Nigeria: The mission of Fulani herdsmen – Editorial,

November 3, 2016


Southern Nigerians – and even beyond in North-eastern and Central Nigeria – continue to cry out about the rampaging Fulani men who not only rear their cattle on people’s farms in the areas (mostly) outside their native Northwestern Nigeria but who kill, rape and carry out atrocious acts in the manner of conquering overlords.

Buhari who is not  only from the same area these people call home but is a Muslim and, perhaps more relevant in this matter, IS AN IMPORTANT MEMBER OF THE ASSOCIATION OF CATTLE OWNERS. Under that association as a private citizen before he became Nigeria’s president, he once led the group to ask for compensation from the Oyo State Government for “compensation” for losses of cattle and herdsmen purportedly killed in retaliation by Oyo State farmers.

Meanwhile, Ekiti State in Southwestern Nigeria has had to stand up to the lawlessness of the marauders, a situation that led to the cattle owners association issuance of a “warning” to the state’s governor, Ayo Fayose, and a call on Nigeria’s president to call Fayose to order! The audacity of these self-entitled cattle owners apparently because one of their own is in power led to two essays last week before a “peace agreement” was reached between the herds-people and Governor Fayose.

Nigeria’s THE GUARDIAN looks beyond the surface of these rampaging murderous group and their apparent main aim.



Armed Fulani herdsmen during their sack and occupation of farming villages in Taraba State in March 2015. [The Guardian:]

Image result for images of armed fulani herdsmen

Image result for images of armed fulani herdsmen

Image result for images of armed fulani herdsmen

Arrested Fulani herdsmen and their arms at Abuja, the country’s capital – 

fulani-Tiv crises

Benue State indigenes rendered homeless by Fulani herdsmen – April 2016.  []

All three Photographs: Google Images

The dangerous activities of the Fulani herdsmen in different parts of the country have curiously become the third national security concerns in the country still smarting from the debilitating effects of insurgents in the Niger Delta and Boko Haram in the North East. This is worrisome. And the deadly business of the herdsmen has raised some questions about the real motive behind the strategic invasion. With aggrieved communities, especially in southern Nigeria now literally resisting the destructive invasion of their communities by the herders, tension has been mounting in many places. Ekiti State, for one, has just raised the alert level because of the threat by the herdsmen after enacting a law to control ranching in the state.

The protest, the other day, by residents of Agu Obodo in Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State against the arrival of over 200 Fulani herdsmen in the community underscores the heightened tension in most communities.

The panicky residents who were reportedly overwhelmed by the sudden arrival of five trucks fully loaded with the herders, their families and cows, urged the “strangers” to leave their community promptly on the ground that they could no longer go to their farms. This is a dangerous development.

Similarly, thousands of women from Ossissa in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State recently barricaded the community’s axis of the Ughelli-Asaba Expressway, protesting the invasion and destruction of their crops; incessant brutal attacks on their men and rape of women in their farms by the rampaging herdsmen.

There have been similar protests in many places in almost all the three geo-political zones in the South and the Middle Belt zone against the menace of Fulani herdsmen. Even in far away London, Nigerians reportedly protested the destructive activities of these dangerous cowmen. These incidents are only a tip of the iceberg.

But the most curious element in all these is that the authorities in Abuja have remained untouched by the activities of the Fulani invaders who now seem to be enjoying some measure of ‘immunity’. This is vexatious too.

There is a curious historical context to the current development. The Fulani came as invaders from North Africa and the Middle East. Although, the first recorded Fulani presence in Nigeria was in 1461, it was not until 1804 that the Fulani launched a pernicious jihad in Hausa land led by Usman dan Fodio.

The conquering danFodio completely overran Hausa land, established the Sokoto Caliphate and installed pockets of power with his children. The cattle grazing that was subsequently introduced to establish cattle rearing was reportedly used to annex lands where the Islamic religion was planted.

Thus, Islam was propagated by the Fulani using cattle grazing as a ploy. So it has been with us since the beginning, though they the Islamic jihadists were stopped somewhere in the present Osun State. It appears that the jihadists are back using grazing reserves they ant everywhere as a decoy. The quest for grazing reserves by the herdsmen seems to be enjoying official endorsement in Abuja. This is worrisome.

