The Fulani are an ethnic group of mainly nomadic cattle grazers who move around the areas bordering the Northern part of Africa and Nigeria. They are spread over many countries predominantly in West Africa where they move from location to location in search of grazing land for their cattle.

This has formed the basis of the contention between the group and the rest of Nigeria as recent years has seen an increase in attacks by Fulani herdsmen who carry their cattle to graze in farm lands belonging to individuals in various communities in the South West and South East, leading to clashes that most times result in fatalities.

Late last year, the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae was kidnapped from his farm in Ondo state by some Fulani herdsmen after Falae had asked them to pay a sum of money as compensation for the destruction of his farm where their cattle had grazed. A few weeks ago, another group of herdsmen returned to graze on the land again and killed a security guard.

There has also been attacks on communities in many rural communities in Enugu, Benue and other states leading the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign States of Biafra (MASSOB), to deliver a 30 days ultimatum to Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari to take action against the Fulani herdsmen or the group would take the matter of protecting their territories into their hands.

Due to the fact that Buhari himself is a Fulani, the group is also alleging that while the President might not be sponsoring the herdsmen, the recent spate of brazen attacks on these communities is cause for alarm and Buhari’s silence is also suspicious. However, despite these allegations from the MASSOB, the problem is clear and the Federal Government needs to take quick action to forestall a future crisis that will lead to dire consequences.


Author: Aderonke Adeleke

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