🌍😱 Nigeria’s North in Chaos: Seeking Justice in a Land Where Armament Runs Wild 🚧🔫
TL;DR; 💥 The scorching 🔥 North of Nigeria is in an absolute chaos as heavily armed groups are striving for control. The hapless locals are looking for justice in the backdrop of increasing violence that has claimed numerous lives, including innocent children and women. 🙏 As the country anticipates the arrival of a new president promising to address the root causes of the crisis, some are left pondering if the change in leadership will be enough to steer the country away from its dark path. 🤔
📜✍️ In the late hours of an April night in the village of Runji, Kaduna State Plateau, a storm was brewing, not of weather but of violence. Christian Jonathan, a 9-month-old boy was cradled in his mother’s arms when the fury struck, his mother was shot dead, his tiny body riddled with a bullet, one of his fingers cut off. 😭 As an emblem of their cruelty, the assailants left the baby beside his mother’s lifeless body.
The brutality of this incident is merely a microscopic insight into the larger turmoil affecting Nigeria’s northern regions. This violence, a deadly dance between herders and farmers, grew more fatal in 2021, taking over 2,600 lives according to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project. Once fought with sticks, now upgraded to guns, this crisis is fast evolving into an out-and-out conflict, pitching Christian farmers against Muslim herders, and spawning numerous militias.
As the violence escalates, the populace pins its hopes on incoming president Bola Tinubu, who has been ushered into the political arena promising to bring solace to the wounded communities. Will he be able to reign in the violence and keep his promise of betterment? 🧐
One thing is for sure: If left unchecked, this discord may usher the country into further instability, casting more of its 216 million people into the abyss of poverty. The U.N. warns that the violence primarily impacts children and women, subjected to malnutrition, abduction, and forced marriage.
For now, the locals can only defend themselves, the aid from security forces often delayed and arrests, a rarity. Thus, trust in the government dwindles, prompting people to seek their own means of defense. This could result in a rise in organized armed groups, which in itself, is a ticking time bomb. 🕰️💣
The villagers bear witness to the growing violence, with every household bearing a scar. Despite claims from national herders’ association president, Abdullahi Bello Bodejo, that Fulanis are not the killers, the affected families recount tales of violence, loss, and agony.
Can the Tinubu administration address the root causes of this violence? Can the socioeconomic issues be dealt with effectively to deter further hostility? Can the administration ensure that the herders are not wrongfully blamed? And will the community vigilantes rise to the occasion without leading to more problems? 🤷♀️
The arrival of young recruits, like Felix Sunday, a college student in Kaduna, in the local vigilante groups is another point of concern. Furthermore, with the proliferation of weapons due to porous national borders, the situation seems to be spiraling out of control.
Survivors of the attacks lament the delayed arrival of the police, a complaint that resonates with people living in Runji. Simon Njam, a vigilante leader near Runji, stated that the government often fails to take proactive action. This raises the question, are the security forces really up for the task?