Obasanjo Reverses Self On Fulanization, Seeks Dialogue

It’s never too late to do the right thing; I think finally, former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo appears to understanding this as well as his role as an elder statesman.

On Saturday, he met with Fulani cattle breeders in the Southwest as well as Kogi and Kwara States in order to address the scuffle between the nomadic herders and the resident farmers.

Obasanjo told Gan Allah Fulani Development Association of Nigeria (GAFDAN) that Yorubas wanted unity, peace, harmony, wholesomeness and progress in the region, stressing that the time had come for everybody to acknowledge that “bad things are happening” in the Southwest and which have been attracting bad names to the Fulani in their midst.

This is a clear departure from Obasanjo’s reliance on writing only letters in the past. The former president appears to be putting his money where his mouth is, he finally seems to understand that actions speak louder than words. Meeting face to face with Fulani cattle breeders is completely different from writing an open letter.

If one reads the communiqué from the meeting, Baba seems to have gotten some firsthand information on the most recent shape of the farmer/herder clashes across the country and the reasons for such happening in the Southwest.

Like President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo have done in the last few weeks, Chief Obasanjo has embraced dialogue over explosive statements that could cause the country more harm. We all know that Baba loves Nigeria and that he wants peace but this can best be achieved through diplomatic channels.

A proof of this was the swift rescue of five persons abducted in Ogun state. The police force deployed geo-tagging technology and other technological know-how to track the kidnappers and arrest five culprits.

These are the kind of engagements that is required and expected of our leaders and I am happy Baba is adding his voice to this newly adopted strategy.

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I Am An Angry Fulani Man, By Babayola Toungo

I am a Fulani man and a very proud one; I am also an angry Fulani man.  Angry because there seem to be a collusion between the government, politicians and the media to vilify and demonise the fulbes.

The orgy of violence, physical and mental visited on the fulbe and the ferocity of the attacks leaves one thinking whether there is any drop of humanity left in us.  The hypocrisy of it all is lost on those calling ‘herdsmen’ murderers.  Who are the real murderers?  Has it occurred to the hate mongers that they are stoking a fire that may ultimately consume them?  Have we so soon forgotten in Rwanda in 1994 when the majority Hutus put the Tutsis under the knife?  Lest we forget, the media was the chief catalyst of the Rwandan genocide.

I just finished reading a reaction to Dr. Aliyu Tilde’s article on the recent killings on the Mambilla plateau by Mambilla militias – monsters unleashed on the fulbe herders by their cowardly masters.  The response to Dr. Tilde’s piece was by a pseudo-intellectual on USA-Africa Dialogue Series, a platform supposedly for intellectual discourse, but is fast turning into a market place of insults and tribal denigration.  The reaction is typical of our neo rabid ethnicists who will only be satisfied with one of theirs running the show from Abuja.

Any other person not affiliated with them either by religion or ethnicity is not acceptable to them.  These same shameless people who pontificate on the virtues of democracy but run back to their ethno-religious laagers once they miss the boat.  While the world is moving forward, their vehicles are permanently engaged in the reverse gear – doing all they can to pull the country back to the middle ages.

As “intellectuals and progressives” you expect sound and reasonable argument from such a crowd, but no, you only get to read verbiage from their addled brains. All they are good at is condemning others while living in the comforts of another country, whose proud citizens developed with patriotic fervour.

The often repeated argument is that cattle business is private business and therefore government doesn’t have any business assisting pastoralists with anything – even the land to graze their herds.  Yes, cattle business is private business – what about haulage, airline, farming and other businesses that the government assist the operators one way or another?  I cannot remember seeing any road built by a haulage company for its use, nor any airport built by any of our airline operators.  Governments at all levels provide everything from financial incentives to the provision of inputs and machinery for our farmers.  But the pastoralists are not entitled to any form of assistance including the protection of their lives and herds.  If it weren’t tragic, it would have been ironic.

Thousands of pastoralists are killed between Plateau, Southern Kaduna, Mambilla Plateau in Taraba State, Adamawa and Benue states but not a word from either the governments or our media warriors, both mainstream and the social variant.  Those reminding us of the sanctity of life, fail to let the country and the world know whether pastoralists are robots meant to be disposed with at the discretion of our “enlightened” betters sitting in front of their computers in the comforts of their offices and homes.  Pastoralists do not deserve government protection, period.  Their lives and economic activity meant nothing to our “progressives”.

