The Herdsmen And Nigeria’s Other Divides


Seriously, it is a big thumb down for the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration handling of the ravaging Fulani herdsmen issue. since the first attack was attributed to the herdsmen under this administration till the present carnage going on Numan, Adamawa State, this administration has done absolutely nothing to resolve the root causes of this issue other than enumerating policy in the press which hasn’t helped.

The reports coming from Numan is so conflicting that making sense of it is practically impossible but one fact is the killing of 4 police officers who were sent to the town to maintain peace. SP Othman Abubakar, the state police spokesperson confirmed the killing of the officers. He cautions the public and media to shun rumours and speculations that would further raise tension in Numan and its environs

From Adamawa to Benue to Ondo, the herdsmen issue continues to fester and suppurate while the government at all levels continue to pay lip service to judiciously address the root causes. Why and how did Fulani herdsmen suddenly becomes an enemy within? We’ve all existed together for aeons, disagreeing and settling it amicably. Where did this marauding, bloodthirsty herdsmen come from?

Nigeria today is a nation in the divide. The accusation of Islamization by the Christians, and counter-accusations by Muslims are resonating, the Legislature is in constant conflict with the Executive while the Judiciary stands akimbo, communal clashes, Boko Haram, Muslims versus Christians, border clashes, Fulani herdsmen against farmers and natives, etc. Nothing seems to highlight our unity or cohesion. And with 2019 general elections drawing closer, move crackers are bound to open. Even our fiscal and monetary policies are not in consonance! Things are just falling apart.

Roaming herdsmen have reportedly terrorized, occupied lands, raped, kidnapped, and killed hundreds of people across the farming communities in many states. They were also associated with the kidnapping of Chief Olu Falae and with the slain traditional ruler of Ubulu-Uku community, Obi Agbogidi Akaeze Ofulue of Aniocha South, Delta State.

Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has also said its members are been killed in several parts of the country deliberately or as a reprisal.

Total casualties attributed to roaming Fulani herdsmen, due to their reluctance to, invest in private cattle ranches or agricultural holding and, improve social responsibility amongst the communities, hit 1,229 in 2014, a massive increase from just 63 in 2013, according to the Institute for Economics and Peace’s Global Terrorism Index 2015 and it has soared since the beginning of 2016.

The government solution of introducing grazing reserve bill further inflamed the anger of the people. The President has been accused of being swift in unleashing the Armed Forces on the Niger Delta militant and the pro-Biafra agitators but being soft and accommodating to the Fulani herdmen’s attacks and killing. This was seen as imperialistic and favouritism by the President to his fellow Fulani tribesmen over other ethnic nationalities in the country.

It’s not unlikely that all killings and attacks attributed to the Fulani herdsmen might be lies, fabricated or even exaggerated to achieve political ends but where there is smoke, there’s likely a fire. Governments are elected to provide solutions to problems of their people. The divide in the country is so obvious that one can touch it, its high time Buhari got off his high horse and proffer solutions to the herdsmen seemingly intractable problem and other issues bedevilling the country. The road ahead is rough.


About Author

Akin Akingbala is an international journalist based in Lagos, Nigeria. Aside being happily married, he has interests in music, sports and loves traveling.

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