World Watch Monitor on March 22 reported the continued attack “with impunity” by Fulani herdsmen on unprotected Christian communities in Benue State. According to an eye-witness account, the latest round of attacks started “when the herdsmen forcefully entered our village to graze on farmland, but were resisted by our youths. They left – only to mobilise and storm our village in their numbers, shooting sporadically and chasing everyone from their houses.”
That was on Friday 10th March at Mkgovur village. Two days later, the herdsmen shifted to the village of Tombo-Mbalagh killing at least 8 people. Yet two days after, in the early hours of Tuesday, 14th March, the herdsmen were again at Wanune, headquarters of Tarka LGA. The Inspector General of Police was quoted as confirming that as at 20th March, the death toll from this new wave of attacks stood at 60.
Frustrated at government’s apparent helplessness to intervene, Christians at Wanune used the corpses of their kiths and kins killed in the attack to block the highway to the state capital. Unable to bear the spectre any longer, the state governor, Dr Samuel Ortom, averred that “there is limit to which he can ask the people of the state to be patient.” He thereafter back-pedalled from his unpopular efforts to persuade the locals to carve grazing land for the herdsmen, and rather ordered the herdsmen to leave town.
It is however not clear how long this will last, or where exactly the “expelled” herdsmen relocated to. But the observation that they were accompanied out of the affected areas by security forces, and the deafening silence about the crimes committed, don’t leave much to be cheerful about. Besides, recent reports (9th April) from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development confirm that plans are already at advanced stages to demarcate cattle routes across the entire country to facilitate easy movement of cattle. According to Alhaji Mahmud Bello, National Coordinator, Grazing Stock Routes, "We are going to provide 6,000 kilometers of cattle routes across the country; we are going to open the primary routes first, while the state and local governments are expected to launch the secondary routes.”
A Cow Conundrum
While Muslim Fulani herdsmen are busy killing innocent folks in Nigeria, in retaliation (according to Governor El Rufai), for their beloved cows previously killed by aggrieved farmers whose farms the cattle had mauled; elsewhere in India, Muslims are being mauled by Hindu extremists for their herding cows for table! In that country, hundreds of vigilantes have taken it upon themselves to accost livestock trucks on the highways in search of cows suspected of being taken out for slaughter. In the last 2 years, at least 10 Muslims have been killed while several others were seriously wounded in this manner. In the Hindi belief, the cow is a sacred animal to be simply reverenced and worshipped. Though Prime Minister Narendra Modi (like his counterparts in Nigeria) periodically issues statements condemning the attacks, it is widely believed that the extremists are emboldened and inspired by his own far-rights Hindu proclivities. For instance, his recent appointment of a die-hard Hindu priest to be in charge of the state with the largest meat industry is akin to having an El Rufai supervise religious activities in Kaduna. (see https://www.yahoo.com/news/muslim-man-dies-attack-cow-vigilantes-india-064223541.html)
Yet for all their dread of eating cow-meat, Hindus actually believe they are permitted to eat every other thing under the sun. In a recent report, CNN correspondent Reza Aslan, as part of the CNN series “Believers,” featured a Hindu priest from the Aghori sect who defecated right on camera and proceeded to eat it, affirming his faith in the cleanness of all things for food. Aslan also joined the priest in eating a piece of human brain and drinking from a human skull that had been scavenged from the city dumps. (http://rollingout.com/2017/03/06/outrage-as-cnn-host-eats-human-flesh-for-special-on-hinduism/)