought the civil war have suddenly forgotten the scars of the war because they are busy enjoying their fleece. They are not bothered about the unity of the country. They are also not worried about the ordinary Nigerian on the street who struggle day and night to make ends meet. All of these don’t make any form of sense to them, and as such, the man that is concerned about uplifting the country should be brought down by all means possible and necessary.
At some point I got lost for words on the crime committed by President Muhammadu Buhari, so much so that I asked myself since when has it become a crime for standing and protecting the interest of the masses instead of a select few? Since when has it become a crime to put national interest above personal interest? All of these are questions begging for answers in my head.
This has explained the killer herdsmen propaganda that has taken the narrative in recent times. While the real culprits are relaxing somewhere in the comfort of their mansions. But for how T.Y. Danjuma and his goons will continue with their nefarious trade is left to be imagined. However, one thing is sure. The fact that there is time for everything under the sun gives me hope.
I firmly believe that in the fullness of time, Nigerians would know how T. Y Danjuma and his cohorts have been fuelling the killings in Benue and Taraba states under the guise of killer herdsmen. What they stand to benefit is to bring down the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and to generally make the country ungovernable so that they can have access to state resources as it used to be in times past. However, they will fail.
The worrisome part of the whole scenario is the active support the Taraba state government is giving to the nefarious activities of the Jukun Militias to continue their killing spree while blaming it on Fulani Herdsmen along that axis. This is most despicable and calls for concern from all stakeholders in the Nigerian Dream.
The likes of T.Y. Danjuma must realize that Nigerians are not fools and would no longer tolerate his continued arming of ethnic militias to perpetrate killings in the country and passing the blame on innocent herdsmen. He must also realize that gone are the days when he carried this nefarious acts successfully and without repercussions. This time around, it won’t work because Nigerians are more aware and conversant with the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari towards ensuring that the country is safe for all.
The killer herdsmen propaganda might have taken a toll on the psychological state of Nigerians and those in the Benue/Nasarawa axis, but with the truth on whom the real killers are coming out, it is expected that the Taraba State state government must as a matter of urgency begin the process of disarming those ethnic militias it created. They must also let Nigerians know the truth behind passing the blame on innocent herdsmen in their state.
T.Y. Danjuma should also seek forgiveness for the atrocities he has committed against Nigerians. So if at age 80, his conscience does not prick him, I don’t know when his conscience will ever prick him. In all, he must realize that all he needs at the point of his life is daily prayers and supplication to God. And not arming militias to maim and kill. A word is enough for the wise.
*Ikongbe is a public affairs commentator based in Jalingo.