No, herdsmen are not the enemy

After the gubernatorial election of penultimate Saturday in Kogi State followed with the announcement of the winner on Monday, some suspected thugs stormed the house of Mrs Acheju Abuh, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) woman leader in Wada Aro, Ochadamu Ward in Ofu Local Government Area of the state and set the house ablaze while shooting to guard against the woman’s escape from the burning house. The thugs did not leave until they were sure that the woman had died in the burnt house.

The thugs who snuffed life out of Mrs Abuh were not only heartless, they were also senseless and callous because by their wicked deed, they played into the hands of the real enemy who played one pawn against the other. The woman was not the enemy. She joined politics to make ends meet. In the real sense, she was a victim of the system just like those who were sent to kill her.

Why did the thugs kill the woman? They killed her because they had been manipulated to see her as the enemy. In their warped mind, they saw her as the one who worked against their interest and had to be eliminated. They saw her as the enemy because she did not support their own candidate. They regarded her as the adversary because she was on the other side of the pendulum. They worked up themselves to hate her because she ensured that her party won in her domain. But what they failed to realize is that Mrs Abuh was not the enemy. She was a victim just as they are!

Aided by marijuana and all manner of mind-numbing drugs and concoctions, they could not realize that they were mere pawns in the hands of their manipulators used to wipe out one of their kind. If Mrs Abuh’s killers could think straight shouldn’t they have wondered if killing the woman would put an end to the hunger in Kogi State? Will her killing put an end to high rate of unemployment in the state? Will it solve the problem of flooding? Aside the momentary exhilaration of seeing the liquidation of ‘an enemy’, in what way would the killing of the woman benefit the killers? But if they could do that much reflection they would not be tools in the hands of political leaders who revel in playing the weak against the weak.

The political elite have seized the country by the jugular and they seem to keep getting away with blue murder because the proletariats are unthinking. They have been brainwashed to believe that their poor neighbour who does not share their religious, political or cultural beliefs is the enemy. While the hoi polloi fight one another to death over religious, political and cultural differences, there is nothing of such with the aristocrats. Their personal interests determine their religion, region and politics at any point in time. Hence, while the masses haul down one another for pittance and peanuts, members of the political class hug one another whenever they meet.

Poor Nigerians, awake from your slumber! Your neighbour is not the enemy though he disturbs you with his noisy generator and pollutes the environment with carbon monoxide. The enemy is the group of people who failed to fix the nation’s electricity problem despite expending billions of dollars on power generation, transmission and distribution.

The enemy is not the motorist who swerves off his lane to avoid a pothole thereby blocking your path, as repulsive as his action may be. The enemy is the government that failed to fix the failed road. Rather than rain expletive on the motorist, getting yourself worked up and putting your health in harm’s way in the process, join hands with him to engage the real enemy and insist on the real enemy doing the right thing.

The enemy is not the Easterner who opens a shop in the North or in the West and seems to be prospering at the expense of the locals. The enemy is the leadership of the state that has failed to create opportunities for everyone to flourish. If everyone is gainfully engaged why would anyone envy anyone?

The herdsmen are not the enemy, though they might have destroyed farmlands and caused untold hardship in many communities. The real enemy is the government that has failed to emplace and enforce legislations that would deter open grazing in the country. If the government wholeheartedly moves against open grazing who is the herdsman that will take out his flock in the open without having to cool his feet in the prison?

Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), please note that witches are not the enemy, the enemy is the failed system that we run in this country. Witchcraft in this age speaks of backwardness and retrogression. If some people openly identify with witchcraft now, it signals the backward state of our country. So, those people cannot be the problem. The problem is the government that has foisted backwardness on the people.

Albert Einstein says no problem can be solved at the same level of thinking that created it. To solve the nation’s many problems, we have to understand that our enemies are those who have the responsibility to fix our nation but have refused to do so. When we start insisting on them doing what they have been put in positions of authority to do, then our journey to nationhood will commence.

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