Benue: When the river flows with blood

By Enoch Kaanti

“You ought to believe something in life, believe that thing so fervently that you will stand up with it till the end of your days. I hate violence.” These words of A former American president, Martin Luther King JR reflect my feeling as compounded by the present security reality in Nigeria and my beloved humanitarian Benue State in precision.

I am tired of violence and coincidentally my beloved Benue state, a state known for her egalitarianism, is tired of violence and as such resorted to employing civilized legal conceptual structures to stop the herds men killings in the state. The killings that has been there for ages for implicit motives.

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I have no reservations to state that curbing evil/ violence and illogical oppression on you, it will out rightly amount to naked insanity if you let your oppressor dictate for you what method you must use. In the words of Martin Luther King JR he rightly noted that we have a power, that power can’t be found in Molotov cocktails, but we do have a power. Power that cannot be found in bullets and guns, but we have a power.

It is a power as old as the insight if Jesus of Nazareth and as modern as the techniques of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi lived, thought and acted, inspired by the vision of humanity evolving toward a world of peace and harmony. Indeed, we may ignore Gandhi at our own peril. Let’s agree that if we yield to the burning desire to use violence in struggle for freedom or any quest then the urborn generations will be recipients of a desolate domicile of bitterness and the grand legacy for them a never-ending chaos.

Violence is too great a burden to bear and ameliorating it too tactical, serious, strategic and an imperative a business to be fiddled, tinkered with or chided. In an attempt to settle feuds, endurance is one a solution but should we Nigerians say to the killer-herdsmen: we shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering? Or meet your physical force with our soul force? Or even say to them that do to us what you will and we will still love you?

Send your hooded perpetrators of violence into our communities in the midnight hours and burn our homes, threaten us, kill our young and old, frog match us out and leave us half dead, drag our children from schools and send them to IDPs, and as difficult as it is, we will still love you? Can we say to their masked sponsors that, send your propaganda agents around the country and make it appear that no serious havoc has ever been wreaked but we will still love you and vote for you?

I think we cannot, in good conscience, continue like this because noncooperation with evil is as much a legal cum moral obligation as is cooperation with good. The sponsors who may still come out seeking our mandate which they have been using to fight us should suffice it to say that, if there is to be peace on earth and goodwill toward men, we must finally come to believe in the ultimate morality of the cosmos or universe, believe that all reality hinges on moral foundations.

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