FORMER aviation minister Chief Femi Fani-Kayode has latched on to the recent printing of cows on the pages of the new Nigerian passport as evidence that the Buhari administration is condoning the activities of violent Fulani cattle herdsmen.
Over the last few weeks, the political temperature has risen in Nigeria after the government came out with the ill-thought out Ruga policy that would involve states handing their land over to Fulani cattle herdsmen to rear their livestock. Apart from the fact that to work, the policy would require the abrogation of the Land Use Act with vests land ownership with state governors, Ruga is also seen as a security threat.
Fulani cattle herdsmen have been guilty of murderous attacks on farming villages across Nigeria lately, carrying out violent assaults on farming communities that protest damage to their crops by livestock. As a result of the security threat these herdsmen pose, many states have vehemently said they would not make land available for Ruga settlements.
Heating up the political temperature further, the government has published details of the new Nigerian international passport which contains images of cattle on its pages. According to Chief Fani-Kayode, the images of cows and Fulani herdsmen on the new passport was a slap on those that have suffered losses in recent years.
He called on the federal government to immediately adjust the design of the document. According to Chief Fani-Kayode, Fulani herdsmen are symbols of bloodshed, terror, mass murder, ethnic-cleansing, genocide, carnage, torment, trauma, and evil.
Chief Fani-Kayode said: “They represent nothing other than cruelty, suffering, land-grabbing, church-burning, home-stealing, raping and pillaging and they are instruments of occupation, domination and conquest. They have slaughtered more Nigerians over the last four years than Boko Haram have done in 10 and they have been designated as the fourth most deadly terrorist organisation in the world by the international community.
“To dedicate a page of the Nigerian passport to them and paste their picture on it represents the biggest and most gratuitous insult to the Nigerian people that has ever been served. It is like dedicating a page of the Israeli passport to Adolf Hitler and the Nazis that slaughtered 6m Jews.
“It is also like dedicating a page of the Southern Sudanese passport to the Janjaweed Arab Muslims of Darfur that slaughtered hundreds of thousands of black African Christians in the Sudan. It is like dedicating a page of the Congolese passport to King Leopold 11 of Belgium and his people after they butchered 10 million Congolese.
“It is like dedicating a page of the Rwandan passport to the Hutu Interahamwe after they wiped out 1 million Rwandan Tutsis. It is like dedicating a page of the American passport to the rebel confederate forces of the American civil war and to the Ku Klux Klan who slaughtered millions of black Americans over the years and who insisted on the perpetuation of the institution of slavery.
“It is like dedicating a page of the South African passport to the white supremacist Boers and Afrikaans-speaking Dutch settlers of South Africa who founded and established the apartheid state, who butchered millions of black Africans over 400 years and who believed that the black man was no better than an ape. Such a gesture is heartless and unforgivable and it is unbecoming of even the Buhari regime, it is insensitive, callous, wicked, uncharitable, unkind and it is evil.”
He added that the worship and veneration of cows and cow-loving is alien to the Nigerian culture and it is regarded as an abomination. According to Chief Fani-Kayode, Nigeria is a nation of believers that worship God and not one that worships cows.
“Those amongst us that regard cows as wives and that value the life of a cow more than the life of a human being are not Nigerians but aliens that come from a distant land outside our shores. To paste such people and their accursed cows on our international passport and compel Nigerians to carry them all over the world with us as part of our national identity, heritage and culture is unacceptable and too much to ask.
“We reject it in its entirety and we insist that the Buhari administration removes that accursed page forthwith and replace it with another symbol that truly represents the noble, enlightened, civilised and laudable nature and heritage of the Nigerian people. We refuse to accept a symbol that represents a retrograde, barbaric, blood-lusting, vampiric, malignant, malevolent and bestial foreign heritage and culture on our passport,” Chief Fani-Kayode added.