By: Opara Festus

The spare parts seller acquires his shops legitimately; the hersdmen acquires other people’s land and farmlands by force, violence and illegitimacy.

The spare parts seller pays for the shop he uses, and does not take land that is not his, and cohabitates peacefully with his hosts and never ever extends his occupation beyond the property approved for him after he has (as is usually the case) paid through his nose — more than twice what indigenes pay to get similar properties in the same location. The spare parts seller lives and conducts his spare parts business inside town, living among human beings, not in the bushes and forests as is often the case with the herdsman.

The spare parts seller doesn’t violently invade his host’s lands, homes, forests, and destroy his host’s farms, farmsteads, farm produce, crops, and kill his host’s kiths and kin in order to grab and occupy his host’s ancestral lands.

All land or property occupied by the spare parts seller were/are duly applied and heavily paid for (purchased or rented), and therefore being lawfully occupied, unlike the herdsman who doesn’t pay for anything and whose only aim and habit are violent land-grabbing, unlawful occupation, and mass murder of his hosts.

The herdsman’s true motto and motive are to conquer his hosts, take over his hosts’ lands and establish his own dominance over his hosts in furtherance of his (the hersdman’s) senseless, scatterbrained and brainless declaration (forgive my French) that:


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“Nigeria and Nigerians belong to me and my people”. Gentlemen, the hersdman’s activities are undiluted terrorism unlike the spare parts seller who, apart from contributing heavily to developing host states and Communities, never engages in any organized/communal crimes against his hosts. Comparing the peaceful, peace-loving and development-oriented spare parts seller to the jingoism-driven and terrorist-minded hersdman is akin to comparing life to death, or war to peace, or saneness to insanity, or reason to madness (forgive my French), or forwardness to backwardness, or progression to retrogression, or modernity to crudity, or civilization to dilapidation, or humanity to inhumanity, or sense to nonsense, or progress to regression.

No wonder George Santayana once lamented that “nonsense appears so good only because common sense is so limited”. May God help Nigeria. But, note this and do not be deceived, there’s no God-help for people who are not ready to help themselves.

The time has therefore come to take our destiny in our hands, if we want God’s help or grace; the time to unite together in a battle for our own survival or to prepare to perish together as fools (apologies to Martin Luther King Jr). Our destiny is in our hands, I repeat, not in the hands of our prayers.

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