Before It Gets Out Of Hand
Let me start by saying we Nigerians or should I say an average Nigerian lacks the ability to tackle problems when it’s at its minimal or growing stages. Take for example, an average Nigeria with a vehicle that is always over-heating would prefer to manage it till he gets enough money to repair. Then one day the engine would over-heat and then break down on the road side. This would not only disrupt his plan but it would also put him in more financial loss. This would not have happened if he had treated the problem right at the beginning. Now, let me come back to the main issue at hand. Today our newsroom and news desk are all flooded with reports about the clash between the farmers and Fulani herdsman. This clash did not just start this year neither did it start last year. It has been on for a long period of time without the government paying close attention to it. It should be recalled that when the Boko-Haram menace started in Nigeria it was on a small scale until when they began to bomb and kill numerous innocent Nigerians that was when the federal government decided to pay close attention to it. Also, the case of militants in Nigeria who were at a point kidnapping expatriates like no man’s business. It also started on a small scale with people agitating that host communities be treated well. The federal government did not still pay attention to them until they began to bomb and vandalize pipelines and even went as far as kidnapping expatriates. This the major plot in the story of Nigeria. Lack of pro-active measures to tackle various social menace in the country by the government of the day.
The clash between the Fulani herdsmens and farmers started during the regime of Obasanjo. During this period farmers always came out to complain about how their plants and crops are destroyed by the cattle of these Fulani herdsmen. The government in their usual character did not pay any attention to the complaint of the farmers. The height of it all when the government should have responded swiftly was the case of the kidnap of chief Falae by this same set of people late last year. The national statesman was severely brutalized and maltreated by the Fulani herdsmen. The family of chief Falae had to pay ransom in the sum of #5million when the people that call themselves security operatives could not save him. After his chief Falae was interviewed this is what he had to say ‘it is not because of me. As for me, i am a very humble person, but by virtue of what God has made me and the status God has given me, it is an insult to our race that a man like me could be abducted by a bunch of hoodlums(fulani herdsmen)". This and more is one of the major havoc these set of people called the Fulani herdsmen has caused in Nigeria. Repeatedly making people gnash their teeth in pain due to the various loss they’ve experienced. Houses have been burnt, daughters of the farmers have been raped, farmers have been injured and cash crops have been destroyed. This I say if not treated swiftly can lead to a full blown war between the Fulani herdsmen and the farmers. This would not be good for the development and growth of the country because innocent souls, properties and agricultural products would be lost.
Just this week we heard about the recent killing of innocent souls in Enugu by the Fulani herdsmen. The killings were so tragic that the governor of the state was brought down in tears. Apart from the loss of lives let me quickly analyze and explain to you what havoc this crisis can cause if it’s not dealt with immediately. The Fulani herdsmen as animal farmers take their cattle out to graze on grass around surrounding communities. One of the major destruction by these cattle is the destruction of crops on the farmland of the farmers. By allowing the cattle to graze on the farmland agricultural plants are trampled upon, eaten and even uprooted which leads to the plants not to grow and mature properly. This would be a big loss on the part of the farmers who would have been expecting to have a bumper harvest when crops/plants mature. This also would lead to two major disasters. Firstly, there will be shortage of food supplied to the markets for sale. Since crops are destroyed the number of agricultural produce supplied to the markets would drop this would invariably lead to increase in price of the available ones and also food shortage. Again, since there is increase in price of the little agricultural produce supplied to the markets demand would drastically reduce which would lead to low income on the part of the farmers. If this is not sorted out we would continue to experience more clash between both parties. Simply put according to the news telegraph ‘bloody days ahead’.
Again, I feel the Fulani herdsmen do not understand why they the farmers are fighting with them because if they do they would not take it hard on the farmers by destroying houses, raping their wives and daughters. I feell the fulani herdsmen think they are been attacked because they are hausa. They feel the host community is treating them this why because thay are fulani hersmen. This therefore if not trated with rapt attention can lead to ethical clash between the Fulani herdsmen and their host community. This would not be good for the progress of Nigeria. One thing that really amaze me is that the president has not really come out to give a major statement about the whole issue. Rather he says the federal government would create grazing areas for the herdsmen. This should not be so because this herdsmen and their cattle are owned by private individuals why then would the government provide grazing areas for a private enterprise. Am of the opnion that instead of creating grazing areas for these set of people the government should make a law that any herdsmen that want to start a cattle rearing venture should also provide a grazing area for their cattle. This would restrict the movement of these cattle. This issue should be dealt with carefully in other to avoid a full blown ethical war in Nigeria.
This the moment of truth. This is the time for Nigeria to fight and defend our country. Nigeria arise before it gets out of hand.