It is an inquisitive thing that Fulani herdsmen are apparently taking laws
into their hands in Nigeria. From their occupation in the rearing of cows
across the bushes and lands in the country unsolicited, but especially in
the forests and lands of the South-East and South-South zones, they have
become merchants of death anywhere they went, as gory stories of their
sophisticated mayhems rent the air.
Over 150 people were reportedly killed recently by Fulani herdsmen in an
attack on three villages of Ugwar Sankwai, Ungwan Gata and Chenshyi, in
Kaduna State. Their supposed killing sprees in a place like Berom of
Plateau State, have taken precedence. The killings against Christian
Southerners and Northerners are a story for another day, so that no one is
pushed to cry.
The sad side of it is that the affected villagers from the villages these
Fulani herdsmen cum gunmen have meted out their shoddy acts, say that the
herdsmen opened fire on them immediately they entered their villages.
Initially, these Fulani herdsmen were known for the little knives they hold
around their waists while herding their cows. But today, somebody is afraid
that AK 47 may be the case of these nomads in the neighbourhood. Terrorism
On March 10 2014, a sitting Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam
narrowly escaped death. His envoy was said to have been ambushed by assumed
Fulani mercenaries. They engaged Suswan and his security aides in exchange
of gunfire at Tee-Akanyi village in Guma Local Government Area of the
state. This is how dangerous rearing cow in the country has become. The
herdsmen had earlier sacked those within the Uikpam-Mbabai. The attack on
Suswam’s convoy compelled the governor to say that it’s a real war and
beyond the Fulani herdsmen.
Without hiding for the fear of being arrested, the Fulani herdsmen after
they had ‘drank’ the blood of the innocent people, they rather bemoaned
that the violence should be blamed on Suswam. It’s the National Vice
President of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Alhaji Hussaini
Yusuf Bosso who was credited with such a goofing statement for whatever
reason. Needless of going to look for whom the sponsors of the marauders
were, Bosso might tell Nigerians.
Police who were supposed to bounce on the statement made by Bosso and make
arrests, they had been rather busy urging Fulani herdsmen and Benue Farmers
in February to embrace peace. That was in the event that over 35 persons
had lost their lives in the Gwer West local government area of Benue State
in that month, in the hands of suspected Fulani herdsmen. Over 80,000
people were reported to have been displaced in the outbreak of the attack.
Is anybody mouthing the police? Hmmmm.
But if Ndigbo were the Nomads/Herdsmen that have been killing immeasurable
innocent people in different parts of Nigeria, police would have been set
on motion to be arresting anybody found with cow and, cows would be killed
across the country and, legislation being on top gear, suggesting that
rearing of cows is part of terrorism and the rearers, terrorists.
Did somebody say, this is Nigeria for you! Go ask the MASSOB members what
their experiences are in the hands of the Nigerian security men and women
and how many of their men and women have not been lucky with their lives in
the hands of the security people, even when the MASSOB is a non-violent
group. The members’ sin in the hand of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is
that they said they need Biafra.
The killing spree continues to be the new found love of the Fulani
herdsmen. In 2012 a serving senator, Dr. Gyang Dantong, and the lawmaker
representing Barkin Ladi in the state house of assembly, Gyang Fulani, were
killed by seemingly Fulani herdsmen at a mass burial in Maseh, Plateau
State. Yet, governments at all levels behaved and are behaving as if they
did/do not have a feel of the dastard act, except in the newspapers.
Not even the deaths of such glaring prominent people have brought peace
between the herdsmen and their host communities where they feed their cows
without paying any remuneration. The other time, the women of Ubima
(Governor Chibuike Amaechi’s place) in Rivers State protested to Government
House, Port Harcourt to lodge their grievances that the Fulani herdsmen
were allegedly raping them in the farms and using dangerous weapons to
harass them when they complain that the cows were destroying their crops.
The same story is applicable to all the villages and town in the South-East
and South-South zones of this country where the herdsmen have become the
Lords of Manor. They do not listen to anybody against the backdrop that
their cows destroy crops; and the government even is always mute to react
or act whenever the people lay their complaints against the herdsmen.
Gradually, the uncalled-for-attitude of the Fulani herdsmen is turning into
terrorism. Their cows are terror to farmers’ crops and to the environment,
while the herdsmen have become terrorists to human lives at a slightest
provocation. Where are we going in this country? This is very unfortunate!
And the government security apparatuses, like the police that should not
relent to curb the menace, as we have seen above, were using plea as the
new form to fight crime in Nigeria.
Calculating these killings, it has become pertinent to say that the lives
of the cows being reared by the herdsmen are preferred by the rearers than
the lives of innocent people who advise them contrarily to their already
programmed mindset of ‘we better kill villagers who ask us to pull our cows
out from their village instead of do just simple that’.
While the Fulani herdsmen brag of the number of people they killed in any
village they invaded, the problem with Nigeria to checkmate their excesses
becomes intelligence. Imagine that in some of the stories, these Fulani
herdsmen would group and take uniforms to attack, and no security person
would halt them; some in the broad daylight.
Let those in the government stop taking to pleasure; they should be
diligent to their assignments. The government should stop being busy always
in changing top security personnel, without an iota of change in strategy
and new approach to curtail the nuisance of the Fulani herdsmen and their
In a civilised clime there will not be noise to it as even trained dogs can
arrest the activities of the herdsmen, because when some goons took to
activities such as the herdsmen’s and wanted to take over the South-East,
local vigilante group that was called Bakassi, was it that arrested the
Government should do something about the Fulani herdsmen-initiated killings
and harassments of Nigerians in any areas they graze. The worst is that
when they are provoked, they even attack on a broad daylight and yet go