While governments at all levels keeps silent whenever pastoralists are killed, their cattle rustled or maimed, the media go to town whenever and wherever a corpse is discovered.  Every crime committed anywhere in the country is automatically ascribed to ‘herdsmen’ even before an investigation starts.  The ubiquitous herdsman that we grow to know has been effectively “tutsinised” by an indolent media and a complicit lazy elite.  Why do we refuse to listen to the herdsman’s story before condemning him?

Is it because they don’t have access to the media and the internet?  The Rwandan genocide was a product of media hype, so also was Hitler.  With governors like Ortom of Benue playing the role of Himmler’s storm troopers and the likes of Wike and Fayose playing the roles played by the likes of Goebbels, I wonder if the country is ever going to be the same again.  And in all this, the federal government keeps mum giving the impression that the life of the herder is not worth that of a single electoral ballot.

I am a Fulani man and I am very angry. I do not support the killing of a single human being whatever tribe or creed he belongs to; neither do I support the non-punishment of aggressors no matter who they might be.  Most sponsors of the violence that took hold of the northern region are known – Boko Haram in the northeast, farmer / herder conflict in the north central and banditry in the northwest.  The federal government, the guarantor of peace, projects a non-challant attitude while the criminals are having a field day.  The sponsors are walking free while the likes of Ortom are making political capital out of the unfortunate situation by organizing mass burials.  Why the very public burials? Why close the coffins if the aim is to draw maximum emotional capital?

The governments of Benue and Taraba states passed a law banning open grazing without making any provision for ranching and our “intellectuals” and “experts” are asking the pastoralists to just comply.  In Taraba where ranching has been practiced for more than half a century, the ranchers are killed by government functionaries.  In Benue, the government is insisting that ranching permits will only be issued for one year to be renewed at the discretion of the governor.

We all applauded and played dumb about the constitutional rights of every Nigerian to reside and conduct his economic activity in any part of the country without let or hindrance.  When some northern youth issued a quit notice on Igbos living in the north in the heat of the Kanu insults hurled at northerners, we all became constitutional experts and reminded one and all what the constitution says about the right of the Igbo itinerant trader to live and undertake his economic activity, wherever he choose to do so.  Not the pastoralists who shouldn’t and couldn’t be allowed to enjoy such rights.  And you wonder why they take retaliatory actions when they are attacked?

I am a Fulani man and I am angry.  Words have failed me just the like our federal and state governments.  I will be back when I feel more coherent.

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Fulani Group Demands Creation Of Livestock Ministry

A Fulani group has called for the creation of a livestock Ministry to Cater for the needs of herds men in the Country.

The group gathered in Abuja to express its dissatisfaction over the way Fulanis are treated in the Country.

They called on the federal government to stop the anti Open grazing law as state governments implementing them, have not made adequate provisions for creating ranches.

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Muslim Group Urges Govt To Bring Killers Of Fulanis To Book

A Muslim group, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has urged the government to ensure that the killers of about sixty Fulanis including women and children, who were allegedly massacred six days ago in Shaforon, Kikem and Kodemti villages in Numan, Taraba State, are brought to book.

The group, in a press statement signed by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, condemned the gruesome murder and described the killing as “horrendous, heartless and barbaric.”

According to the group, over 130 Fulani people have been killed in June 2017, while hundreds of Fulani villages on the Mambilla Plateau were raided by members of the Mambilla tribe allegedly on the orders of the chairman of Sardauna Local Government Area, Mr. John Yep.

“We are deeply disturbed by the rate at which ethnic violence is erupting in Nigeria. We are equally constrained to blame the recent attack on authors of hate speech, particularly those motivated by anti-Fulani, anti-North and anti-Muslim sentiments.

“We contend that these primordial emotions are inter-connected and cannot be separated with microscopic accuracy. Those who whip up anti-Fulani sentiments do so because of their hatred for Muslims and their inability to tolerate Islam. Those who speak evil of Fulanis are fully aware that more than 95% of the Fulani population is Muslim,” the statement read.

“The same people incite Nigerians against herdsmen. They have forgotten that every profession has inherent values and every Nigerian worker renders one service or another to the nation. Instead of appreciating hard-working itinerant herdsmen, tribal and religious sentiment blind authors of hate speech. We contend that all the anti-Fulani imbroglio would melt like ice cream in the hot sun today if the Fulani population revert to Christianity en masse.

“While we commiserate with the Taraba people on these brutal killings, we charge the Nigerian security agencies to bring the culprits to book. We call on the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to investigate these atrocities. We also urge the United Nations to set up an international judicial commission of inquiry into this horrible crime against humanity.

