I was amused to watch Alhaji El Rufai, a Fulani, governor of Kaduna state whose Southern Kaduna Christian citizens are being butchered by Fulani herdsmen, both local and foreign, for reasons they call `reprisal attack’ for the killing of Fulani herdsmen, both local and foreign, after the 2011 presidential elections, trying to answer questions posed to him by the ALJAZEERA’S `The Stream’ team. He had with him another young man who was very persistent in justifying the legality of  Fulani herdsmen coming from all over West Africa to graze in Southern Kaduna by virtue of a grazing reserve law of 1965.
To the question as to how many Southern Kaduna Christians had been killed it was obvious the governor did not have the answer. He said, `between ten thousand and twenty thousand since 1980.’ It is not surprising. Life in Nigeria is very cheap, especially lives of people you do not care much for. After all they are Christians and he is a Moslem. To be fair to him though, we do not have records. The records of the security agencies hardly ever agree with those of the police or the non-governmental-organisations. But a state governor is supposed to know. He is responsible for the lives of his people.
Yes, there is a grazing reserve law of 1965 promulgated by the northern Nigeria government that provided for a large stretch of land covering much of the northernmost states and running as far south as Kwara state said to have been reserved  for grazing by Fulani people from all over West Africa. But that was at a time when Nigeria’s population was only fifty million. The population has quadrupled and there is a great pressure on land brought about by population changes and movement, desertification of a large slice of Nigeria reducing arable and grazing land drastically. That law was one of the ploys of the Fulani to maintain a stranglehold on Nigeria, permitting foreigners to come in at will and graze their cattle. But our myopic and Fulani dominated government will pretend not to know that this is another terrorist route into Nigeria to add to the Boko Haram menace from the north east.
We are told glibly that Fulani terrorists planned and executed reprisal attacks on Nigerians for killings done in 2011. They had to wait nearly six years to carry out the attacks. Surely somebody must have known of the planned attacks. Why could they not have been stopped? Rather what we hear is that the Kaduna state government was so sorry for the killing of Fulani terrorists’ cattle that their representatives have had to go the extra mile to placate the Fulani terrorists in their home countries by paying generous compensation for the loss of their cattle! A paltry one hundred million was given to the Roman Catholic church in Kaduna for the rebuilding of burnt down churches. Naturally the Catholic church has thrown the money back at the government with the advice that government should take care of the problems of its citizens killed, wounded and displaced, whether they are Christians or not. Christian lives matter too!  


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