My friend and brother Col. Albehu Dauda Gora (rtd), had written a beautiful treatise( as it is customary with him), in his Facebook page, on the on going plunder, burnings, killings, rapings and kidnappings by suspected foreign Fulanis (do they own any herds ?), in many villages in Atyap ( Kataf), one of the major Southern Kaduna tribes,with their headquarters in Zangon-Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State. He warned that the people should self-defend themselves, since the Kaduna State Government seems unwilling or overwhelmed. He said that the on-going insurgency should not be seen as an Atyap problem alone, as it would eventually spread to other parts of Southern Kaduna. I agree with tat assertion.
Some of us had warned before, when the state government engineered the so-called “Peace Accord”, in Atyap, which was signed by those that are considered,were not necessary parties, ( but only accessories before and after the fact), to the problem. We warned that such document can not, and would not work, since the major culprits were not part of it.
In any case, there has been a misunderstanding of what is going on in Southern Kaduna, either ignorantly , or deliberately. We do not ,as yet, know,exactly what is going on, the objectives, and those who are behind it. The state government calls it Herdsmen/Farmers clashes. But we disagree with that because not every Southern Kaduna person is a farmer,and the perpetrators do not carry any herd with them but their sophisticated weapons. Moreover, the insurgencies seem to have gone far beyond that the so called “clashes”, affecting whole communities, villages, regions, the state and far beyond the state. Those in Southern Kaduna have identified it as being carried out by foreign fulanis, who use local herders to camouflage. Unfortunately government is not known to have apprehended the culprits, ( to the best of our knowledge) and even when and if apprehended, we do not know of any prosecution going on, other than the victims, who ought to have been protracted by the authorities. Therefore, strictu sensu, the public is not aware of the real identities of the culprits . It is, as well, very difficult to ascertain the objectives of such raids. The umbrella body of the Southern Kaduna people (SOKAPU) , have alleged there is the incidence of running over whole villages and taking over and occupying them . One is left to wonder, therefore , whether or not , it is a new form of colonialism taking place , or jihad, and if so, by who ? What then is the government doing as it seems to have abdicated its responsibility to promote the welfare of the people and protect life and property ? Apparently , it is like we are back to the “state of nature”, where life is “violent,brutish and short” and there is no civility .
The article below is my reaction to Col. Albehu Dauda Gora’s beautiful treatise on the issue of the insurgency going on in Atyap :
Thank you so much Albehu for this write-up.
I have known this a long time ago, that Atyap is only the starting point as it would eventually spread to all parts of Southern Kaduna, as it is already ravaging the state. They have established the pattern of their attacks i.e hit the center first, then withdraw and begin to hit the periphery. Exhaust them and gradually push from the periphery inwardly ,till you reach the center, by which time there will be no credible resistance. That is the pattern. I wish I were wrong.
Therefore, what is our strategy ? Any way, strategies are not discussed in the social media, just like they too have not discussed theirs in the social media. The important thing is to know the enemy and his strategies, then come together and unite. This is very important because it will show your will, even if you will use inferior weapons of cutlasses and bows and arrows. Plan your strategies– community by community, village by village, area by area, and region by region. Retired armed forces personnel should discreetly help with organisation and strategies. It is your land of heritage that is being attacked. You must resist it as men of old. Can’t we even manufacture self-defence weapons ? It will be not to levy war against the Nigerian state, but to defend yourselves against your enemies and enemies of the state. It is a natural right that can not be taken away. The state seems overwhelmed ( for what ever reasons ). Assist the state by defending yourselves. You can disarm them and use their weapons.After all you know the terrain better than them. Local governments should play leading roles in defending their local governments. Unfortunately, with the recent actions of the State by appointing non-indegenous administrators, organising at this very important level may be difficult, mainly because those appointed do not do not share your anxieties and worries, since they are not indegene. But non-state actors and traditional rulers can fill the gap.
I feel very bad and dis appointed when people tell lies, either deliberately or out of ignorance, that those affected by the insurgencies, should just pray, because they are children of God.
As much as I know that God loves all humans, it is our shortcomings and sins that separate us from God. God will not hear you when you cry to him because of your sins, except if what is happening is in tandem with his plans, because God works in mysterious ways. God loves a repentant heart and would come to our assistance if we repent of our sins. A sin is not only when you murder, or steal or commit adultery, although in reality, people have not turned away from these. Sins include , not only your actions, but your thoughts, as well as what you have failed to do. Unfortunately, we are ignorant of this. God will not consider you his own, unless and until you do what God wants. He knows our weaknesses, because we are flesh. If we realise that, then we should cultivate the penitent heart.
Unfortunately, we are not penitent. We keep deceiving ourselves that we are his children and all we need do is to pray, when in fact, those prayers are an abomination to him, due to our lack of repentance.
Therefore, we ought to repent while we pray. We can not continue to hate and continue to pray deceiving ourselves that God will listen because we are his children. This is ignorance. God has no partnership with sin. In fact, sin makes us the same as the so called “Fulani herdsmen that are plundering our land , and killing. There is no difference from them, as all are sinners. You will not enjoy any special privilege other than those made known in the scriptures when you obey. We could as well kill, plunder, rape and kidnap just as they do. I have said it elsewhere that the holy scriptures have said that God neither wants us to be cold nor lukewarm : God would rather, prefer that we are hot . If “we are lukewarm, he will spew us out of his mouth” . If he does so, because we sit on the fence, we are neither here, nor there, are the insurgents therefore, not better than us ? At least, they have a father; and that is the devil. But they still have the opportunity to become the sons of God, when they repent. God in his infinite mercies would grant them remission of their sins, but what of you that has been dwelling in ignorance of what God wants you to do or its full extent ?
You can now understand why I get worried and angry when, as reaction to what is happening, people just prescribe prayers. Hardly do I hear anybody saying that we : 1) turn away from our sins ; 2) repent to God for those sins as God has provided Jesus as our redemption. Therefore we stand a better chance, if only we will obey.
The scriptures have said it: faith without works is empty. You can have faith, but if it is not combined with works, then such faith is empty. At the same time, works without faith is also empty. Your works will not save you unless you combine it with faith.
Unfortunately for us, we neither have faith , nor works. This is the pathetic situation in which we find ourselves . We must first, realise this, before we can change. Change would be by combining faith with works. Neither , alone, would work be sufficient.I has to be combined with faith.
My brothers and sisters in Southern Kaduna, this is my take. We must truly be the Children of God by repenting and doing what he wants us to do.
ALL of human experience has been a struggle between the physical or material world, and the spiritual world. In the spiritual world, there are forces of darkness and forces of light. We, in the physical world, are supposed to access the spiritual world. Children of darkness will access the force of darkness in the spiritual world, while sons of God(Children of light), will access the forces of light in the spiritual realm. Either force, in the spiritual realm, will help in the physical. But the forces of light are superior over the forces of darkness.
The spiritual controls what happens in the physical. Unfortunately, children of darkness often, successfully, access their force of darkness in the spiritual realm, while children of light fail to access their force, which is superior, because they are either ignorant, or non-challant, or outrightly they fail to connect with the spiritual realm. Therefore, you see, children of darkness seemingly, succeed in the physical world because the spiritual controls the physical
Therefore, this is a call for us to get knowledge and claim what naturally belongs to us by accessing the spiritual . There should be no ignorance, no non-challance, and no deliberate failing to do what is required. This is my take.
Chief Barr Joshua Ephraim writes from Abuja