The Fulani Herders-Farmers Crisis: Politics or Insurgence?
Nigeria seems to be undergoing another round of a hydra-headed situation that puts the whole nation in a concentric cycle. The current crisis between the Fulani herders and farmers is beginning to unveil certain ugly trend within the Nigerian political space. I want to refrain from according blame or seeking to speak for and against any ethnic group, hence the need to be very objective with the ideas presented.
Though many have lost their lives in this unfortunate saga, seems like every day the news headline is dominated with one killing or the other in different parts of the country, to the extent that one begins to wonder if the Fulani herders are just surfacing up or they have never existed in Nigeria.
What baffles me most is the sudden appearance of this aggression which seems as though they have been silenced all along and their sudden emergence is likened to someone who has suddenly realized he/she has a voice and need to quickly make an impact.
The Fulani herders are no strangers in Nigeria, some are Nigerians and do belong to a state in Nigeria. They occupy local governments and have held a leadership position in Nigeria
My worry is, why haven’t we experienced all that is happening now then? What are these new excitations and trigger-happy characteristics being exhibited by the cattle herders? Have they been nursing this agitation in mind and only found a way of expressing their perceived marginalisation? Or the question should have read, are the perpetrators really Fulani herders of Nigeria extraction or foreigners? All these questions will need to be answered in order to fashion out a possible solution.
Historians will agree that the Fulanis are natural nomads, they move around with their cattle in search of greener pastures. These mobile persons, while we appreciate them for their hard work and providing meat for the country, carry out these mass movements from the north to the south during the dry season and unfortunately.
While doing so, they trespass people’s farms and all, but their cattle which as expected are not humans to differentiate between farm produce and grazing pastures, eat any available ‘green’ they encounter as they move.
Now the farmers expect the herders or shepherds as the case may be, to be able to control them from destroying plants, in most cases, before they realise, the damage is done.
Rather than fashioning a way out to solve this impasse, the parties involved have rather resolve in taking arms against each other, and what use to be like a complementary relationship between the farmers and herders, in that the cattle provide manure (natural fertilizer) for the farmer and the farmer, in turn, provide pastures for the cattle, has now become a war between ethnic group and have resulted in massive loss of lives and properties.
These, as far as I’m concerned, have been mismanaged by either of the party, while some see this as an opportunity to show superiority by having one of their own in power, the other is fighting in defence of their God-given territory, which is very sad.
A country as volatile as Nigeria, where there is religious intolerance, social discrimination, injustice, and proliferation of insurgents, should have known that bandits, hooligans, jobless and idle youths, could take advantage of these loopholes and rain assaults on innocent Nigerians.
While calling on the government of the day to take it seriously, by not playing politics with the current situation by taking sides, all and sundry must be up and doing, the federal government, the various state governors, citizens, etc. must be ready to work together for the good of every Nigerian.