By Jude Atupulazi
In today's Nigeria, to survive, to have your way, to be connected; even to live, you have to either be a cow or look like one. It is so because Nigeria has been unofficially declared a Cattle State. It is a state in which nobody bats an eyelid when hundreds of human beings get killed, but in which all hell is let loose when just a cow is wounded; not even killed. That is Nigeria's Buhari for you.
It can be said that the biggest news event since Buhari came to power has been the cattle business. Forget Boko Haram which is what they brought upon themselves when they initially thought that Boko Haram was all about killing infidels. They only started reacting against it when the same monster they created started going after them.
Back to the cattle talk. Before now, one was liable to doubt almost whatever one read on the social media. But over time, many are beginning to believe some of these stories about Muhammadu Buhari and his government. In an era when the Chinese have developed a train that can run faster than a plane, Buhari has ensured that Nigeria, rather than enjoying amenities; even the most basic ones, from government, is enmeshed in cattle talk.
Billions of Naira that should be used in developing the country, like improving power generation; building refineries; equipping our hospitals; investing in education; constructing durable roads; improving workers' welfare and providing security; is rather being used to service one group that constitutes just about six percent of the country's population. I'm talking about the Fulanis.
These people are the ones presiding over the country's affairs, even with their limited education. They are offered waivers in admission into the various federal universities under the guise of educationally disadvantaged zones; but when it comes to getting job opportunities, or political appointments, the same zone or people that are considered dullards get the best jobs and top political appointments. The result of this skewed development is what we have all been experiencing as the poor, inept, clueless leadership in the country all these years.
These people have also manoeuvered themselves into the top hierarchies of the Armed Forces, ensuring a steady stream of top officers from their area after the last man leaves office. Today, the entire security apparatus of the country is in their hands. It didn't just happen; it was a carefully planned move that dates back to Nigeria's infancy. Today, it has been elevated to a policy.
Having captured the security apparatus (something that was perfected under Buhari) they are now well on their way to launching their final plan; whatever that may be. But many Nigerians fear that it is nothing but Islamic expansionism. To achieve this, the ubiquitous and nomadic herdsmen will be used to permeate the nooks and crannies of the country where they will co-mingle with the locals, live together and eventually settle. But this plan has not been easy to implement, given that the herdsmen's murderous propensity has left a trail of fear and hate in their wake everywhere they have been.
The FG first tried to introduce cattle colonies which was roundly rejected by many states. Now they are trying to smuggle them in through the RUGA programme; but again, it has met a brick wall, forcing them to suspend it last Wednesday. It would have cost the nation some N11 Billion. Imagine what that princely sum would have achieved had it been ploughed into the power sector, for instance.
Now, what worries me is how a country that has not been able to fix her many problems should be wasting billions just to pander to the whims of a tiny minority. Recall that earlier the FG had come out with plans to establish a Fulani Radio Station, using our money.
For a President who hasn't built a single school, hospital, road network, vet clinic, market or manufacturing entity all through his 4 years in office to suddenly choose to build all of these in designated places all over the country with public funds in advancement of the private business of the same terrorist herdsmen he told us were foreigners from Libya, proves that even a snake is deserving of more trust than such a President.
You see why I'm pissed off with the Buhari Administration? It's so full of deception and double speak. For a man who swore to Nigerians during his first term swearing in that he would be a friend to all and friend to none, he has certainly proved that was a grand lie. He is a full time friend of the Fulanis whom he treats with kid gloves. He so much loves them that he is ready to sacrifice the unity of Nigeria to make them happy.
This is why he wants to spend a N100B on Fulani Radio and nomadic education. He wants to do this when the country is yearning for the building of more refineries; when the South East is asking him to include them in the FG's Rail Project that was touted to be national but not; he's doing this when the country's health facilities are in tatters.
On then wonders why in a country that has around 250 ethnic groups, only one has been singled out for favours. To him, the rest can as well go to hell; he doesn't care.
It may come as a relief to some Nigerians that the RUGA nonsense has been quashed for now, but let no one be deceived. The suspension may have been a ploy to go underground and re-strategize so that when he comes up with an improved modification of RUGA, it will sale through.
Perhaps at this point, I'll refer you to one Charles Ogbu's interpretation of the RUGA suspension:
''Buhari is an expert in Subterfuge known in Islam as Taqyya which means deception in simple English.
''The idea is simple: act like you are a listening leader by announcing the suspension of the project (meanwhile contractors have been fully mobilized to site and funding stream assured). Then, while we sleep and snore, believing the project is suspended, we will wake up to see the iniquitous plan already nearing completion.
''If you value your life, remain vigilant. Monitor your environment. Watch your governors and local govt chairmen closely. If you see any strange activities anywhere around you in the form of one-kain yeye construction, raise your voice.
''To trust President Buhari or any of his handlers is to make the worst mistake anyone can make at this perilous time.
''For emphasis, let me repeat, DO NOT BELIEVE THAT RUGA IS OFF THE TABLE BECAUSE IT IS NOT. Suspension is an English word which means, to adjourn, postpone or pause something. Temporary, not permanently. If you've planned a protest march to warn your governor or local govt chairman against accepting the devilish plan, it is in your best interest to go ahead with your planned protest and continue rejecting the evil programme until it is finally taken off the table.
''Knowing the determination of these guys with their ethno-religious agenda which I believe is the number one reason this man spent 12 solid years contesting for this seat, it is reasonable to suspect they only announced the suspension to buy themselves enough time to work on our governors who they will first entice with irresistible offers which we all know some of them will accept and for those who refuse to yield, they threaten with EFCC and their after-tenure Senate dream.''
Too true. I wish to align with the above observation. From Day One, Buhari has been trying to sell us the cattle dummy so he can go ahead and make his people comfortable. Happily, however, Nigerians are rising to oppose this. It is no more an Igbo thing, A Tiv thing or a Yoruba thing.
It is indeed very regrettable that our age old perception of the cattle Fulani as peaceful and friendly has today turned to that of a murderer; all because Buhari is doing everything to divide Nigeria and cut loose all those things that we hold dear.
Buhari has almost succeeded in creating a Cow Republic where cows are held sacred. That is why it is now beginning to look as if for one to survive in Nigeria, one has to look like a cow.
There is little doubt that we have been COWed by Buhari