Moo is that long deep sound a cow makes intermittently. It can be irritating sometimes. Figuratively speaking, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, made a moo last week. It was in a failed attempt to defend wandering cows and those herding them.
In an interview on Channels Television, Malami described the ban on open grazing of cattle by the Southern Governors Forum as unconstitutional. Southern governors had, in their meeting in Asaba penultimate week, banned open grazing as part of measures to stem the tide of killings and kidnappings by criminal herdsmen in the region. But to Malami, banning open grazing “is as good as saying, perhaps, the northern governors coming together to say they prohibit spare parts trading in the north.”
In critical thinking, this argument is called fallacy of faulty comparison or false equivalence. In other words, it amounts to comparing apples and oranges. Spare parts dealers are legitimate businessmen. They rent shops which they renew annually. They don’t attack anybody. They don’t destroy other people’s means of livelihood. They don’t kidnap or move about with AK-47 rifles.
On the contrary, criminal herdsmen invade people’s farmlands at will. Their cows destroy economic crops. And when farmers react, they maim or kill them and rape their women. Some of them also kidnap people for ransom.
From Malami’s present and past utterances, it is difficult not to translate his designation as Attorney General of the Federation into Attorney General of the Fulani (AGF). Recall that when the South-West Governors established Operation Amotekun security outfit last year, Malami condemned it, saying it was illegal. He also once said that the rule of law was subservient to national security.
Nevertheless, many individuals and groups have replied him in kind. Some even called for his removal as the AGF. As the Chairman of the Southern Governors Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, aptly put it, Malami’s statement was unfortunate and unexpected from a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
Akeredolu added: “Comparing this anachronism, which has led to loss of lives, farmlands and property, and engendered untold hardship on the host communities, with buying and selling of auto parts is not only strange, it, annoyingly, betrays a terrible mindset. The decision to ban open grazing stays and it will be enforced with vigour.”
Ironically, even the National Patron of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association of Nigeria, Senator Walid Jibrin, reportedly said open grazing by herdsmen was outdated. He commended the southern governors for the ban. Also, the Northern Governors’ Forum and the Nigerian Governors’ Forum have all banned open grazing in the country. So, whose interest is Malami serving?
Perhaps, he wants to please people like the National President of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Abdullahi Bello Bodejo. In an interview he granted Saturday Sun last Saturday, Bodejo instructed his men to disobey the directive of the southern governors to stop open grazing in the South. He said the governors had no such right; and that they were all jokers plotting to take over the cattle business in Nigeria.
In any case, why did Malami single out spare parts in his fallacious comparison? Why not foodstuff dealers, or bureau de change operators? The reason is simple. Spare parts business is peculiar to the Igbo. So the game is probably to stigmatise the entire ethnic group as was done after the 1966 coup and turn the rest of Nigerians against them.
This pattern has been consistently used in recent times. Two months ago, the Code of Conduct Tribunal Chairman, Danladi Umar, allegedly assaulted a security man at a shopping plaza in Abuja. The incident engendered some form of commotion. Umar attributed it to the handiwork of Biafran boys. Recently, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, raised the alarm that members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) were planning to attack Lagos. How he got his ‘intelligence’ report remains a puzzle. During the #EndSARS protests of last year, there were attempts to heap the blame of the destruction in some parts of Lagos and elsewhere on Igbo youths.
So far, these attempts to call a dog a bad name in order to hang it have failed. Many Nigerians are wiser now and can easily identify statements that are based on false logic. They lash out at whoever comes up with cock and bull stories these days.
Besides, southern Nigeria is also getting wiser. Before now, the South was seriously fragmented. There was mutual suspicion between South-West and South-East. The South-South was in the middle with its own fears and suspicions. Today, the scenario is gradually changing.
The North, on the other hand, was regarded as one. Today, the North-Central or Middle Belt region is unhappy in its relationship with the core North. Sadly, that region has become the butt of attacks from Fulani herdsmen. Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, even alleged recently that Miyetti Allah targeted him for elimination. He decried the Federal Government’s poor handling of security in Nigeria and literally accused President Muhammadu Buhari of being President of the Fulani.
The President has worsened this ethic mistrust and hatred with his nepotistic tendencies. He does not even respect competence in his bid to favour his people. Malami’s faux pas, for instance, equates with what has just been reported at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. In a thoughtless and strange move, the ministry awarded a N30 million contract for the building of a Friday mosque for livestock farmers displaced by Boko Haram insurgents in Borno. The ministry even tried to justify this tomfoolery. Anyway, this is a story for another day.
