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Meg Otanwa: President Buhari, Protect Nigerians… of ALL Tribes

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Dear President Muhammadu Buhari,

One fateful day I received numerous calls from home: “A u Fulani! A u fulani!! E ku pewa eh,” meaning, “The Fulanis! The Fulanis! They’ve come again!” It was Jan 17th last year, the herdsmen had attacked a neighbouring village and the villagers had run into our village for safety. The marauders took lives and left a trail of destruction behind them.

These attacks have been going on as far back as I can remember. I remember my grandmother hiding some of my siblings and I under the bed because “a u fulani” were coming. That was well over 20 years ago. We had travelled home for Christmas and on this fateful day, villagers ran back from their farms covered in blood and tears from herdsmen attacks. That was my first memory and encounter with the name “Fulani”.

In June of 2017, I lost my cousin, Sunday Fabian Otanwa, in the hands of these same herdsmen in Makurdi. Sunday was in the police force, he was deployed to a village to protect the people. He and his colleagues became a target for the herdsmen, they launched another attack just to kill the security personnel in the villages. Sunday was killed.

Please tell me Mr President, are we second class Nigerians? Why must we continue to suffer in the hands of these faceless barbaric criminals? They come to kill and claim our ancestral land.
The people of Benue State are predominantly farmers. That is what they know. Benue State did not become “the Food Basket of the nation” for nothing. Farming is the means of livelihood for most people in Benue State. So when they attack our crops, they attack our very existence.

The Open Grazing Prohibition and Establishment of Ranches law has been signed since May 2017. So why are we still left to fight these criminals off our lands? These attacks and killings have persisted and worsened over the years in places as disparate as Plateau, Kaduna, Enugu among other parts of the country.

Mr President Sir, with all due respect, we do not need your condolences anymore. We’ve received enough of that for over 20 plus years. Open grazing is now against the law. The governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has cried out to the federal government for help. He is not the Commander In Chief; you are, sir. So please deploy the army to protect and secure Benue, Kaduna, Plateau, Enugu and every other part of Nigeria that has experienced these vicious attacks and yet still remains under threat. Why send the army to stop protesters? They are only speaking out in a bid to protect their lands and livelihood. If you are indeed for all Nigerians, please do what is required of a leader: let the affected communities see and feel that the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria cares about them, not only through words, but also through action.

The activities of these mysterious Fulani herdsmen continue to oppress my people and my home, Benue. I also believe that it is necessary to point out at the same time that this isn’t a fight between Fulani people and other ethnicities of this great country, because not all Fulanis perpetrate such wicked acts, in the same way that not all Nigerians are out to cheat or scam people; this is a war between good and evil, between light and darkness, between men bent on destroying lives and properties and those who wish to live in peace and a shared prosperity. I urge you, sir, to be on the right side of history by choosing to defend and protect all that is good and just; I pray you will find the moral strength and conviction to fight on the side of justice, for it is only under the banner of justice that peace can truly thrive.

My name is Meg Otanwa and I call on you as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria to protect your people whether they be Fulani, Idoma, Tiv, Hausa, Igbo, or Yoruba.

Thank you.

Meg Otanwa is a multi-lingual Nigerian actress most famous for her role as Aisha in the ground breaking TV series BEFORE 30 . She schooled in Northern Nigeria and went on to further her education and worked in France and Tunisia before moving back home to join the movie industry. She is passionate about lending her voice to the helpless and philanthropic activities. Follow her on Instagram @megotanwa .

24 Comments

  1. The Real Oma

    January 7, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    Very well said Meg.
    I know we do not want to offend sensibilities and so the gruesome pictures from these attacks are seldom shared along with the stories, but perhaps it is time we did so people understand exactly what is going on on many parts of this country. We have been desensitized so much that an headline that reads ’15 killed’ doesn’t really give most people pause anymore. Perhaps pictures of these gruesome acts need to shared to make us feel the outrage we should as as a people. It is so sad.
    Bear in mind that when the news says 15, it is most likely 45.

