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Fulani Herdsmen National Clashes: FG's Way Forward

Featured Fulani Herdsman with AK47 Photo Credit: naij.com Fulani Herdsman with AK47

Saturday, March 12, 2016

The killings across the nation, especially in the middle belt, involving Fulani herdsmen and villagers, have been ongoing for years. It has become a barbaric act to which no serious preventive or punitive actions have been taken by the government.

 

The crux of the clashes has always been around herds of cattle. Fulani nomadic herdsmen have the custom of traveling to different parts of the country to graze their animals, and establishing settlements in communities in the course of their journey - to rest. Most, if not all, of such communities are agrarian communities whose major economic activity is farming.

 

There have been many reports of the animals grazing on villagers’ farmlands and destroying their plants – their livelihood. One or two incident(s) of farm destruction could render a farmer broke for the rest of the year as most farmers have between 3 - 6 months of waiting time before harvest. Conversely, some villagers have been involved in the practice of stealing the Fulani herdsmen’s cattle. This also could send the herdsmen out of business if not decisively dealt with.

 

Reports have, however, posited that the herdsmen often initiate the attacks – economic (farms destruction) and physical. Perhaps the reports have been untrue, but what if nobody takes animals to others’ communities, would we not be able avert such loss of lives – in this circumstance?

 

Nomadic farming has done this nation far more evil than good. It is commonsense that grasses can be grown – just like any other kind of raw material. It is not wise to continue a tradition just because “this is how we have always done it” or “this is all we know how to do.” Nomadic farming is learned and can sure be unlearned. Should we have left infant twins to be brutally murdered just because it was a culture? Cultures are meant to metamorphose. It is absolutely unwise to elevate culture above people’s lives and the togetherness of a nation.

 

This practice continue to exist because of our cowardice. No nation progresses if all it does is shy away from addressing anomalies that are fundamental to its continuous existence.

 

Thursday, March 12, 2026

Though clashes between Fulani herdsmen and villagers have been very minimal in recent times, the government and tribal and religious leaders have decided to find a lasting solution to nomadic farming crisis in Nigeria.

 

Studies have revealed that the establishment of ranches nationwide is only political and would not give a lasting solution to the perennial anomaly. This led to the proposal of the Nomadic Farming Abolishment Bill initiated by Senator Aliyu Sani in 2025. One year after, the bill was approved by the two chambers, and, in a widely celebrated ceremony this afternoon, the president signed it into a law. Henceforth, nomadic farming, which have actually become unattractive in recent times, becomes illegal.

 

This did not happen without pressure from many Nigerians - some of whom are northerners. This is yet another proof that poor education and overconcentration of power at the centre were the reasons Nigerians put up with many unthinkable anomalies in time past.

 

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