I put it to Senator Ali Ndume that these two ingredients of criminal trespass are being executed by the herdsmen who unlawfully access somebody’s farm, intimidate, maim, rape or even kill the farmer if the farmer raises an eyebrow.
I burst into laughter when I read where Ndume said that: “They (the southern governors) have unfiltered access to Mr President who is the Commander-In-Chief and they themselves being the chief security officers of their states have the National Security Council.’’
Let me begin by asking Ndume which President he was referring to? Was it the same President that said that he was not aware that his former IGP did not carry out his instruction when the Benue State killings began and he could neither sack the IGP nor replace him for flouting the order of the Commander-in–chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria? Was Ndume referring to a President that made it clear after his swearing in that he was for his 97% that voted for him and not the 5% that did not vote for him? Was Ndume referring to a President under whose watch the Federal Ministry of Justice was eager to approach the court to proscribe IPOB while the rampaging Fulani herdsmen are killing and wiping out communities with nobody saying anything? Was Ndume referring to the same President that the governors of Benue, Zamfara and Niger states have repeatedly sent out “Save-our-soul’’ messages to and kidnapping, banditry and killing are still ongoing? Was Ndume referring to the same President that under his watch, the Abuja-Kaduna road is now a nightmare to travellers that even highly placed security officers are afraid plying the road with their own security details?
Was Ndume referring to a President that clearly told the people of Benue that they should find a way to accommodate their visitors, even when the visitors were there to destroy their farms with their cattle? Was Ndume referring to a President under whose watch a particular section of the country would kill and openly claim responsibility for that and no arrest would be made let alone prosecuting the culprits but when the victims rise up to defend themselves, then the military would be drafted to the area? The DSS I know under this regime is the one that can invite somebody like me to come and explain what should be my freedom of expression as contained in Section 39 of the constitution, as amended, but no herder will be invited for a similar interrogation.
I may not want to continue in responding to all that Ndume said while featuring on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ programme because I may soon lose my control.
However, the one that I will not fail to mention before ending this write-up is the reaction of some northerners who faulted the southern governors for not first consulting the leadership the Fulani herdsmen before banning open grazing in the South. The consult will be for what? Will the southern governors first consult the leaders of the herdsmen as owners of the country or owners of the southern part of the country? How many southerners were consulted before Sharia law was illegally implemented in the North even when such implementation was totally and clearly against Sections 10 and 38 of the Nigerian Constitution as amended?
Section 38 of the Nigerian Constitution extensively gives every Nigerian citizen the inalienable right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion whereas Section 10 clearly states that: ‘’The Government of the Federation or of a State shall not adopt any religion as State Religion’’.
Is it not unlawful to impose Sharia law to people living a certain region of the country? Tell me if it is not unlawful for members of the Hisbah corps or what other name they are called to destroy and arrest the sellers of alcoholic drinks on the streets of Kano. The most annoying of the whole scenario is that the same Hisbah corps are being financed from the Value Added Tax got from sales and consumption of alcoholic drinks from other states of the federation. If they do not like alcoholic drinks, why not tell the Federal Government to remove part of their monthly allocations coming from the tax levied on alcoholic drinks? That is what Ghanaian novelist, Ayi Kwei Armah, called the Chidodo bird. The said Chidodo bird hates excreta but feeds on the maggots that survive on the excreta.
I know somebody will cite one law passed by the Kano State House of Assembly or any other Northern state House of Assembly banning sales and consumption of alcoholic drinks. I will like to refer the fellow to Section 4(5) of the Nigerian Constitution, as amended, which states that: “If any law enacted by the House of Assembly of a State is inconsistent with any law (such as sections 10 and 38 of the Nigerian constitution) validly made by the National Assembly, the law made by the National Assembly shall prevail, and that other law shall to the extent of the inconsistency be void.”