January 17, 2018 at 5:50 am #5103
I’m looking at the current issues in the Middle Belt, where herdsmen and farmers are clashing.
From what I can tell, the matter is getting worse; according to this Wikipedia article, the numbers have jumped from 80 between 2010 and 2013 to over a thousand since then.
To me, this is just an example of a wider issue in Nigeria, where people who have moved to an area are resented by those who have been living there for a long time, especially when the newcomers take up resources and make living harder.
What is the solution? Is there even a solution?Thoughtful Comments: 10. 10 (interesting)
January 18, 2018 at 7:47 am #5126
Stabiliti, there is no easy answer to this.
I want to say “may the best person win” and support whoever is the smarter person, as long as they are abiding by the law.
But the problem is that you can’t just tell an indigene whose way of life is changing before his very eyes that he should just accept it, because he isn’t as sharp as the newcomer. Nobody likes the life that they are comfortable with to be made to disappear in front of their eyes. And so, whether we like it or not, indigenes will get angry… and their anger could boil over into violence.
Maybe we should just cover our eyes, ears and mouths until we can no longer ignore the problem…Thoughtful Comments: 20. 20 (insightful)
January 22, 2018 at 2:08 am #5150
We shouldn’t ignore the problem now. The rights of the owners of the land are paramount, whether the owners are people who have lived in the place for years, or whether they have recently just move. Simple!
It is OK for an indigene not to be happy that someone from outside is coming from elsewhere and settling on his land, but it is not OK for him to advocate or perpetrate violence against such an outsider!
If we cave into indigene demands for settlers to be treated as second-class citizens, then we’re not serious about nation building.Thoughtful Comments: 20. 20 (insightful)
February 1, 2018 at 7:26 pm #5196
In a bid to become a modern society this issues are sure to come up like it or not, the issue is how we handle it and what’s really our focus here economic growth or ulterior motives on both sides , land wars are common in third world countries for a reason we are still agrarian and land is out major factor of production even America went through this phase in the era of the wild wild west but as productivity went up so does this skirmished go downThoughtful Comments: 0.
February 7, 2018 at 11:16 am #5360
I don’t think the problem is with natives welcoming settlers. Everywhere conflict has always started when settlers disrupt, often disastrously, the livelihood or way of life of the natives.
For instance, apart from the cassava I planted on a fenced land, I decided to use a small space -about 1/8 of a plot- to plant more cassava. The cassava stalks (about 50 in all) had grown to about a feet when thee leaves were eaten by cattle led through the area by two Fulanis. They hard swords, not guns as far as I could see. Now imagine if that was all my livelihood was predicated and I decided to act upon such an act?
To prevent clashes, the herdsmen must not lead their cattle into farming settlements. That’s why I’m in support of having ranches where the cattle owners are. If we can find a way to grow crops that are not native to our country, why can’t we find a way to grow grasses on ranches in the north?
If the herdsmen and farmers clashes are not boldly addressed now, we should not be surprised if the entire country become a cauldron for such clashes in a few years, especially in the face of changing climactic conditions.Thoughtful Comments: 10. 10 (interesting)
February 12, 2018 at 9:32 pm #5632
This looks like an issue of territoriality to me and it would be unfair to side the indigenes despite how deep rooted they are to the area.
Why? because as long as they began to sell their land to strangers, they should also prepare for whatever change that comes with it.
For example, when we first moved to Badagry it was still so rural that the eguns always do their “oro” every blessed night they sometimes even did it during the day time and there is no need of emphasizing how sacred that tradition is. But once they started selling lands and larger amount of foreigners moved in too, it began to reduce and now we have just night guards instead.
My point is, if these herdsmen and which ever indigene supports them wants all their lands for grazing alone then why still sell it out to strangers only to now be walking around with weapons to harm that stranger for not allowing your cattles to graze in his bedroom?Thoughtful Comments: 0.
February 13, 2018 at 10:56 am #5639
@Samson- The herdsmen are not going around grazing their cattle because they sold their land. They are nomadic or semi nomadic in nature meaning it is their culture to move their cattle around. Their primary occupation is raising livestock. As this livestock increases in number, they move them around to find food owing to the arid nature of the primary habitat. One factor responsible for this is the harshness of the land occasioned by changes in climate. Consequently they are forced to moved down south where the climate is more clement and edible grasses are abundant for deeding their livestock.
Fulani herdsmen used to carry only sticks and water. However, owing to the activities of cattle rustlers who became more violent by the day, they began to carry daggers and swords. Sometimes a hundred cattle is led by two grown men and a boy. The ones I have seen have only these items. This is why I keep wondering how they suddenly shifted from knives and swords to AK47s and started attacking long before there were reports of indigenes killing Fulani herdsmen.
