For the Christian communities of Nigeria’s semi-arid northern margins: death by a thousand cuts, but just a few at a time.
And what in Nigerian conflicts constitutes “a cut”?
There are over 5,000 persons who have been displaced and these people are being camped at Numan. So far, we have buried 27 persons; these are corpses of men, women and children recovered from Gon, Nzumosu, Bolki and Nyanga.
Above: Adamawa Assembly Representative Sodom Tayedi as quoted yesterday by Hindi Livinus in Punch “ICYMI: 27 buried after Adamawa herdsmen attacks”.
The “cuts” — the atrocities — have been taking place across Nigeria’s portion of the “middle belt” of Africa for years without resistance and without end.
Apparently in store for the Christian population in general: rape and rapine designed to break hearts and spirits and move the feet toward the unknown sea of humanity abused, driven off, ignored, loathed, perhaps, as the expensive and unwanted detritus of chaos and conflict.
Nigeria’s military and police services appear to avoid or deny responsibility in relation to the repeated success of the employment of Kalashnikov and burning petrol in making the land fit for cattle and the Fulani herdsman who own them.
Bold italics added by BackChannels:
The lawmaker, however, accused security agencies of stationing in Abbare of negligence noting that she wonders why they could not prevent the attack which has been consistent from that axis.
Police authorities could not confirm the attack as calls put through to the police spokesman, Habibu Musa, were not answered.
Oladele, David. “Suspected hersdsmen reportedly invade 3 communities in Adamawa.” Naij.com, September 14, 2018.
Dozens of women are reportedly being held by suspected Fulani herdsmen after a raid on Gwon, Bolki and Nzumosu communities in Numan local government area of Adamawa State.
The member representing Numan constituency at the state House of Assembly, Mrs. Sodom Tayedi confirmed the incident.
She explained that the villages were attacked during the week and that the exact casualties’ figure was yet to be ascertained as locals scampered to safety in the bush.
Odunsi, Wale. “Herdsmen reportedly hold dozens of women captive in Adamawa.” Daily Post, September 14, 2018.
Adamawa State (Wikipedia link).
Earlier this year (bold added) —
YOLA- Four communities in Numan local government area of Adamawa state, have been completely razed by suspected herdsmen, killing no fewer than 15 persons.
Fleeing residents disclosed that the attackers numbering over 50 came in hilux vans to commit the heinuos acts and razed down many buildings in the affected villages. They alleged that the attackers stormed the area shortly after troops of the Nigerian Army ransacked the villages to enforce the disarmament of citizens in line with a presidential directive.
Yusuf, Umar. “15 feared dead, 4 communities razed as suspected herdsmen overrun Adamawa villages.” Vanguard, May 2, 2018.
I asked a source about police not answering what must have been a distress or emergency call: “Bribed? Scared? Sabotaged?” — “Order from above,” he said.
Today, opinions about President Buhari’s nepotism in related hiring appear abundant in the Nigerian press. Critics feel the president has been slowly feeding Christian communities in the north to equipped, experienced, and deeply sadistic Muslim raiders representing the interests of Fulani herdsman.
The records of top executives in state security, military, and police roles may add credence to the complaint. Here is a remark published in relation to Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, Nigeria’s Inspector-General of Police:
With Idris at the helm, there has also been a disturbing increase in the arrest of journalists and bloggers in Nigeria. His reign has been a threat to free speech for journalists. This Idris is committing so many atrocities in the name of maintaining law and order, while the places in need of law and order are becoming national atrocities.
Global rankings for press freedom has gotten worse under Buhari and this IGP. Nigeria now sits at 122 of 180 countries surveyed, falling from 111 under former president Goodluck Jonathan and ex-IGP, Solomon Arase.
“Are these the real reasons Buhari won’t let go of IGP Ibrahim Idris?” The Cable, March 14, 2018.
An op-ed concerning Nigeria’s Minister of Defense Alhaji Mansur Dan Ali leads this way:
ONCE again, Alhaji Mansur Dan Ali, Minister of Defence, has demonstrated his characteristic insensitivity to the feelings of thousands of people who lost relations, homes and other material belongings to the murderous adventures of the herdsmen militia groups in some states in the North.
On Tuesday, June 5, 2018, Dan Ali shocked Nigerians, particularly, the traumatised survivors of the mass attacks and killings by herdsmen with the suggestion that the law prohibiting open grazing passed by Taraba, Benue and Ekiti states governments be suspended as precondition for the killings to stop. He offered the suggestion on his way out of a security meeting held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, suggesting, perhaps, that this may have been the decision taken at the meeting.
Michael, Danasabe. “A minister in the eye of the storm.” Vanguard, June 27, 2018.
A kind boilerplate appears in the press for the newly appointed Director-General of Nigeria’s Department of State Services (DSS), Yosuf Magaji Bichi. The DSS serves as the the seat of intelligence and secret police operations for the state. So far, it would seem it too has failed to provide security to Nigeria’s now battered and embattled Christian communities of interest to “herdsmen”. Whether or not DG Bichi will turn that tide toward civility and modern economic and political possibility, BackChannels does not know but may suggest that expectations for improved law enforcement are not high as regards what BackChannels has referred to as the “Fulani Land Pirates” and their lengthening record of atrocities.