Yes, you read the title correctly alright. A group of highly educated and privileged Nigerian elite has recommended that the Buhari administration should recruit Fulani herdsmen, local hunters and civilian JTF and pay them very well to fight Boko Haram insurgents side-by-side Nigerian Army soldiers. The group was put together by former President Obasanjo, among other similar groups, as part of his contribution towards finding solutions to Nigeria’s numerous problems.
According to Premium Times of August 23, 2015, Obasanjo, under the aegis of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, has submitted to President M. Buhari a voluminous compendium of various committee recommendations he put together and titled, “TOWARDS A NEW DAWN IN NIGERIA POST 2015”.
The seven-man team that made the shocking recommendation is made up of the following hefty personalities:
- Ahmed Joda – a 1960s super Perm Sec and Chairman of too may Boards and committees including the Buhari Transition Committee
- Nuhu Ribadu – Lawyer, Retired Police AIG and first EFCC Chairman, Chairman Petroleum Revenue Task Force, now a politician in APC.
- Steven Oronsaye – From Edo State, Accountant, Perm Sec Finance under Obasanjo, one-time Head of Service of the Fed Govt, Member of NNPC Board and Ribadu Committee that probed NNPC but is now himself is being charged with various deals amounting to billion so Naira. He headed a famous Civil Service Reform Committee in the Jonathan days.
- George Obiazor – Professor of International Affairs, Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States 2004 to 2008, Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Cyprus and Israel, Director General of Nigeria Institute for International Affairs (NIIA) and a member of the Okorounmi presidential committee that drew up modalities for the 2014 National Conference.
- Peter Okebukola – Professor with training at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) and Harvard University, Specialist in Quality Assurance in Education Systems, Science, Computer and Environmental E He is the President of the Global University Network for Innovation GUNI-Africa. He is the immediate past Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC).
- Tunji Olagunju – Kwara-born Special Adviser to IBB, Special Advisor to Obasanjo on NEPAD, High Commissioner to South Africa, PhD in Government from the University of Manchester, UK. Was Minister for Special Duties and Internal Affairs.
- Yusufu Pam – Private Legal Practitioner on EFCC retainership from Plateau State.
No one can fault the pedigree of the men chosen by the former Presidnet, except that he was not gender-sensitive at all. The team therefore lacked feminine ingredients. No wonder, their end product is tasteless and tactless. How such richly trained and experience personalities would strip themselves of academic wigs and gowns and adopt the Fulani straw hat baffles me. In an exclusive report, PREMIUM TIMES, an on-line newspaper, reported that these men recommended that the Ministry of Defence should establish a collaborative effort between our soldiers, civilian JTF, local hunters and Fulani herdsmen to combat Boko Haram insurgents.
The ad-hoc fighters should be trained in light weapons handling and armed with these. They should also be handsomely remunerated with good cash via a corruption-free mechanism for maximum motivation. In short, the committee impliedly acknowledged that our troops alone cannot defeat Boko Haram. The use of the Civilian JTF could be code-named the “Bornu Model” because the committee code-named the deployment of hunters as the “Mubi Model” after the success of the local hunters to routed Boko Haram out of Mubi town. May be the engagement of the Fulani “unknown gunmen”, who are currently terrorising Middle Belt States, should be code-named, “The Middle Belt Terror Model.” So the modus operandi of the Fulani killer-squads operating in Southern Kaduna, Plateau, Benue and elsewhere, have impressed some people very much?
I will not say more but allow readers to listen to the various commentators who volunteered their opinions to the report online because they spoke well. Read on:
- Why recruit Fulani herdsmen when other minority tribes in the North-East who are at the receiving end of Boko Haram atrocities are not empowered. The Fulani factor is at work here. The Adviser.
- Instead of our collective intelligence being insulted with this charade, I would respect Buhari more if he just handed cold cash to the Fulanis. What stops Boko [Haram] from also dressing like herdsmen and carrying out counter attacks? Boko Haram in the North-East will now be imported to all regions. What nonsense! Ifeanyi Nwoko.
- Simply put, “Pay Boko Haram to stop their terrorism.” Chris 1408.
- Did this distinguished lot bother with world history at all? Arming violence-prone civilians to champion the cause of government under whatever guise is suicidal. In the 1990’s the US made that mistake in Afghanistan. Of course the Taliban was dealt a blow, but Al-Quaeda was born. We don’t want to eradicate Boko Haram and breed a new Terror Squad. Let the military do its job. Lord Rey.
- The Fulani Herdsmen, next to Boko Haram, are the biggest killers of innocent Nigerians. They both seem to target the same type of communities. As such, the prospect of herdsmen working to counter the insurgency is quite remote.
- These herdsmen must be the Boko Haram fighters. They must have agreed to stop (fighting) for some compensation. James.
- Soon Joda and co will recommend Alfas, Babalawos, Ifa Priests, Marabouts, Imams, etc, for ministerial appointments. What a change! What a way to go in this 21st century! God, please deliver your people from this Fulani-Yoruba conspiracy.
- Nigeria is indeed a zoo. Fulani herdsmen and hunters to fight Boko Haram? Ludicrous!
- Islamising Nigeria coming out gently-gently. Then we have to give arms to the Ijaw militants to help guard Nigeria’s oil pipelines too. Smith Scott.
- No Sirs. I completely disagree with these suggestions. You can’t empower such a group. The government should let the security agencies do their jobs and hold them accountable. It may take time but with a good intelligence network, the terrorists would be routed. This is a divisive and lazy man’s approach that would have a telling effect later. The President must not listen to this because we have so many groups like the Fulani herdsmen in many settlements in Nigeria and equipping them all (assuming equally) will spell doom for this country. The Fulani herdsmen are already a security issue themselves. This approach would boomerang later. No please, No!
- These people are highly educated people, all of them. They are Nigeria’s elite. Chukwuka Okoroafor.
- The same Fulani herdsmen and hunters that have consistently attacked and killed thousands of unarmed civilians within the Middle Belt – Benue State in particular? This must be a huge joke. Our political elite act like idiots. Equip the security forces to fight both Boko Haram and the Fulani herdsmen attacking communities in the Middle Belt.
James Pam is an ordained minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He is the senior pastor of Faith City Church in Jos. He is also activist for the protection of the ethnic minorities of the Jos Plateau. He runs a blog called Jos Plateau Affairs. You can email him HERE.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.