Fulani herdsmen, the latest menace in the tortuous journey of nationhood, have passed through lots of metamorphosis in government rationalization of their activities in recent times.
The massacre in Benue State, which has been followed in recent times by more killings in other parts of the country, has continued to elicit reactions from both local and international media.
Amid outcry in the social media and pressure groups, the Myetti Allah, the umbrella body of Fulani Cattle owners, had claimed responsibility for the massacre, giving reasons of the anti-gazing law enacted by the Benue state government as their grouse.
But the Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom, has been firm despite high-powered pressures from the presidency, which, up till now, has not officially condoled the people of Benue, nor has Mr. President visited the crime scene. Instead, he has invited the governor and instructed him to “accommodate his fellow countrymen”. This was in contradiction to the official position that the Herdsmen are not Nigerians, a self-indictment of incompetence since the FG accepts they routinely allow foreigners into the country to cause havoc in the country.
The narrative has shifted to allegation that it is the Islamic state that has been responsible for who the Myetti Allah claimed responsibility for, there by unwittingly saying that the Myetti Allah are but representatives of Islamic state.
The Emir of Kano, Mohamed Sanusi, has publicly declared (jamesibechi.com carried the story) that he and the Sultan of Sokoto are patrons of Myetti Allah that the Director of Security Services has unwittingly linked with the Islamic State.
After the Benue massacre, the first group that went to commiserate with the people of Benue state was the Ohaneze Ndigbo, A pan-Igbo group, with the Afenifere, a Pan Yoruba group joining them. It is only after that the Northern governors went to commiserate with them. But it was gathered that they went to prevail on the governor to repeal the anti-grazing law. The governor stood his ground.
With pressures mounting on the Tiv ethnic group and leaders of thought in Benue State, Paul Unongo, the interim president of Northern Elders Forum, resigned his position.
He was appointed to the position after the death of Maitama Sule, the late elder statesman. He has since then taken up the front seat in the fight against the herdsmen attack.
But the Herdsmen are not relenting. Reports indicate that helicopters bearing arms were sighted dropping arms in a village called Jibu, along River Benue in Wukari Local Government areas of Taraba State, a repeat of what happened prior to the Agatu attacks.
Besides, there have been reports of container load that was transported straight to the dry ports in the North allegedly without custom inspection, and suspected to be loaded with ammunition.
The Widespread belief is that the Fulanis are seeing the ascendance of one of their own in Nigeria as president as their golden opportunities to fast track their occupation plan. The Fulanis have ruled the country five times, with Buhari occupying two of the five positions, and they see his second coming as a final push for their agenda, though they will always make a pact with any other person that occupied the position.