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Fulani Herdsmen.. Insults and Facts By Ken Tadaferua

The cowardly and bloody massacres in Agatu, Benue State and Ukpabi, Nimbo in Enugu State are the most recent perhaps loudest signposts of a long trail of murderous conflicts spanning decades, between nomadic herdsmen and indigenous farm owners. It is a history of bloodletting, kidnapping, rape, arson etc. 

There is the possibility that Fulani herdsmen are not responsible for all bloody attacks on farming communities. That the Fulani herdsmen may not be the wraiths who emanate from and disappear into the forest with large herds of cattle after perennial attacks.

But no one, let alone the arrogant mandarins of the Northern Consultative Forum, should tell me that the herdsmen with automatic rifles slung across their shoulders are not Fulani. 

That the arrested kidnappers of former presidential candidate and former minister of finance, Chief Olu Falae were not Fulani or from the ethnic stock of the "19 Northern States". 

That Saleh Bayeri, the Interim National Secretary of Gan Allah Fulani Association is not Fulani. Bayeri was reported by Premium Times to have said that the bloody slaughter of over 300 sleeping, defenceless citizens and wanton destruction of several villages in Agutu was a reprisal attack by his people against the killing of a prominent Fulani man, one Shehu Abdullahi and stealing his over 200 cows in 2013. 

While the ACF is quick to convene and warn against what it describes as demonization of the Fulani herdsmen, keen watchers of the Nigerian condition will recall that Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna State and prominent member of the ACF said in a Channels Television interview which held after the Agatu massacre: "And of course you know the Fulani have a long memory of revenging any killings". 

He further said: "So their relations were coming from other countries to revenge the killings and we had to reach out to some of these countries outside Nigeria telling them this cannot continue”. We must ask if those from relatives from outside Nigeria are not Fulani.

But this is the same el-Rufai sitting nicely with his "19 Northern States" compatriots to warn Nigerians against demonizing the Fulani herdsmen. Hypocrisy if you ask me.

The leadership of the NCF ought focus on solutions and take advantage of the Great Green Wall Project with its large global funds and plans to halt desertification and green from west to east of the African continent as suggested elsewhere by Chido Nwakanma. They should empower their people by building ranches and bring them up to speed with today's socioeconomic sophistication through massive education programs. 

The Fulani herdsmen menace will be promptly curtailed if the ACF wake up to the grim reality of a brewing national conflagration, realize that they do not have the monopoly on long memories and revenge and call their brethren to order.

A stitch in time saves nine is a very wise saying.
Fulani Herdsmen.. Insults and Facts By Ken Tadaferua  Fulani Herdsmen.. Insults and Facts By Ken Tadaferua Reviewed by Emeka Oparah on Sunday, May 01, 2016 Rating: 5

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