A few days ago, many Nigerians called for the sacking or resignation of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami. He had expressed views sympathetic to such groups as al-Qaeda and Boko Haram. But curiously, the Presidency came to his defence. It said those statements were made when he was in his 20s and that he was a changed man now.
These perfidious acts only confirm the sly nature of politicians and their acolytes. The consequence is that a nation of intellectuals and high net worth individuals has been reduced to a laughing stock in the comity of nations. The future is ominous and pregnant. We desperately need redemption in the area of leadership. It is my sincere hope and prayer that we shall overcome someday, those making moos notwithstanding.
Re: Waiting for our armoured vehicles
The second coming of Buhari was simply occasioned by some obvious reasons other than the strength of his democratic credentials and administrative competence. The complexity of Nigeria requires a Nigerian who truly understands and honestly attunes himself to the country’s peculiarities while also seeing himself as a Nigerian before entangling himself with his tribal attractions. The taste of the pudding, we often say, is in the eating. Buhari has finally tasted the Nigerian pudding after some unsuccessful bids, and has now been embarrassingly overwhelmed by its biting taste. But it seems to me if Nigeria did not finally avail president Buhari his life-long opportunity, he would have been ‘wrongly’ inducted into the Honourable League of ”the best president(s) that Nigeria never had”.
Edet Essien Esq. Cal. South, +2348037952470
Dear Casy, as a patriot, your prescriptions have said it all. But will the ears they are meant for utilise them? They won’t because it is a government thriving on sophistry and rhetoric while the country smoulders! With ‘Change and Next level’ slogan in 2015 wherein we chorused along because I voted for this Govt, little did we know that their change wasn’t the real change but a change to doom, damnation and annihilation while the Next level is the foisting of Fulanism for the management of herders and cattle. Otherwise, isn’t it laughable that we are waiting for imported armoured tanks and all the bla..bla..bla before fully facing the bandits? Does it mean we didn’t have such things before?
-Steve Okoye, Awka, 08036630731.
Dear Casy, while we wait for Buhari’s armoured vehicles, let the UN security council intervene in this present genocide Buhari and the Fulani are engaged in Igbo land where our unarmed youths are being killed secretly inside some military facilities. Those armoured vehicles are to be used by the Fulani terrorists. Gowon declared war against Biafra and codenamed it police action and murdered three million unarmed men, women and children. British government and Queen Eliza blocked the genocide from the world.
-Eze Chima C Lagos, +2347036225495
It’s very unfortunate that what Nigerians expect from President Buhari and APC is not forthcoming despite the support from Nigerians in 2015 general election. Everything is upside-down under this government.
-Gordon Chika Nnorom, Umukabia, +2348062887535
The problems of APC government under the watch of Muhammadu Buhari are cluelessness, lack of planning and insensitivity. Let’s recall that insensitivity was the main reason Lt. Gen. Joshua Nimyel Dogonyaro (whom Buhari mourned his death few days ago) announced the sacking of Buhari in August 27, 1985. The recent rumuored coup could also be traced to his insensitivity to issues. I did not vote for Buhari in his two presidential elections because we suffered under him when he was the military Head of State as Jesus suffered under Pontius Pilate. So, I don’t want to suffer under a man whose name is associated with insensitivity, hardship, economic quagmire, tribalism, favouritism, nepotism, religious bigotry, etc.
-Mr. Chinedu Ekwuno (JP), 08063730644
Casmir, hypocrisy, deceits and corruption have been undermining the efforts of our soldiers. It’s not that Boko Haram, banditry, Fulani herdsmen cannot be defeated. People are making billions of naira in all these insurrections. Informants of the daredevils are everywhere. The president can succeed if he decides to be truly patriotic. This he can show by clamping down on armed herdsmen. Let him ensure that restructuring is done without further delay. 2014 constitutional conference report cannot be condemned to dustbin. Let’s set in motion the implementation of the recommendation of the conference and enshrine equity, fairness and true nationalism.
–Pharm Okwuchukwu Njike, +234 803 885 4922
Dear Casmir, the solution to our problem hasn’t to do with use of sophisticated weapons. The circuitry of disorder originated from legitimacy crisis bred by the sideline of social justice. If we can legislate for compulsory coalition government at federal, state and local government levels, peace will reign. Nobody should vote in 2023 if the electoral act is not amended.
– Cletus Frenchman Enugu, +2349095385215
Dear Casmir, please, if that was an offence not voting for (PMB) it was not you alone that committed it. Therefore, whatever condition we found ourselves today, those concerned would as well receive their rewards. My dearest brother, please keep the flag hoisted. Remain blessed. Amen. In the same vein, your ten-point agenda no doubt is also endorsed in heaven above. That’s a clear testimony that you were breastfed to the core.