OpinionOPINION: Mass killings In Our Communities: Is Nigeria Not Being Invaded by...

OPINION: Mass killings In Our Communities: Is Nigeria Not Being Invaded by Outside Interests?

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There is no better advice to those who run the affairs of this nation than what Apostle Peter said in the Holy Scripture: 1 Peter Chapter 5 verse 8/9, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour; who resist you steadfastly….”

First, the caveat here is that this analysis presents a discussion on our common threat but with an “alternative narrative.”

Now let us reason together: From obvious indications, our government and even the citizenry seem to have been completely manipulated to look in the wrong direction for answers to the spate of senseless and mindless carnage being visited on our people across the country. No particular section of the country is singled out for this mayhem except that some areas, especially in the north, had witnessed this carnage on scales that could best be said to be devilish.

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No doubt, it must be acknowledged that there are some criminal angles to this whole issue, especially the aspect of kidnapping for ransom, which has become a lucrative business for all sorts of criminals, including majority of the hitherto armed robbers, village thieves and some men in government uniforms – policemen and the military personnel but the concept of going into communities at night to wipe out every living soul is standalone in our present-day security concerns.

When this whole madness started, it was made to look like a religious warfare embarked on by some Muslim extremists to exterminate Christian enclaves in the northern parts of Nigeria. But now we are beginning to see that the mindless killings actually have nothing to do with religion though it has been concocted to paint that false picture.

Can the operators of the Nigerian government security apparatchik just sit down to study the evolutionary pathway of this evil being visited on innocent Nigerians in the various communities, especially in the north but not restricted to that section of the country?

Truth be told, the inactivity or the inability of our security apparatchik to be more proactive and sincere in addressing the embarrassing state of insecurity across the country is a fallout of the serial failures of our leadership to think deeply about issues that affect ordinary citizens. And the reason is simple: most of our people in government are compromised.

First, this phenomenon of massacring entire communities started in the middle belt, Benue state in particular, which produces a substantial percentage of the foods consumed across the country. Initially, it was meant to look like a Fulani versus Tiv/Idoma issue because of grazing rights and access to water for livestock and crops.

It snowballed into Taraba state, another agrarian hub of the country. Then Niger State, Southern Kaduna, Plateau, Enugu, and Ebonyi amongst others. Now Ekiti also is suffering the same fate. What do these locations have in common? They are all major agrarian and food crop production hubs.

The little information that has been established about these bandits is that they don’t live in or around the communities they usually attack. That simply means somebody imports them, somebody escorts them through the terrains to their targets. They don’t even know the terrain; they are usually led by some people who know the terrain. The question is who are these interest group(s) that orchestrate these mindless massacres and extermination of Nigerians in their communities?

It is beginning to be obvious that there is something behind it that the government needs to unravel; if some top government people are not involved in this conspiracy against the welfare and wellbeing, and the corporate and peaceful co-existence of the Nigerian people. It is a very terrible phenomenon. They get into a community usually at night and slaughter every living human being – children, women, men sparing no age grade or sex.

How can you explain that these people kill fellow human beings in their hundreds and it does not prick their conscience? There’s something not normal in these acts as it looks more like making a statement than vengeance.

The expose` at the Senate Plenary showed that these marauding bandits do not usually come with weapons into their target communities. Those weapons are actually kept for them in certain locations in the affected villages long before the day of the attack. The attackers simply go to the designated locations, access the weapons and carry out their plots.

As was disclosed at the Senate Plenary, the killings are so strategically planned and executed without being caught or confronted by our security agencies.

That means there is something behind what is happening not only in Plateau, Southern Kaduna, Zamfara, Benue and Niger but also in the Southeast.

Who are these people and why are they doing it? If you go there from the outside you will think it is a religious war, no, it is not though the perpetrators of the evil may want to cash in on existing religious divides for smoother operations. Why are the Boko Haram fighters bold enough to frontally attack military and police formations in Bornu and elsewhere in the Northeast, knowing fully well the facilities have more than enough firepower to resist attacks?

Now, let’s look at this: The Tinubu administration on Thursday, January 11, 2024, approved the open cultivation and commercial release of the TELA maize, which is said to be a transgenic insect-resistant and drought-tolerant variety along with other ‘’high-yielding crop varieties.’’

On January 13th, the sponsored Sterile Genetically Modified maize was introduced in Nigeria with massive press fanfare. It was said that other modified crops are lined up to be introduced into the Nigerian environment subsequently.

The crop varieties were released at the National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB) in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, during the 33rd meeting of the National Committee on Naming, Registration and Release of Crop Varieties, Livestock Breeds/Fisheries.

Of the 23 new crop varieties released thus far, 12 are varieties of the TELA Maize genetically modified. In other words, what the country is celebrating is the flooding of its agriculture system with the product of a risky technology that promotes monoculture and does not necessarily lead to higher productivity than local varieties.

At the same time also, the World Environmental Forum (WEF) disclosed its plan to “Accelerate Global Investment in Africa (emphasis on Nigeria) in Agriculture…”

While speaking at a press conference in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Uche Nnaji, said the commercial release of the crop was a remarkable step at enhancing agricultural productivity to ensure food sufficiency in the country.

However, as said by Nnimmo Bassey, Executive Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), one of the leading environmental rights advocacy groups in Nigeria, “It is totally unacceptable that in the name of food sufficiency, the country is exposing its citizens to products of risky technologies without adequate, independent and/or long-term assessment on their impacts on human and environmental health.

Now, Plateau killings in Mangu: This area of Plateau state is one of West Africa’s largest food markets. Mangu, known as the largest market for maize, which has a direct impact on poultry and other foods, is being riddled with violence and killings.

Another grain farming hub, Niger state, has been taken over by a group that calls themselves bandits pursuing a yet-to-be-explained agenda. What is happening in Zamfara, Kebbi, and Taraba states and the incursions into Benue, Enugu and Ebonyi states are not different in colour and character. The upbeat senseless killings in Ekiti state, another mega farming hub, are not isolated from this trend. The same thing is happening in Delta state, especially the core farming hubs from Agbor through Umunede to Ogwashi Uku, Igbozor and so on.

Catching the drift yet?

These happenings in our nation are a known playbook for the invasion of other resources by non-state actors.

Can our leaders just sit down to take a holistic look at all these happenings with the view to ascertaining the actual reason for this new-found spate of insecurity across the nation, especially in major food-producing localities?

Whether anybody wants to hear this or not, the crisis in some of these places both in the north and down south looks like a deliberate attempt to attack the nation’s food security by scaring away our farmers from their farms.

Again, I warn that this senseless massacring of people in the nation’s farming hubs is a known playbook for the invasion of other resources by non-state actors, who usually work with the so-called development agencies and some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to push their agenda. A word is enough for a fool because the wise in the first instance needs no word! God bless Nigeria!

*** Written by Ifeanyi Izeze lives in Abuja: iizeze@yahoo.com; 234-8033043009

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