There are fears right now in the southern states of Nigeria. The fear is mainly in the south south and south eastern states of the country. For the past two months into the lockdown occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic, there has been influx of almajris into the southern states. The influx was more pronounced in these two zones, not actually in the South West.
It is difficult to say why the Northern governors are pushing these children and youths to the southern states. And even the most difficult to understand is why are they sending the youths to the south at this period of lockdown. Though there has been interstate lockdown declared by President Muhammadu Buhari, the youths have been coming in their number almost on daily basis.
The coronavirus has been dealing with them in the North, especially in Kano state, a state which has taken over the second position on the radar of states affected by the coronavirus. The federal capital territory Abuja was the second after Lagos, which is the epicenter of the disease, but Kano has driven Abuja out of the second position and now leading the second pack.
Almost on daily basis, there are reports of trucks and trailers conveying youths from the Northern states to the South with no destination in mind. But for the eagle eyed security on the highways employed by diferent state governments in the south south and south east, the Northern youths would have spread themselves in the two regions of Nigeria. One is left with no idea as to what actually is their mission.
It is baffling to see youths loading themselves into trailers and heading towards a region they have knowledge of. They have no parents there and no job in mind to carry out. These young people are not literate, hence they are not employable in any organization. It is therefore pertinent to ask questions as to the mission of the youths from the North. Their destinations also needed to be investigated and who is on ground in the states to receive them as they arrive.
The governors in the south and the various traditional rulers also need to wake up to realities. They do not need to keep quiet and watch, only sending them back from their borders is not enough. Investigations must be carried out as to ascertain the mission of the youths in the trucks coming from the North. It is also nice to know who must have sponsored their journey to the two zones of South South and South East Nigeria.
The governors in the two regions and their traditional rulers may be treading on a very slippery ground. They need to ascertain their mission to the south. The Northern youths have no business in the South, they have no accommodation in the south, hence they are trooping to the south in such droves is suspicious. They may be having sinister motives in their exodus to the south. They may be preparing for something dangerous which will unfold at the appropriate time.
This is why the governor must go beyond sending them back at the borders. Even with the ‘return to where you are coming from’ at the borders, they may not be returning to where they are coming from in the real sense. Nobody is monitoring them to the North. They may branch off into the bush, offload the youths in the forest and off the truck returns to the North. This is a stark possibility because those guys are not trusted. The governors and traditional rulers must wake up to these realities. But the unfortunate thing is that some traditional rulers have already sold out. Most of them are fond of collecting money from the Fulani herdsmen and allocate portions of land for them in their respective domains.
The facts are clear that many of them have sold out their people. This is why they are killing in the communities with reckless abandon. And the traditional rulers are helpless because they have soiled their hands with cow meat and money from them. This is one of the biggest challenges in the regions. Some of the governors are handling the Fulani herdsmen menace with kids’ gloves. For instance, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state has been waiting for the federal government to take decision on the herdsmen for a long time.
On several media chats, the governor has said the issue of Fulani herdsmen rests squarely with the federal government and that he is waiting for the federal authorities to make pronouncement and give direction on what to do. While he is waiting for the federal government, his people are being killed in different parts of the state. The Fulani herdsmen have carried out great havoc in Okpanam, Issele Azagba, Uwheru, Abraka and some other places in the state.
Beside Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state, some of the governors are sympathetic to the Fulani leadership in Nigeria. For the fact that the Fulani herdsmen are kinsmen of President Muhammadu Buhari, they are playing low with the Fulani herdsmen. Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state, Ben Ayade of Cross River state, Willie Obiano of Anambra state, Hope Ozodinma of Imo state and Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state are piping low on the issue with Fulani herdsmen. Even the Enugu state governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, is not coming out clean with loyalty to the Buhari’s government.
As it is now, it is only Wike that is standing out in the two regions. This is why the battle will be tough and difficult to win. Someone posted somewhere that if the southern governors do not have strategies against the marauders, they should surrender to them. This is not an option to be considered. The only option is that the governors and traditional rulers must take the welfare of the people as topmost priority and severe some degree of affinity with the Northern oligarchy.
If they fail to act now, the days ahead may be very bad for the two regions. One does not know the mission of the people against the South. But with swinging pendulum already, it is clear that the Northern leaders have a sinister agenda against the south. The faster the southerners act, the better for them and their people.