    • Dust

      January 8, 2018 at 4:29 am

      Nigeria is a geographical expression.. we are not Nigerians, we are different nations put together by a map and a paper called a constitution by a group of people who hate our race, our culture and our existence….

      the f:oulanis have been s:ponsored by foreigners since the 1800s… to destabilize and take over places they attack, the foreigners are the ones who started it but when they noticed that their skin color made the indigenes to not trust them they looked for a group of people who looked like the indigenes to assist them in wiping out cultures by killing, raping, installing their own kings (in today’s word political control) in other ethnic groups lands…

      Your president is of the same group as them, he would continue where his ancestors stopped and the next person after him would also continue (its a cycle)…

      the person who wrote this article is naive of Nigeria’s history and which ethnic group the people that created Nigeria favors

    • David

      January 8, 2018 at 3:50 pm

      Dust, instead of you to join her in solidarity for speaking out against injustice and daring to call out our president for accountability, you decided to “educate” her on the history of Nigeria and belittle her voice by calling it naive. Tracing back to the jihad of Usman Dan Fodio in 1802, which started way before the British established a conquest in Nigeria in the mid 1800, the fulanis have always believed and carried out jihad. Jihad isn’t some conspiracy theory by the white man to wipe out “our culture”. Its 2018, the world is changing but of course, let’s keep blaming everything on white men.

      Until we Africans wake up to the fact that our problems lies within and stop heaping blames and sulking on some ancient history, we will never move forward. Until we hold our leaders accountable for our growth and speak the harsh truth of our deplorable, communist state which benefits the oligarchs and a select few who kowtow to them, we will never ever reach our potential as human beings unless we remove ourselves from this braindraining system. Wonder why its mostly Nigerians or Africans living or schooled in diaspora who keep doing great things? Go figure.

      Sorry The Real Oma for my epistle under your post. And thank you for joining Meg Otanwa in shedding light to this deplorable evil happening in our country.

  2. luulub

    January 7, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    Na waa oo. You want to pass an important message like this across and u think the only way to drive home your point is by baring your stomach. Smh. Wait. Do you relly want people to take you seriously at all??

    • IQ

      January 8, 2018 at 10:35 am

      @luulub, be quiet there.

      Grown-ups are talking about important matters here.

    • Damilola(stop the genocide)

      January 9, 2018 at 12:58 am

      And you think people will take you serious for posing as an intellectual. Go to sleep.
      Her message is the focus, it’s not what she’s wearing. Meg, thanks for lending your voice.
      Unfortunately, Buhari just doesn’t care. He’s a cold blooded bigot.
      To close your eyes to such atrocity is appalling. This is something that has been going on for years, and no progressive action has been taken. Why murder? This is genocide.

  3. Lailatu

    January 7, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    Well done Meg. We must continue to bring attention to these atrocities. If Buhari likes, let him ignore them, he’s only revealing himself as a cold hearted bigot. 2019 is around the corner, let’s stay woke!

  4. Rrrrrrr

    January 7, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    Meg, thank you. You took the words right outta my mouth. I am a proud Idoma girl, proud of my land, proud of the palm trees, proud of our culture, proud of our little accomplishments. We can do more. We will do more. But if these herdsmen are allowed to run amok on our land what would be left for my children? How will they get to “ipole” without fear of being killed by people who we dont know? Cowards! They whole lot of them. I look forward to a complete eradication of these terrorist in the name of herdsmen. The govt needs to deploy the army there and Benue should completely stop them from grazing on our land. The value of 10,000 cows can never equate to human life. We will eat bush meat in peace rather than eat cow meat with death looming over our heads.

  5. Mrs chidukane

    January 7, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    Well written.

  6. Ijebujesha

    January 7, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    The greatest illusion ever is to think that Nigeria is a great country. Anyone with half a brain would easily know that there is nothing great about Nigeria.

