Over the last decade, many events have occured, some more important than others, but there are some events which have been neglected and not enough attention has been paid to them, one of them is the Fulani Herdsmen- Farmers crisis in Nigeria, I would love to discuss about it.
Fulani herdsmen are nomadic people who primarily have the work of raising livestock, over the past decade or so, some of these individuals have begun to elicit violence accross the North East and Western regions of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
These conflicts arose as a result of Land conflicts between herders and farmers, it happened that the herders who did not have enough food to feed their livestock left them to graze on the farmers lands, deteriorating conditions in the environment, desertification and soil degradation have led Fulani herdsmen from Northern Nigeria to change their transhumance routes. Access to pastureland and watering points in the Middle Belt became paramount for herdsmen travelling from the North of the country.
Urban conflicts in Jos and Kaduna States have been mostly violent and, despite violent clashes with the authorities, their causes have never been addressed politically.
Among some of the problems caused by this crisis, I will list a few of them.
According to the Global Terrorism Index, these conflicts resulted in over 800 deaths by 2015, In October 2018, Fulani herdsmen killed at least 19 people in Bassa, On 11 February 2019, an attack on an Adara settlement named Ungwar Bardi by suspected Fulani gunmen killed 11. Retaliation by Adara targeted settlements of the Fulani killing at least 141 people with 65 missing. The attacks took place in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
This issue is being dealt with with all the available resources the government has but due to the problems in the nation, particularly the Boko Haram crisis, the resources to tackle problems like these have been cut short.
Some of the fulani herdsmen have started taking up arms and robbing individuals on the roadside, indeed very peaceful individuals who only cared about their livestock have began to take up arms and take lives and other things, how the past decade has brought a lot of changes.
The issue has began to cause a lot of misunderstandings and complications as the statistics show that these clashes have occurred mostly between Muslim Fulani Herders and Christian Farmers, therefore adding to the Religious Conflicts in the nation, not really ironic right?
And to add to that In 2019, journalist Tunji Ajibade accused the media of promoting ethnic hatred, by often attributing killings to Fulani herdsmen without any confirmation from the police, this is absolutely true because in the news, one mostly hears of ‘suspected fulani herdsmen’ and by that, it clearly means that the identity of the criminals has not been confirmed, but it still incites hatred in a great country.
My hope is that the nation, the country that I call home will be a safe place for all of us, and clearly conflicts like these are not good and these are among the things a person will not want to see, hopefully our nation can address this issue and get our Home back on the right track.