What used to be the beautiful, pristine plains of Plateau State is going down as a killing field! Kuru, where I was privileged to spend a full year most recently, is about a shouting distance from BarkinLadi, the epicentre of the massacres. More than 200 innocent souls reportedly laid to waste, in a series of premeditated and well coordinated attacks. Rather unbelievably, a Miyeti Allah Cattle Breeders Association operative has been quoted to the effect that the killings were a retaliation by Fulani herdsmen who lost cows to some Berom youths! Yes, cows!!
A few weeks ago, I warned with the piece, ‘Our Country is Bleeding!’ I suggested that Nigeria was coming to failure and ruins, contrary to official narratives, and partisan pretensions. I asked all hands on deck to stave off a cataclysm that all thoughtful people can feel, or see in the horizon. I probably sounded rather harsh in my analysis and projections; but isn’t Plateau now a manifestation of acute instability and creeping state failure?
The loss of capacity to protect lives and property, to guarantee safety and security is now practically manifest on the part of the Nigerian state. It is the shame of a nation totally unhinged. It is rather sad that this is the best our babbling ruling elite is capable of coming up with, in an age where others are creating artificial thinkers; and queering the assumption that humans must grow old and die! Small wonder, Charles de Gaulle’s counsel that politics is too serious a matter to be left to politicians alone!
What is clear from all these is that Nigeria needs help, from within and without. It needs to be saved from itself! Granted, much of Africa is already in distress. Look at DR Congo, South Sudan, Cameroon; the recent targeted bombing incidents in Ethiopia and Zimbabwe; not to talk of Libya, and what used to Somali! The question is, why are we racing, with our eyes wide open, and our leaders in the lead, in the same direction that led Somalia to waste?
Nigeria’s current rulers must put on their thinking caps, and do the needful to stave off this looming Armageddon! They must jettison particularistic commitments, and mainstream the common good; take radical measures in the direction of restructuring the federation, and create the basis for inclusivity, which alone can deliver a new, strong nation, of happy, united, and fulfilled people.
Femi Mimiko is a professor of political science, a Nigerian educational administrator and former vice chancellor of Adekunle Ajasin University, a state-owned university named after the former governor of Ondo State, Nigeria. you could reach him on Facebook and Twitter.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.