Nigeria: Will Buhari’s “ban” on open grazing end herdsmen’s worse-than-Boko Haram’s terrorist killings? – Tola Adenle

January 13, 2018


As recently as three days ago – January 10 – Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka lamented in Impunity rides again through killer herdsmen that –

“… President Muhammed Buhari and his government – including his Inspector-General of Police – in near identical denial, appear to believe those killer herdsmen who strike again and again at will from one corner of the nation to the other, are merely hot-tempered citizens whose scraps occasionally degenerate into ‘communal clashes’ …” 


After the latest massacre of more than seventy people in Benue State by Fulani-herdsmen at the dawn of the new year, and after years of ignoring cries that government take steps to put an end to the impunity of cattle-rearers who kill and maim farmers outside the areas of cattle ownership, Nigeria’s president seems ready to acknowledge the menace and threat posed to the existence of the country he rules, by a group to which he belongs.

No, Buhari is not a herdsman but as a former military head of state, he once led some members of the  Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBN), a group to which he belonged, to meet a former governor of Oyo State about reparations supposedly owed for retaliatory killing of herdsmen in Oyo North.

Despite countless killings of farmers in areas outside the Northwest, the home of MACBN, killings which have become more common and more gruesome since Buhari became president, he had seemed indifferent to a menace that has become worse than BH’s mass killings.


The direction the new “ban” on open grazing will take, due to the bellicosity and belligerence apparent in government’s statement, is not clear because rather than come clean AND acknowledge & apologize to Nigerians about the willful omission of doing the right thing that has led to the slaughter of thousands, the words in the government’s release are astounding:

The issued statement admonishes “Nigerians to live in peace, being the only way to resolve the perennial clashes between the herdsmen and farmers” and warns “against hate speeches … no threats to peace will be tolerated  and should be dealt with by the security agencies …” 

Southerners understand what and to whom these dire warnings are directed. For good measures, however, comforting words of “federal” government “planning a programme called cattle colonists, not ranches but colonists where at least 5000 hectares of land would be made available, adequate water, adequate pasture would be made available” are directed at cattle owners.

The agriculture minister – a government appointee that has almost, as far back as most in the South are aware has always been from the North – continues his justification for what the government would announce by conveniently quoting better practices from elsewhere:

“… Over the years, we have not done much to look seriously into the issue of livestock development in the country. People ask the question; why should government get involved, why shouldn’t the herdsmen manage their own livestock? In Europe, every cow that is farmed gets a subsidy of six Euros per day, we have done next to nothing for the cattle rearer …”!

Well, no wonder there are state governments that are already speaking out about their opposition to an arrangement that looks worse than a statement that should spell clearly how this new ban would be resolved without continued attempts at internal colonization.

The governor of Abia State, Dr. Ikpeazu (SE), has reportedly rejected the “Federal” Government’s proposal of establishing “colonies for cattle herders”  in the state.

Have Nigerians arrived at a safe point with their president realizing that he’s supposed to be president of everywhere in the country, protecting lives, properties and interests of all Nigerians rather than looking the other way as the country boils under the rampaging two murderous terrorist groups – the Fulani herdsmen and BH ?

We’ll wait, though not holding our collective breath, and see how a supposed ban on this volatile issue would eventually play out.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 13, 2018. 11:00 A.M. [GMT]


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2 Comments on “Nigeria: Will Buhari’s “ban” on open grazing end herdsmen’s worse-than-Boko Haram’s terrorist killings? – Tola Adenle”

  1. bisisowunmig Says:

    Thank you very much Tola for this incisive piece. You have clearly indicated not only the insults added to the injury but the patent appeasement of the killers, with no condemnation of the killings, and the worse than a stab in the back, unveiled warning and threat to victims of the brutal killings, their relations and sympathizes all over the country. This latest pronouncement amounts to patting the killers on the back and assuring them of Government’s plans to ensure their business thrives.
    I wish to goodness that this case be taken to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity with Buhari and MACBN as the accused, and that the Middle Belt and the South reject this latest act of sabotage, complicity to massacres, insensitivity, and very unjust support of the private business of terrorists with funds from the South.
    I am greatly grieved and upset by this most invidious act of Buhari and his Fulani cohorts. We must reject this wicked and blatant attempt of the Fulani to colonies the rest of the country.

    Sent from my iPad



    • emotan77 Says:


      Thanks very much for this more-than-incisive feedback.

      I think Southerners and Middle Belters would be trading away the future of their children and generations yet unborn if the planned 2019 election goes ahead WITHOUT proper planning because, to start with, the country does not really need an election but a proper referendum on RESTRUCTURING which Buhari promised with the used-and-discarded APC.

      The man – Buhari – has proved the old adage about a leopard never changing its stripes right.

      Asiwaju Tinubu and other APC leaders would be making a huge mistake to come back to us to ask for votes for Buhari/Osibajo or whatever combination the North will use this time.

      Thanks, as always, Ma.



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