Nigeria Reliving George Owell’s 1945 Animal Farm

By Ati Terkula

George Orwell it was, in his allegorical novella, Animal Farm , first
published in England on 17 August 1945, that had the common maxim that
“All animals are equal but some are more equal”, after starting with
the populist maxim of “All animals are equal”.

The book tells the story of a group of farm animals who rebelled
against their human farmer, hoping to create a society where the
animals can be equal, free, and happy. Unfortunately, the rebellion
was betrayed, and the farm ends up in a state probably worse tha it
was before, under the dictatorship of a pig named Napoleon.

This allegory though written in 1945 has continued to resonate through
history and played as a predictory text to different situations. It is
very easy to relate the events in Orwell’s book to the current trends
in Nigeria.

Only last week was the media awash with news of reconciliatory/
consultative meetings between the ravaging, manancing bandits who have
wrecked havoc in the North-West Nigeria and the government as
initiated by Governor Bello Mattawale of Zamfara and led by the chief
negotiator, Sheikh Gunmi.

The meeting which is not the first of its kind as the Sokoto state
governor, Bello Masari had in time earlier, held negotiation talks
with these miscreants; Kaduna state governor Mallam Rabiu El-Rufai,
had proudly told the world how as part of his efforts to avert further
attacks by these same bandits in Kaduna, had paid them handsome sums
of Naira to placate them.

After the meeting, we were treated with the sour results from the
meeting as served by Sheikh Gunmi, who amongst other recomendations
requested for amnesty for the Bandits as well as a Ministry to look
into matters relating to the region- North East Nigeria.

Reasons advanced by Gunmi for these ridiculous conditions for
withdrawal from criminality by the bandits amongst others, was the
fact that in a previous regime, militants from the Niger Delta were
granted amnesty and also a ministry of Niger Delta affairs was
established to look into their grudges even as Goodluck Ebele Jonathan
who was himself a Niger-Deltan himself even awarded contracts
including defence contracts to repentant militants.

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This logic and reasoning may sound nice for those who may say “what is
goose is good for the gander” unfortunately it also brings the issue
animals being more eqaul than others, just as it undermines the the
issues of rule of law, where no man is above the law and crime should
have consequences rather than reward put side by side the reason why
Nigerians booted out an unfortunate Jonathan.

In 2015 it was for this reason and many others, Nigerians especially
Middle Belt Nigeria voted massively against the government of Goodluck
Jonathan, which was accused of tribalism, sectionalism, nepotism
amidst incompetence. He was believed to be weak and unpeople in his
decisions even as many claimed he was not in-charge of the government
but only a puppet in the hands of certain schemers.

Goodluck’s governement faced criticism and was also sacrificed on the
altar of Muhammadu Buhari’s no-nonsense tance. Buhari’s previous
regime as a military dictator where corruption and indiscipline had no
place, was the prism through which Jonathan’s percieved ineptitude was
viewed. Buhari was seen as the direct opposite of a Jonathan; the
exemplary leader; one who wil treat all Nigerians as equal andnot
award contracts to incompetent bandits nor will he be sectional.

Yes. when Muhammadu Buhari took over office in 2015 he made a very
paradoxical statement which had intense undertone. Not many watchers
saw the red flag in that statement. He said “I belong everybody but I
belong to nobody”, Nigerians went rejoicing “we’ve made the right
choice”, “Here comes the messiah, Hossanah”. Vey few Nigeriansheard
the message therein.

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It has been a long 6 years and 9 months into a relatively torturous
life as a Nigerian with the leadership of St. Buhari who has taken the
nation on a roller-coaster ride from a percieved clueless Jonathan
administration to an apologetic, nepotic, tribalistic, sectional and
unpeople government whose only angenda is sectional.

From when the Buhari Adnministration took over it was not a hidden
secret that the administration ws on a nepotistic mission aimed a
promoting the fortunes of the far north. He negated federal character,
not for copetence but for the sake of ethnic and regional
satisfaction; he compromised national security on the altar of
propagnda and sectional chauvinism; He neglected all other regions and
tribes as sacifice for the pursuit of a selfish ethnic agenda. The
nation is been run on Napeleon’s maxim of “ all animals are equal but
some are more equal”.

We have seen the establishment of North East Development Commission to
placate the North East militants of Boko Haram; We have been asked to
accomodate land grabbers and outright criminals who have invaded our
country looting, killing, maiming and raping our women under the guise
of herdsmen; we have seen the government reward incompetent service
chiefs with ambassadorial positions because of where they come from;
we have seen incompetent ministers reappointed on basis of “mutani

Today the governement has already taken an obvious stance which makes
all other nigerians(non-fulani), second class citizens.

Only recently the Nigerian Army shamelessly but gruesomely murdered an
unarmed Terwase Akwaza AKA Gana, who was granted amnesty by the Benue
state government for being a criminal in the mould of the revered
North Western Bandits. Nobody has seen anything wrong, no ministry has
been established.

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Gana was touted to apart from banditry, known to be the only
opposition to fulani occupation of the Benue trough as he was in a
popular video heard conffessing how the fulani herdsmen had offered
him millions (he had rejected) to allow him ravage th region. He was
murdered to pursue an agenda.

One may ask how different is Sunday Ighoho ( let it be known that i
support his cause, he is a hero to many including me), from Gana who
is ready to challenge anyone or break any law to protect his people.
It might even also sound right to compare both of them to the “one” o
has granted fulani “special citizen” status in the country, breaking
every law.

Only last year the South Western governors came together to form the
Amotekun corps in the wake of incessant attacks on helpless farmers in
the region, despite condemnation (even though it allows similar
organisations in the North like the Hisbah commission) by the federal
government, these armed squad has come to say and are thankfully
protecting its people. Meanwhile Benue state has snce been battling
with the issue of legitimacy and national acceptance of its
anti-grazing law as well as livestock guards to protect it farmers
amidst stiff opposition from the Buhri administration in favour of the
now opperssors- the untouchable fulani herdsmen.

Since revolutions may be treason one only prays, God in his infinite
mercy fastens the days and nights so this fulani administration speeds
through to its end, while hoping there is still something left of our
dear Nigeria.

Ati Terkula is writes from Makurdi and could be replied via email or twitter via @Africa_Pikin, Facebook:

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