    • JustSaying

      January 7, 2018 at 7:02 pm

      Yet you look down on other African countries. See your life. With all the red carpet event show off on social media and blogs like bellanaija and EbonyLife you’d think Naija was heaven. African countries doing a million times better don’t make noise as much as Nigerians do.

    • Cocolette

      January 7, 2018 at 7:25 pm

      @Just saying… This is neither the time nor place for the rubbish you are spewing… Take the bull***t elsewhere

    • Seriously

      January 8, 2018 at 2:23 am

      Nigeria is NOT a great country but for some reason Nigerians are in denial. However, Nigerians are the same people who are not making it great. This is not just about the leaders. It’s time that Nigerians, individually and collectively make it better. The main step is Demanding for reformation by force. Buhari is a divider, these Fulani herdsmen have always done this but now they’ve been empowered because one of them is in power. Shame on all these people who keep singing Buhari’s praise. He DOES NOT care about anyone neither does he have the country’s best interest at heart.
      Change MUST come.

  7. Dosomething

    January 7, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    Mr. President.
    We have had enough of your condemnation of the act. It is time to take action. Bea president to ALL Nigerians and stop this deafening silence.

  8. weellll

    January 7, 2018 at 8:12 pm

    The question is does Buhari even care?

    • Kkay

      January 7, 2018 at 9:32 pm

      No, Buhari does not care one bit!

    • fleur

      January 8, 2018 at 1:57 am

      The question is whether he can comprehend anything other than when he wakes up and nods off. I question his innate ability to do more than breathe.

    • tunmi

      January 9, 2018 at 5:08 am

      do you even care? do we even care? let’s be honest with ourselves

  9. Authentic Sunshine

    January 7, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    Kudos to you Meg and welldone for this message well put together. Please people pass it on to someone who knows another someone that will finally know somebody in the Presidential team …. This is not for perusal only but to ignite action and reactions.

  10. Chi

    January 7, 2018 at 10:36 pm

    The Zoo country filled with monkeys and baboons chanting Change!!!. Now, you want me to pity people from benue..smh, all of you were laughing when they were doing python dance and killing Ipob members.You tribalists were justifying it. Now, benue is feeling the heat. infact, it won’t stop at benue( afterall, they voted for buhari) .Everybody most feel the heat. I no longer care or give a damn.I may even vote for buhari come 2019. If buhari and his fulani tribe wants to raze this country to the ground na them sabi. Change!!!!

  11. Fence

    January 7, 2018 at 10:44 pm

    Jihad is going on in Nigeria and my fellow Nigerians are still sleeping…. this is how they conquered some tribes and installed their emirs to rule over them. The media houses have failed…. Those who refuse to learn from history are bound to make the same mistakes…

    Its time for all well meaning people to start praying for Nigeria and using their voices however they can as it has gotten out of control.
    They have even started penetrating the South west too, why do you think Gani Adams was appointed?

    For those thinking Buhari would be easily voted out i cant help but shake my head, you are just wishing for a second civil war… all the security agencies are headed by fulanis so the people cant fight back, even the police force, army, etc cant touch them. All the deployments are for show, some communities have stated that it seems the army are even helping the herdsmen…

    let the communities touch one of the fulanis and you would see that Buhari actually cares. This was what Nnamdi was trying to warn people to be on alert.

    I heard some yoruba elders are meeting with some igbo elders this week to figure out a way to deal with this mess that Nigeria has become…. hope it goes well as people would benefit from a positive outcome. They have to put on their thinking cap quick because the igbo diaspora are working hard on getting a referendum, and if that comes first then i dont know what is going to become of Nigeria.

  12. zelda

    January 8, 2018 at 8:20 am

    so sad..

  13. Dr.N

    January 8, 2018 at 8:58 am

    I read this with tears in my eyes. Step up FG!

  14. Ivie

    January 9, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    Mr President, listen to our cry. Enough of the condemnation and condolence messages, we need action.

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