(FILES) This picture taken on November 16, 1996 shows a lost Rwandan girl crying at the Gisenyi refugee aid camp. | AFP/Abdelhak Senna/Getty Images

We have a particular bad habit back home, which is ignoring things until they get out of hand. @sbmintelligence has put together a report on the violence in North Central Nigeria. The time for unlooking is over.

John Anule was killed by people who accused him of cattle rustling. On what planet, and in what century is a human being less important than a cow? This is 21st century Nigeria!

Many, in Lagos and Abuja are ‘blissfully’ unaware of what is happening in the Middle Belt. Maybe #BokoHaram fatigue. But we need to wake up and smell the coffee. It affects us. The prices of food in Lagos for example, have gone up by as much as 300% over the last two years. 300%!

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This has coincided with the escalation of the Middle Belt violence. There are people in the Middle Belt that have not harvested their crops since 2006! Think of the effect if this is a farmer’s only means of sustenance. Now, expand it over a very large area and group of people.

The MB violence has different parts but the most important part of the story is that government is unlooking. The full report via @sbmintelligence is HERE , the summary is HERE.

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If you are close to Buhari’s government, please pick up the report and share it. More importantly, get Buhari to ACT. Solutions are in there.

Nigeria is fond of burying its head in the sand when violence starts like this, until it boils over.

But this Middle Belt crisis can be a much bigger existential threat to Nigeria than any of those. It’s at the heart of the nation.

The annual BH average annual death toll is 2,500. North Central Killings death toll in 2015 is already almost 2,000!

Buhari needs to ACT NOW.

Or are we going to wait until BBC or CNN talks about the Middle Belt killings before something is done?

Editor’s Note: This article was first published on October 21, 2015. Sadly, it is still relevant and has never been more urgent that the issues be address. 

Cheta Nwanze is journalist and information technology professional. He is a political activist and social affairs commentator. He tweets from @Chxta.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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