Sir, before I start I must tell you I stopped supporting you since 2011 when after losing the election as the presidential candidate of the CPC, you kept mute as your supporters went on a rampage killing Christians and non-indigenous people around the north. When you came out to speak, at last, you didn’t condemn them but told the world that when people angry they resorted into such, something like that, I cannot exactly quote you but that was what you kind of said. Since then I stopped supporting you because as I see it, your ambition to be president for you matters more than the lives of Nigerians. It was crystal.
I watched four years later as you won the presidential election. It wasn’t a free and fair election and it wasn’t one of the best since 1999, in fact, I will rate it as one of the worst, as there were intimidation and mass rigging, but you won and the incumbent handed over power peacefully to you. I have always believed change is a good thing, whether negative or positive, in both changes we gain and learn a lot. So I wasn’t perturbed when you won and was sworn in. And from the beginning I never supported you. Your supporters who know me can testify to that. Some of them simplistically see my not supporting you as something that has to do with you being a Fulani or a Muslim. I have always told them I have a right not to support you in a democracy and it has nothing to do with tribe or religion than the reason I mentioned in the beginning.
Like most people who didn’t support you, I waited patiently for you to do something worthwhile to prove me wrong, to change my mind about you, to tell everyone that I made a big mistake about you, but alas no. Mr. President in your first speech addressing the nation from Eagle Square after you were officially sworn in as the president, I remember saying you are the president of everyone and no one. But since May 29, 2015, you have shown that you are more of the President of certain people than others.
Immediately you became president you sent the military to Zamfara State and deployed them to Kaduna and environ to stop the cattle rustlers that the Fulanis complained about. It turned out that 90% of the rustlers arrested since then have been the same Fulani people. So it is clear that the problem of Fulani attacks on farmers has never been farmers rustling cattle but herdsmen destroying farmlands and now trying to take it over by force through violence. Mr. President amidst these killing, these horrors that farmers go through, villages being sacked and women and children being hacked to death with machetes and shot TJ dead at close range, I wonder if you see these photos. How can you see such horrible photos and be quiet?
The other day some agree group in Adamawa State attacked some Fulani settlement killing cows in retaliation, then there was the attack on Fulani settlement around Numan where many Fulanis were killed, mostly women and children, and just two weeks after that the Fulani militias stuck, sacking villages and killing hundreds, destroying properties worth millions, yet Mr. President, you remain mute. What is going on with you Mr. President?
The reason why the Fulani militants attacks is a federal government issue is that they are not fighting in one state but many states and as the state governments and even the security agencies have confirmed, some of these militias are foreigners. How then do you allow foreigners into Nigeria to kill Nigerians and try to take over Nigerian land for grazing for their cattle? It baffles some of us.
Mr. President the main economic goal of your administration is Agriculture, yet you allow farmers to be terrorized by Fulani militias. From Southern Kaduna to Nasarawa, FCT to Niger, Nassarawa to Benue, Taraba, and Adamawa, these Fulani herdsmen have gone on ethnic cleansing and government have been mute. A couple of angry tribal groups strike back here and there in retaliation and Abuja is quiet. Governors are afraid to do much not to offend you because the Fulanis are your people, security agencies are afraid to do much because the Fulanis are your people. The other day they shot at Air Force surveillance plane, it is in the papers, somewhere in Adamawa, yet Mr. President there was no word from you.
Mr. President, your silence, and inaction, and body language which obviously shows support for your people has caused these massacres to continue. This is simply unacceptable!
I am sure you have seen the recent photos from Benue. It took you a long time to respond to the photos. Fulani herdsmen struck again.
Now let me tell you what the people in the affected areas are saying, from Taraba to Benue, Southern Kaduna to Niger, Nassarawa to FCT, they are seeing all these as some sort of Islamic Jihad. They are seeing the mass support for the Fulanis not just by some politicians but the masses of Muslims in the north as part of that Jihad. That’s how much you have divided Nigeria Mr. President.
Mr. President, your refusal to address this menace, your silence, clearly show the nation that you belong to some people more than others. Posterity will judge you for this.
I may not have supported you but you give me and millions of Nigerians no reason to support you.
Thank you, sir.
George Onmonya Daniel is a columnist and activists. Connect with him on Facebook.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.