Saving Nigeria from total disintegration

Coat of Arms

However, anyone may look at it, Nigeria is currently manifesting all signs of disintegration and is today, a failed state. It is like a society without leadership. And truly, this country can only boast of people in leadership positions who do not understand what leadership positions who do not understand what leadership is all about. In a recent argument, a friend insisted that the main problem our leaders have is not having policies to guide them in their activities. I disagreed because I know that effective leadership is rooted in character and competence, the combination of which produces credibility. A leader’s credibility earns him to trust. The character must be founded in values, beliefs and principles one holds in high esteem. Leadership has to be values-driven. It is from these values beliefs and principles policies are formulated.
Last week, President Mohammadu Buhari in a discussion, maintained that the major cause of insecurity in Nigeria -especially between herdsmen and farmers-all over Nigeria was the take-over of grazing routes by farmers. He also maintained that climate change was forcing herdsmen to move South in search of greener pastures. In the first place, these excuses are not enough reason why innocent lives should be lost on a daily basis. The president said that the grazing routes across the country were mapped out in the ’60s by Nigeria’s leaders and so should be respected. But why can’t our president face reality and know that in the present 21st century, cows are not reared along grazing routes?
In all the countries that President Buhari has visited, has he ever seen cows along the roads? Why should such be our case in Nigeria? Even if grazing routes had been mapped out in the ’60s according to the exigencies of the time, it is up to responsible leadership to understand that what was seen as the solution in the ’60s might not work in today’s world.
Moreover, who were the leaders that mapped out other peoples’ land for the use of one ethnic group? How could land in the South East be mapped out for the use of Fulanis from the North? The increase in population has imposed a demand for more land on the Southerners as they are mainly farmers. The president should encourage ranches in the North.
In Igboland, it is not acceptable for one’s goat to graze in another man’s farm. If the owner of the farm kills such goat after warnings to the owner, he is usually exempted from blame.
Referring to my friend who had said that lack of policies is the main problem of our leaders today, it is clear that from Buhari’s belief on the cause of insecurity in Nigeria, he has been doing what he could to force other ethnic groups to surrender their lands to the Fulanis.This is policy in action as seen in the Federal Government’s earlier promotion of RUGA, insistence on grazing routes and now Water Resources Bill. Today, President Buhari is not trusted by Southerners at all and most of the Northerners do not trust him as well. There can be no justification for the killings perpetrated by herdsmen across Nigeria, especially killing a man on his own farm that his fathers had freely worked on. The president should stop this policy of giving the Fulanis other peoples’ land. This is the major cause of conflict between the herdsmen and farmers.
Most of these herdsmen have been indoctrinated to believe and see all lands as belonging to them by right and given to them by God. They see no reason why anyone should oppose them anywhere in Nigeria as they have the “right” to graze wherever they choose. A conscious programme of re-educating them on this issue of land ownership would help a lot.
Leadership should be creative. If Buhari is sincere, he would realize that his government cannot achieve success in dispossessing people of their land and giving them to his kinsmen. He has to be creative and come up with a policy that can work; otherwise, there may be no end to insecurity in Nigeria. This is because human beings have the inherent nature of resisting attempts to dispossess them of what rightfully belongs to them.
The federal government also has to consider that there is a need to modernize Nigeria’s beef production system. The herders have to live modern lives, live in the cities and mix up with others. Trying to force people of other ethnic groups to have Fulanis as neighbours, especially down here in the South is tantamount to promoting ethnic conflicts that may have no end.
It is also noteworthy that no meaningful economic development can take place in the midst of insecurity. The currently touted agenda 2050 is bound to be a mere illusion if the security of lives and properties is not guaranteed. Agenda 2025, like all other agenda of this country, will certainly fail unless leadership is addressed as a priority. The problem of Nigeria is nothing but poor leadership. It is poor leadership that has brought this country on its knees where it is now globally regarded as the most terrorized country in Africa, the poverty capital of the world.
Ethnic sentiment has a lot to do with it. A president seeing himself as first and foremost belonging to his ethnic group calls for deeper reflections. A president that has refused to understand the feelings of his people needs a lot of work to do. We must face reality and call a spade a spade. Change begins with changing our mindset. While Buhari is bent on giving the Fulani the whole of Nigeria, his policy of depriving Igbos of the benefits of governance is very pronounced. A leader must be a leader of all and not sectional. Nigeria is on the verge of total disintegration because the centre that should hold it together is too weak, giving unnecessary excuses for failure. Remember that excuse is one of the sins a leader might commit. Shifting blame is also another sin. President Buhari


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