Fulani Herdsmen and the British Legacy: Guilty By Community Association

“Guilt by community association” (GBCA) is back in Nigeria in fresh form in 2018 not by the actions of a foreign colonialist but those of the local Nigerian auto-colonialists courtesy Fulani herdsmen affairs. In the colonial state of Nigeria under British rule, the main means by which the Nigerian staffed police force secured conformity and order from Nigerians was community arrest and faux crime taxation. If a person dropped dead in Ilesha, Oron, Keffi or Ughelli (or some village), the police would arrest all the heads of family in the area (or village) requiring each to bail themselves at a prohibitive cost; GBCA was born. The people quickly learned that a police matter was a money matter. This was the very first habit the Nigerian police force acquired that ensured that they would become hopelessly corrupt in future. Corrupt initial conditions bred both corrupt post-Independence foundations and institutions, a legacy of empire. Today, Nigerian auto-colonialists carry the blame for GBCA.

The bail borne of GBCA entrenched by the British for the convenience of the colonialism might have been just £1 in 1939 or 1951. In updated terms would be like arresting all the household heads on 3rd Avenue FESTAC Town, Lagos at N200,000 per head in 2018, causing a disempowering financial shock to the household kitty of most of the residents, and necessitating falling into debt and desperation. Moneylenders loved it. The British, thus, kept order by ensuring the crime of one would be paid for by the entire community, and communities were terrified of offenders and criminals spurning a root cause of modern-day lynching. Lynching was much cheaper and much less distressing than a crime tax placed on the entire community, 99% of them were innocent. That is how much contempt and injustice the British needed to inflict on Nigerians to fulfil the myth of “ruling Nigeria without firing a single shot”.

Surprisingly, it has been reported the Ezi Nze community in Udi LGA, Enugu State in 2018 have been told to pay N2 million as compensation for the loss of cattle caused by some local youths to Fulani herdsmen operating in the area to avert a bloodbath. Extortion colonial-style! What is not clear is if the sum was extorted from the Ezi Nze community as restitution by Fulani herdsmen directly or with the support of government agencies or with strings being pulled by the Fulani Lobby. Bianimikaley!

GBCA was an atrocious colonial tactic to subdue the colonised, why are Nigeria’s auto-colonialists re-instituting it? Answer. Where are Nigeria’s jurists and lawyers? If GBCA is proper and legitimate, anytime an individual is killed or property destroyed or livelihoods lost due to the opportunistic impunity of “absolutely faceless” Fulani herdsmen [who cannot be identified] anywhere in Nigeria then groups like Miyetti Allah should be promptly charged with paying restitution on-demand to victims. That would be better than the one-sided justice fashioned by the “men in power” in favour of the Fulani herdsmen.

Many Nigerians are both frightened and tired of the Fulani herdsmen especially those who bear the direct cost, the dispossessed, the orphans and widows. Just as the British used an indigenous military and police to subdue resistance and oppress Nigerians, the Fulani Lobby is using its militia cum herdsmen to serve the same function. Backwardness? There is no doubt Nigerians fear Fulani herdsmen much than they do the military or police but there just are a few thousand of them in Nigeria. Not sizeable enough to normally vanquish peace in the country, constitute a menace greater than Boko Haram to the everyday Nigerian, perpetrate mass murder as if it were an honourable duty and the perpetrators treated as if they broke no rules. But it does. Nigeria has military/security forces and a justice system. The current President of Nigeria would have the world believe that the one-sided atrocious massacres incessantly perpetrated by ingressive Fulani herdsmen against men, women, and children in their lands/homes are “fair fights against farmers”, the doublespeak for mass murderers sharing their blame with victims.

The auto-colonialists were cowardly in fighting Cameroon over Bakassi, are cowardly in fighting corruption because they are the Big thieves, are retarded in providing basic public services to Nigerian citizens because statecraft is neither their gift nor concern [power for its sake is] but they are bold and energetic in supporting and provided brazen impunity for a violent, criminal and subversive organisation.

Many know this is because the Fulani Lobby is the auto-colonial masters of Nigeria but tacitly accepted. Fear of the Fulani Lobby is inestimable to those who know its reach and power. Just as the British said the crime of one felon should be paid by the entire community, the auto-colonialists are not just doing the same but are publicly claiming a “life of a human for the life of a cow” doctrine. Many one-time anti-Sharia and anti-Fulani Lobby champions now in politics have been uncharacteristically silent about the recent heinous menace of Fulani Herdsmen in their homes of origin. The reason needs no mention or explanation.

Nigerians did successfully gain Independence from colonialist Britain when the eyes of many Nigerians opened up. It is now looking like the present government has made it an utmost necessity for Nigerians to seek Independence from auto-colonialist Nigerians and the Owners of Nigeria Technostructure (ONT).

Eyes have opened up wide this time!

Grimot Nane

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