Fulani Herdsmen Serial Attacks: Another Unnoticed War Booming
It is a truism that a nation without peace can hardly develop let alone grow. In Nigeria today, when we mention insecurity, our national prism only covers barbaric activities of Boko Haram while little is being heard of attacks rendering by Fulani Herdsmen. While the former requires military combat the latter needs basic policy.
With the levels of assault launching on villagers and farmers of crops by Fulani herdsmen in the name of clashes over grazing spaces, many will be wondering if this inhuman act worth it. It is disheartening that these horrendous theatre of wars have rendered many homeless, beggars, sent many to early grave and countless loss of properties.
Just from January 2015 till date, we have recorded 14 attacks that led to death of over 400 people with other countless losses. The most fresh one was killing of two students in Jos on 5th July, 2015. While Benue State suffered most among other States like Nassarawa, Taraba, Plateau, kogi and Kaduna. This menace has also extended to Southern part of Nigeria with no serious measure to curb it.
The big question here is why are we still practising transhumance method of herding in 21st century?. Another puzzle on this matter is does 21st century pastoral nomadism requires guns and other sophisticated arms?
Our last question is does herding involves religion/tribal locked horn? These current outcomes of many attacks orchestrated by Fulani herdsmen have put many in doubt of what are they really looking for, as theft, robbery, raping and church attacks have been added to their deleterious and ignoble acts. Just a killing of a cow will lead to death of men.
Since no one has ever been arrested or faced the wrath of law, these people will not relent in their evil works as our governments are using kid gloves approach.
To Governor Ortom of Benue State that believed signing of peace pact will end this war, we have had this on many occasions and the war still continue. While El-Rufai's approach is commendable but military combat will not be absolute. Also, for those mapping out grazing areas from farmland, it will remain as a futile effort.
The best panacea has been recommended by many authorities in this field and that is answer to our first question. Nigeria is not the only country rearing and consuming cows, ranching is the solution. Our current method is archaic and it will continue to fuel tribal/religion crisis. We are blessed with professionals that can make fodders available to feed cattle or of what benefit is our numerous institutes of animal husbandry. A good ranch with regular water supply cannot cost us as loss of lives will do. Beside, it will nullify exposure of herdsmen to dangers pose by wild animals and other natural factors.
To this end, we are calling on States handlers in the North to establish ranch for herdsmen, National Assembly should enact law that will ban transhumance and our President should wage into this lingering problem as he runs a ranch without wrecking havoc.
We will wrap it up with a clue from Practical Agriculture of Junior Secondary School that says both crop planters and herdsmen are farmers seeking food security for their nation but this should not turn to insecurity of lives and properties.
Let us stop toying with human lives.
Good Governance Advocates