The herder crisis looks grim, but it is no strange news to Nigerians. Rather, every wanton attack by these AK 47 wielding savages gives us a routine reminder of the heightening insecurity threatening the fabrics that unites this nation together. These attacks tend to undermine the successes recorded in the North-East by the Nigerian troops.
It will be recalled that in April, there was an attack by herdsmen in Ekiti that left 2 people dead after which the governor imposed some restrictions on grazing in the state. Three months after, the Ekiti state governor has taken an inchoate move in preserving the lives and properties of genuine peace-loving herdsmen and the people of Ekiti state.
Uncontestably the only opposition governor speaking out, Governor Fayose doesn’t shy away from controversies especially when he feels it is for the good of his people. This stand has earned him many powerful foes and also may loyal grassroots friends who are always willing to stick out their neck for his interest. This was exhibited in mid-2015 when the state’s APC dominated House of Assembly wanted to impeach him.
Governor Fayose’s “street credibility” governance style is second to none and one might be forced to wonder how the streets holds sway in a state that prides itself as the home of professors. But at this point, I will like to defer the debate on the penetrating influence of the “Agbo jedi, beer palour and pomo sector versus the ”intellectual” sector to another day least I deviate from my focus which is on Governor Fayose’s new law.
To all and sundry, William Caxton’s “Once beaten, twice shy” phrase is a reminder to be watchful and vigilant to avoid a repeat of scenarios where one is hurt. George Horne also buttressed this position by saying “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” With the new “Anti grazing bill 2016” that was signed into law in Ekiti state by Governor Ayodele Peter Fayose, it is safe to say that the Governor doesn’t want to be beaten or fooled again.
The scenario in Enugu state is quite different and to that regard, I have commenced the herculean task of searching for an emissary to help me inscribe these William Caxton and George Horne quotes on the walls at the entrance of Enugu state government house. My quest doesn’t aim at beautifying the walls, but to underscore that the main duty of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as the chief security officer of the state is not just to shed tears but protect lives and properties. It will also make him understand that if ‘Ndi Enugu’ needed someone to cry for them; they would easily draft one of those Nollywood actors and actresses from upper iweka road Onitsha.
On the 25th of April, there was an attack in Ukpaibi, Nimbo, in Uzo Uwani Local government area of Enugu state. Grapevine has it that the dwellers of this community got signs of the ominous act and scrambled to get help, but only God can tell us what really transpired as news outlets were awash with different versions of events. In the aftermath, the Governor was in Abuja where he discussed with the president on the issue. He then assured the people of Enugu that the perpetrators will be brought to book.
Exactly four months after, herdsmen attacked Ndiagu Attakwu Akegbe Ugwu community in Nkanu West local Government area of the state. This attack called to question the aim and purpose of the trip he embarked on to Abuja after the first attack. The Governor needs to learn that not every problem has its solution prescribed from Abuja after all he was voted in by the people of Enugu and not those in Abuja. He should come up with grazing laws and create state agencies to enforce them and not trifle with this issue.
Nigerians can’t be advocating for federalism while some governors can’t even pretend to guarantee peace in their states. Governor Ugwuanyi should pay a visit to Anambra state and catch a glimpse of the Anambra Vigilante squad. These vigilante squads don’t have the best of equipment, but equipped with short guns and their made in Nigeria Innosson pick-up trucks, they have succeeded in helping the police and other law enforcement agencies fight crime to a record low in the state.
Like Garry Patton once said “Once bitten, twice shy, thrice shame on me!” The governor of Enugu state has been beaten to tears and fooled. I pray he is not shamed by these herdsmen who according to Alabi Williams move like “Doctors without borders”.