If President Muhammadu Buhari really said what he recalled he told President Donald Trump of the US in the privacy of the Oval Office, then this has given justification to the call by Samuel Ortom, the governor of Benue State, for every adult of Benue State to apply for eligibility to bear arms as a measure of self-defence. Buhari’s posturing was a very simplistic and banal explanation for the killing of settled Christian agrarian folks across Nigeria and our president seems to consider that this killing progression is, well, normal because of “population growth and climate change.” What elementary baloney!

Whatever this “population growth and climate change” line of thinking is, a decent investment in modern ranching techniques would stop the killer horde of Fulani tribesmen from roving from place to place and have their herd of cattle “enter farms and destroy crops,” if one may attempt to quote our president. Well, then, given this circumstance, and knowing that the constitution recognises the right to life for Nigerians, it follows without much ado that the best course of action to take to ensure this right to life and liberty as enshrined in this aforementioned constitution is to take preventive measures to push back against armed marauders cutting you and your folks down to pieces.

Thus, every Nigerian adult should be entitled to bear arms for self defence and deterrence purposes and anyone found to use these arms to commit premediated murder should be subjected to the capital punishment provision. Benue State should provide a lead in this regard by having its House of Assembly promulgate germane legislation to this effect. For the rural folks of Benue State, it is going to be especially tough now that the leader of the militia that has helped served as a deterrent force to keep killer Fulani at bay, Terwase “Gana” Akwase, was lured out of his sanctuary and summarily executed in cold blood. The governors who have served in Borno State could have done same with Abubakar Shekau but none chose that route. Gana was demonised as a vicious gangster but he never captured any soldier or other Nigerian servicemen and slaughtered them before video cameras and he did not do terror to promote his faith. He was the checkmate to Fulani aggression. Could not a sitting governor simply end the carnage in Southern Kaduna? Instead this governor and his posse have conned the people by having a national Christian pilgrim affairs board call a “peace” parley with the object of demonising the leaders of Southern Kaduna further.

In Nigeria, truly, the problems of Christians are compounded by other Christians. Just give some Christians the assurance of the cool comfort of Abuja connections, they’d just as easily vituperate other Christians who bear the brunt of daily oppression and face the risk of death. See how the Muslim community of Nigeria came out hard in support of Nasir el-Rufai because the NBA chided him for administrative incompetence. For the whispered assurance of senate seats in 2023, “higher forces” are pulling the strings of the governors of Benue, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, and other gullible Christian-majority states so as to emasculate their push for a more coherent security apparatus that does not look too good for invading foreign Fulani herdsmen.

Sunday Adole Jonah,

Department of Physics, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State