As for siding with indigenes, let’s put matters in perspective. The issue is not about siding with indigenes. It is about the farmer’s right -native or settler- not to have animals eat up and trample upon months (often years) of toiling under the sun and in the rain. It is about not leaving the farm one day thinking that in two weeks you will have a truckload of ugwu or ewedu to sell at the market so you can pay your rent, child’s fees, etc, only to return to the farm two days later to find everything destroyed.
The cattle owners and northern governments (not the southern governments or federal government) must find a solution to the problem of cattle grazing and such a solution must be restricted to the north. There must be no cattle colonies in southern states because this will involve depriving people of needed lands while there are great expanses of lands in the north.Thoughtful Comments: 20. 20 (insightful)
February 13, 2018 at 11:20 am #5640
Herdsmen issue has been for at least half a decade.
The approaches to this crisis is not a good approach.
Fulani infusion into the middle belt of Nigeria has lasted for at least a decade. The grazing has also been but not to the extent of charging through cultivated farm lands. As time went on the herdsmen resorted to move there cows by night and by morning goes into rest.
The indigenes cried out but the Traditional rulers ignored the cries, the indigens fought individually and there was winnings and losses at same time.. still the traditional rulers were quiet and it all exergerated to what it is today..
The traditional rulers approach was unserious and unrealistic because of the gifts they often receive from the Herdsmen, like live cow’s , money and a host of other things.
The Federal government approached the crisis in a wrong way. by directly attacking the farmers and the Herdsmen with forces just as the crisis had reached its peak, without reaching directly to the Traditional rulers and the state government.
The herdsmen do not want to go back to their place because of dry weather and lack of irrigation in the Northern part of the said country.
However Military forces have finally been deployed to the area as the crisis has reached to the extent of Curfew and rising death tolls of about Hundreds.
But the FG has not approached the crisis by calling a spade by its name.
The cow owners have to ranch their cow and irrigate the grasses for grazing.
It’s also not a must to sign into law;the grazing bill. for it will be a scam by time, due to corruption.
The Forces have to be withdrawn from the land. after moving the Herdsmen away from the land.
The FG know that the truth is bitter but fails to approach it rightly.
The solution is on our foot but we have failed to pick it up.
Let’s keep hope alive believing it will get better by timeThoughtful Comments: 10. 10 (interesting)
February 13, 2018 at 11:27 am #5641
Oh, I never knew the matter wasn’t exclusive to the northern areas and as many that resides there. So, the issue is herdsmen versus southerners?Thoughtful Comments: 0.
February 13, 2018 at 11:23 pm #5650
It is a known fact that many Nigerians outside their ‘state of origin’ suffer all forms of discrimination and are denied certain rights and privileges. The unfortunate aspect of this citizenship debate is that the framers of the constitution itself have consistently failed to recognise and address the pertinent issues. We, however, consider it unacceptable a situation whereby someone who had lived in a place for over 20 years, paying taxes and performing his/her civic duties and responsibilities to the “host state”, suddenly finds that his/her children (including those born in the state) cannot gain admission, enjoy a scholarship or even obtain employment in that state.
It is a notorious fact that most of the ethnic conflicts in certain parts of the country can be traced to this dilemma. The Tiv/Junkun crisis in the Plateau; the Zangon-Kataf conflict in Kaduna State; Ife/Modakeke conflict in Osun State; the Aguleri/Umuleri riots in Anambra State, and many others are all offshoots of agitations between “indigenes” and the so-called “settlers”. Yet these discriminatory tendencies will continue until government begins to see the negative consequences of making citizens “foreigners” in their own country. There must indeed be a way to accommodate all Nigerians wherever they may reside and give them a sense of belonging no matter their “state of origin”.
Since Nigeria always aspires to most of the ideals espoused in the United States from where the presidential system of government was copied, there are worthy examples to draw from. For instance, two sons of former President George Bush were elected governors in two different American states. There are also Nigerians serving as mayors and parliamentarians in the United Kingdom. Yet everyone remembers the brouhaha that attended the nomination of a “non Lagosian” as a Federal Minister in 2011!
A critical imperative in these narratives is the need for a constitutional amendment. If the National Assembly will not muster the requisite will to begin a process for such change, it behooves on President Muhammadu Buhari to initiate an executive Citizens Bill of Rights aimed at correcting the anomaly evident in a constitution that blatantly failed to enforce the full rights of citizens in their places of birth and legal residence. Incidentally, it is also part of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) campaign promises. Now is the time to walk the talk!Thoughtful Comments: 0.
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