By Ayobami Akanji

One good thing about ascetics and sages past is the deep and profound level of wisdom found in their works. You don’t need to be a Buddhist before acknowledging the truth in the above quote. Lies repeated and reported overtime gets repelled by the truth however little it is.

The current herdsmen menace has sadly been the dominant discussions nationwide recently. The rate of destruction to lives and properties should make any sane person cringe, it is as dastardly as it gets.

This unfortunate incident that ought to have appealed to our sense of “Collective Nigerianness” has sadly polarized us to extreme built on ideological clusters and falsehood. Misinformation proponents are circulating fake pictures online, security alerts are fabricated and false broadcast messages are shared on WhatsApp all with the hindsight of heating the polity.

People who obviously are searching for avenues to black paint this government saw the herdsmen crisis as means to ventilate their hate.

The attempt to literally sell a notion that President Buhari as a Fulani man is supporting the activities of these miscreants, is quite unfortunate, it won’t fly just because he is the President and of the Fulani stock. They build these attempts on the often repeated and not so classic “PMB-is-silent” one liner. Those with open eyes and hearts will see the efforts made by the President through personal and representative efforts to find a long lasting and holistic permanent solution to the menace.

However, it’s preposterous to say, malodorous to think and illogical to believe that President Buhari will support an agenda meant to kill and wipe out people he swore under oath to protect. If a President will conspire to have people who have elected him into office killed, who will elect him the next time he wants to stand?

The Vice President did justice to this notion when he said “Every killings undermines the authority of the state. This is why the suggestion sometime that because the president is Fulani he has ignored the killings of herdsmen, is both untrue and unfair”

It is poignant to state that, the adminstration initiated multifaceted approaches to halt this strife by first ordering the Minister of Interior to have an on the spot assessment with the IG of police. Thereafter the Minister of Interior met with Governors from the flash points states; Kaduna, Benue, Adamawa, Taraba, Niger and Nassarawa states, DG SSS, IGP, CG Civil Defence, Honorable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Commissioners of Police from the 6 aforementioned States.

In the same vein, the National Economic Council (NEC) subcommittee to restore peace in the North Central zone and find lasting solutions to the herdsmen/farmers conflicts headed by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo alongside 9 governors as members are already engaging with critical stakeholders in the zone. To add to this clear statement of intent, President Buhari immediately told the IG to relocate to Benue State and see to it that the menace is brought under control at worst or eradicated at best. It should be recalled that same strategy was employed against Boko Haram Terrorists, the systematic decimation of the terrorists attest to the efficiency of these strategies.

The result is open for the world to see. Samuel Ortom, Governor of Benue state led other elder statesmen including Paul Unongo and David Mark to see the President, where they expressed their belief in his ability to nip the crisis in the bud.

Additionally, Federal Government, through the Minister of Agriculture, has settled on the suitability of cattle colonies policy to end the menace. This hasn’t or didn’t sit down well with stakeholders. They have opened the door for deliberation as a lasting solution to the problems is what they want. If this doesn’t dispel the notion that President Buhari is shielding the Fulanis, I don’t know what will. More men of the Nigerian security operatives have been sent to these states. Fatai Owoseni, Commissioner of Police Benue State, acknowledged this when he posited:

“The IG has continued to support us. As of today 15 units squadrons from 15 states have been deployed to support the existing officers on ground….“We also received the deployment of Police Special Forces, Intelligence and Technical teams in the state”

In a show of supreme military tact, the President after having series of briefings with the Service Chiefs. Men of the Nigerian Army have been deployed to North Central states under the operating code name “Operation Ayem Akpatuma” or “CAT RACE”. The Nigerian Airforce complimenting the ground troops will establish a Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Taraba State to provide reconnaissance for strategic military coordination. These moves made by the presidency is what they can announce to the public for now, Knowing the sensitivity of security, one believes that they have made, are making and will make moves that will bring this menace to a lasting conclusion.

No one is happy with the continuous loss of innocent lives. We should however as much as possible try to be fair to the current leadership and monitor how this fight will be fought. Politics as a game is to be played with the mindset of proffering solutions to problems. practical solutions, not magic is desired. Only magicians change things with the snap of fingers. Leaders and deft politicians like President Buhari look for solutions, it might take time. Time to consult, plan, execute and effect. This part is what we owe the Federal Government. What the FG owes us is giving us solutions. And that they’re doing. God bless Nigeria!!

Ayobami Akanji is a security analyst and wrote from Abuja