By Erasmus Ikhide
THE ethnic cleansing gradually rapping Nigeria around from the horn of northern axis — Adamawa, Taraba, Plateau, Benue, Kaduna, Kogi and the pinpricks in other parts of African most populous nation invoke similar trajectory with which the Rwanda genocide was prosecuted between 1990/1994 that grounded over two million innocent souls to the dust.
Those who say there have been climactic upsurge of raping and massacres of Nigerians on their farm lands by the unwashed dogs roaming the forests with AK47s instead of being in schools since Buhari became President can not be faulted. His negative words to political appointments smacks off endorsement of extreme northern nationalism which has now led to so much national unease and dark foreboding for the entire country. The fear of his Fulani herders have become the cornerstone of nascent national wisdom.
Nigeria has never been more polarized and bitterly divided by religion, ethnicity and creed since independence. The ascendancy of the ethnic champion has seen the rise of a northern tribalism and governmental incompetence on a hair-raising scale that has dwarfed the most extreme manifestation of state delinquency since after the Civil War.
In a genocide — as it were — many or all people in a group are killed because of their ethnicity, land, colour, religion, or political opinions. In the Rwandan genocide, members of an ethnic group called the Tutsi (abatutsi) were killed because of their ethnicity. The killers were extremist members of another ethnic group called the Hutu (abahutu). The Hutu killers also killed other Hutus whose political beliefs were not as extreme as theirs.
The meticulous military organized government pogrom climaxed in the 1994 slaughtering of some 800,000 people within 100 days by the Rwandan majority ethnic Hutu extremists who massacred the Tutsi minority ethnic nationality to the chagrin of humanity.
This is possible because at that time, almost all Rwandan people (85%) were Hutus ethnic group. However, for many years, the Tutsi minority had more power and ran the Rwandan government. In 1959, the Hutus overthrew the Tutsi government and took power. Tens of thousands of Tutsis ran away to nearby countries. A group of the Tutsis in exile created a rebel group. They called it the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). The RPF invaded Rwanda in 1990, starting the Rwandan Civil War. The Tutsi rebels and the Hutu government fought until 1993, when the two sides signed a peace agreement that flopped with the dead of Rwandans and Burudi’s President in a shot plane by unknown rebel.
The Rwandan Genocide was committed in a very organized way. For example, the genocide’s leaders made lists of people who were against the Hutu-led government. They gave these lists to militias, who went and killed those people, along with their families. The militias also blocked roads so they could check the identification cards of everyone who came by.
These cards had a person’s ethnic group listed on them. When they found a Tutsi, the militias would kill the person. Often, they used machetes. When Tutsis tried to hide from the killers, the militias would search every building in an area, inch by inch, until they found the people who were hiding. Buses even drove the killers from massacre to massacre.
The army and militias were very brutal towards women. They raped between 150,000 and 250,000 Tutsi women. They also kidnapped women and forced them to be sex slaves. After raping women, the rapists would often mutilate the women’s sex organs with clubs, boiling water, machetes or acid.
Most victims of the genocide were killed in their own villages. Often, they were killed by their own neighbors. Government radio stations encouraged regular people to kill their Tutsi neighbors. Hutus who refused to kill Tutsis were often executed immediately. Husbands killed their Tutsi wives because they were scared of being killed if they refused. There were even priests and nuns convicted of killing people who were trying to hide in churches.
Throughout the night of April 6-7, Hutu militias and the Rwandan army got lists of people in the government who were political moderates (meaning they were not extremists). They found these people in Kigali and killed them. They did this so the moderates would not be able to stop the genocide. They also killed journalists and human rights activists who had spoken out against the Hutu government. As historian Richard Prunier explains: during the genocide, “Either you took part in the massacres or you were massacred yourself.”
Like Rwanda genocide — furnished principally by ethnic potentates and bloodcurdling political leadership in Kigali, President Muhammadu Buhari has enmeshed himself into the uncanny role of Butcher-in-Chief — endorsing the killings of Nigerians by his ethnic Fulani herders of his ethnic group over land and the long nursed agenda of domination. As the grand patron of the terrorist Fulani herders association, coupled with the appointments of Fulani men into the top echelon of the nation’s security chief positions, Rwanda is closer than we ever imagined.
Mr. Buhari’s Media Adviser, Mr. Femi Adesina made this clearer last week when said Nigerians should give their ancestral land to Fulani herder terrorists or have their blood spilled. Femi’s jaundiced statement on a national television is the most mindless, atrocious and blood patronizing grandstanding statement ever addressed to the Nigerian people by any government, democratic or military alike. It’s moreso when General T. Y. Danjuma allegedly said he has it on good authority that Buhari’s government is intent on eliminating 3 million Christians between now and 2023.
Buhari’s mojor undoing is his Stone Age leadership, ethnic fundamentalism, regional divisions, religious polarities, igniting ancestral feud leading to bloodshed on an industrial scale and state larceny that have been dragging the country by the scruff of the neck to the slaughter’s slabs.
President Buhari’s miltary antecedent as Head of State and his last 3-year plus at the saddle as a hermit points gloomily that the humanitarian catastrophe witnessed in Rwanda will be a child’s play compare to the looming Apocalypse Buhari and the APC government are bound to visit on Nigerians, wholesale. With Femi Adesina’s unfortunate outburst, it’s now obvious that the only option left for Nigerians is to defend themselves from this evil government of a devil incarnate.
Erasmus, A Public Affairs Analyst writes from Lagos
Follow me on Twitter @ikhide_erasmus1