At the moment, the launch pad is usually in the rural areas where unsuspecting natives are systematically overrun and their plots of land dispossessed.

Against this backdrop, several communities in southern Nigeria are apprehensive about the ruthless incursion of the herdsmen. This is what history has taught them. It is incomprehensible how anyone expects the entire country to have grazing reserves carved out for Fulani herdsmen.

What else is the motive behind this adventure if it is not to grab land and have strategic power, which is tantamount to ‘re-colonization’ of Nigeria by a section of its people?

“The mission of Fulani herdsmen” –

was published in The Guardian [Nigeria] on October 30, 2016

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2016. 9:23 a.m. [GMT]

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6 Comments on “Nigeria: The mission of Fulani herdsmen – Editorial,”

  1. folakemiodoaje Says:

    I know Nigeria politicians are often slaves to partisan politics, how I wish this time southern leaders can work together to look into this problem of cattle grazing and propose better solutions with the interest of local people at heart. Sad that each community have to fight alone on issues that is imminent to all.

    Fayose has his own issues, however in this he has done really well to push back but I wonder how long that would last if others Osun, Oyo, Ondo for example refused to join in this worthy fight.



    • emotan77 Says:

      Dear Folakemi,

      The country is so divided that it would take Buhari to heal the division of partisan politics.

      How? The editorial and many commentaries and essays before it, have all suggested on the only way to go: a proper restructuring that would guarantee the rights that states are enshrined to have in the “federal” constitution the country has.

      Without that, the deep divide that may eventually lead to a break-up of the country is what can be the natural progression.

      Thanks, and regards,

      Liked by 1 person



    In my comment unto your post about Fayose, Ekiti Governor’s bold initiative, I had admonished readers and visitors to your blog to Hausas to TELL their story. Thank you ma, for bringing a bit of it out, with supporting images and editorial from stable of the Guardian. I pray our people give this ideological issue the appropriate attention it deserves. History is a good and veritable teacher any day!



    • emotan77 Says:

      Dear Adetoye,

      Thanks for this.

      Reading your comments, I remember reading something I did not understand; I must have just removed it. Please write and email it to my letter box and I will adjust.

      This is a most important subject that must not be lazily waved away because it will not go away until it’s slain and buried never to resuscitate.

      When you have the time, there’s another contributor who has commented on this subject. I know you will enjoy it and appreciate the writer when you note how I address her. There are people, including older ones than me, who, despite not needing to involve themselves in Nigeria’s wahala as we tend to see these things, are as committed as most young people seem unable to comprehend the gravity of the problems we have.

      Thank you very much for the continued effort and interest towards raising the consciousness of Nigerians.

      My regards,



  3. bisisowunmig Says:

    Thanks for this latest blog.

    Have the arrested herdsmen been tried for illegal possession of firearms, among other crimes? Why should they be armed against unarmed, innocent farmers?

    Buhari must not be given any respite until he has dealt with this murderous menace with the same kind of ferocity with which he is pursuing the war against corruption. Failure to do so is in itself corruption because it is promoted by self interest and absolute lack of sensitivity and concern for precious lives being so brutally and viciously terminated by his kinsmen and fellow cattle rearers.

    His silence and half- hearted, most unconvincing, unconscionable, and grossly- inappropriate response is about the most unkind, wicked, and outright irresponsible and unresponsive act from a supposed Head of Government, as well as betrayal of the citizens whom he swore to protect. He is being most unstateman-like, and inhuman! Incredible!!

    The legislators who are pretending that no massacre and dispossession of God-given lands are going on, but are instead compounding and aiding the Fulani inhuman and ungodly acts by allowing the proposed constitutional amendment to include the criminal aspects of the Sharia to pass through its second reading without a voice of dissent being raised (as far as I know) are equally criminally culpable.

    It’s about time the as-yet unaffected sections of the country cried out loud against Fulani homicides and colonization, and demand a stop as well as reparation (where meaningful) to the victims. This is about the worst form of enslavement and surreptitious conquest in this 21st century.

    My heart bleeds, and I am most incensed.

    May God give us the necessary wisdom and courage to take appropriate actions, and promptly too.

    Thanks once again, Tola.
    S. Bisi




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