I haven’t ranted in a while so here goes: You all remember Baba Alakyo, right? The old man in Nasarawa State who led his cult to ambush and murder 74 security personnel sometime last year. You remember how the SSS boss, who lost many men in this bestiality, said they had forgiven Baba Alakyo and his men for the murders when they should have led the charge to arrest this man and bring him to justice. Anyway, Baba Alakyo, had been living large since the massacre. Despite being indicted for the murders, there was never any attempt to arrest him and it had been reported that he had been receiving politicians who wanted him to “fortify them with jazz” and boost their political careers.
Life was good until some of his people stole about 500 cows from Fulani Herdsmen. Now these “Fulanis” are not as magnanimous as the SSS Boss. They don’t forgive. And they really don’t give a damn about Baba Alakyo’s magic powers. So they raided his village and reportedly killed everyone in sight, including the powerful jazz man. The Fulanis acknowledge that the man stole their cows but insist it wasn’t them who did it. Whatever, don’t ask me why Baba Alakyo’s jazz failed? Or how the attackers got the better of him. This is old news anyway because it happened last week. What I am wondering is that: so in this country, a man can get away with killing 74 MEN (husbands, fathers, sons, breadwinners) who were doing the duty the country assigned them to do, but he won’t get away with stealing COWS?


2 thoughts on “OF MEN AND COWS

  1. Hmmmm! I have heard the accusation of villagers stealing large numbers of cows from Fulanis before. Where do I start? How is it possible, in a village with mostly thatched huts, to steal 500 cows and have them simply disappear? Is it possible that Fulanis have a different system of counting their cows from the counting system that the rest of us know? Fulanis have coexisted with the natives of many of these communities for decades in some cases. Yet, they lived peacefully, until recently. Since we know that cows are the most important commodity to a Fulani, and since we also know that they do not forgive, or forget; the long history of peaceful co-existence makes a big statement, and raises many questions. For example, how come the natives suddenly developed this insatiable appetite for stealing Fulani cows? How come this new taste ALWAYS involves hundreds of cows?
    Is it possible that this story of cow theft is only a convenient excuse for the unbridled violence that has become the new order? Might there be a more reasoned explanation? Is it possible that these so-called Fulani attackers are in fact NOT actually herdsmen?
    I keep wondering: 500 cows, stolen-and the Fulani people apparently KNOW the thieves since they attack and decimate a whole village. Extending the discussion, when Fulani herdsmen graze in one’s community, is it the responsibility of the community to protect the cows to ensure that no one comes to steal them in their community? Because if they are stolen in your community, the Fulanis will hold the community responsible, with devastating consequences. So if you cannot guarantee the safety of cows grazing through your community, then you must carefully weigh your options.

    • Interesting posers, Dr. However, we must bare in mind that the Fulanis have denied being responsible for the attacks and as of now, the identity of the attackers remain undetermined.
      Secondly, it won’t be a total surprise for a village with thatch houses to accommodate 500 cows. The Fulanis travel with makeshift shelter that can barely be called thatch houses and keep more than 500 cows at the same time. It doesn’t seem to me improbable that such a large number of cows can be kept by a village that could muster enough militia to massacre over 70 armed security personnel and constitute themselves into untouchables.
      Most importantly, it is the failure of governments at all levels to protect citizens, farmers and herdsmen, and their belongings that has necessitated such massacres and jungle justice as we have come to witness in this country of late. If the law enforcement will investigate any complaints and serve justice as prescribed by the law, citizens won’t feel the need to take actions such as these. Community leaders also have a responsibility to guarantee the safety of everyone within their territories but that doesn’t give the Fulanis any right to decimate communities in these fashion on account of missing cows. And until the government can hunt down these marauders and serve them justice, and do justice to the likes of those who massacred those security personnel, then these things will continue. Violence should not be an option in these age and such blatant crimes should not go unpunished.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s