“MURIC invites authors of hate speech to change their mindset. Perception has the capacity to becloud minds and rob humanity of fair assessment. Ethnic jingoism limits human interaction, blocks opportunities and debilitates understanding while acrobatic religiousity deprives humanity of that thin veneer of civilization and erodes its infinitesimally small atom of sagacity,” the statement read further.

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Police Finally Speaks On Alleged 81 Killed In #BenueMasacre By Fulani Herdsmen

The Benue state police command says 22 people — not the 81 being reported — were killed over the last two months by suspected herdsmen.

Fulani herdsmen were reported to have killed scores in attacks on Logo and Ukum council areas of Benue state.

However, the state police command, has described the figure as “a gross misrepresentation of the true facts on ground in the state”.

A statement released on Tuesday by Moses Joel Yamu, spokesman of the command, noted that four herdsmen attacks took place within the past six weeks.

“The Benue state command witnessed incidents of herdsmen attacks on some communities in the state, including: Logo and Ukum LGAs where we recorded 22 deaths between 30th May and 20th June, 2016,” it said.

The police also gave a breakdown of the cases of attacks and casualties recorded in the state within the six-week time frame.

“On May 30, Tse Ankyou communicties in Ukum LGA were attacked, where seven persons were killed. On June 21, Vaase community of Ukum LGA was attacked and 4 persons killed.

“On June 17, Mbachom community in the Turan council ward and Tse Fabo village, in the Nenzev council ward, were attacked and one and six persons were killed respectively. On June 20, Anyiin community was attacked and 4 persons were killed.”

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Was Boko Haram Sponsored By The Vindictive Fulani Herders? By Peregrino Brimah

There is one thing the world has recently learned about the nature of Nigeria’s Fulani herders: they are ruthlessly vindictive.

Disclaimer: Now before any apologist embarks on maligning me for this fact-based analytical essay, I proudly introduce by ancestry: I am a pure Fulani descendant. I recently published the results of my Ancestry DNA test which revealed a whopping 19% pure Mali blood. This proves my roots in the Fulani migration from the ‘Futa Jalon’ area as Dokubo is fond of saying. I challenge many who claim to be Fulani descendants to test their DNA. Many are Hausas through and through with 100% Nigerian DNA and only Fulani-wannabes. [See: Ancestry DNA: Dokubo Was Right, I Am From Futa Jallon! – Dr Peregrino Brimah]

Boko Haram War Against Farmers

Question #6 of my popular article in June of 2014, “The 20 Questions We Must Ask About The Boko Haram Insurgence,” as published in Ynaija, was as quoted;

#6. What is their agenda? Judging by their only recognizable mission, are they set out to destroy farming in Nigeria and the north’s primary resource? Recognizing that in their four years of major carnage, they have almost exclusively targeted farmers in the north and farming villages killing over 80,000 farmers and displacing 3 million.

I asked the same question in my 21 revised questions “in light of the Baga massacre,” as published in January of 2015 in OsunDefender. I asked:

“Why does Boko Haram kill the local farming population? The terrorists then in need of food invade markets and livestock farms in neighboring Cameroon to get food. What is the logic here?”

Who is the enemy of the peasant farmer?

The Global Prolife Alliance (GPA) alleged that the “Monsanto,” GMO big corp: that’s Bill Gates including Nigeria’s richest concrete man, want the farmers’ lands.

The regional politicians in Borno and neighboring countries are also very suspect. Ali Modu Sherriff’s fraternal brother, Kashim Shettima has been accused of eagerly buying up the now abandoned lands in Borno, including juicy plots in Reservation areas of the capital while the terror saga was ongoing. I personally know a friend in our organisation who the governor bought his property at the price demanded without negotiation.

But more credibly, while these above may like the released lands, there is another candidate who has been proven to love to sack farmers from their land by violent means, ruthlessly killing everyone in villages, burning the villages down to ensure that no human returns to live there, so as to permanently free up the lands.

I analysed in pervious articles that any idea that Boko Haram is trying to spread Islam or a caliphate is a ruse. You do not rule a land where you have annihilated and alienated the people. You do not create a caliphate by exterminating the people. Unless it is a caliphate of cows, I quizzed.

I asked in “21 Questions” last year January: “If results points to objective; is it reasonable to say that Boko Haram’s agenda, as their actions clearly spell out is simply annihilation of the populace and occupation/annexation of the land?” Also commenting, “What is Boko Haram’s real agenda? If Boko Haram wishes to establish a caliphate in Nigeria, why would they kill the very population that they intend to preside over?”

A cursory look across the middle belt shows a parallel with Boko Haram’s modus operandi that has been so for ages. Clashes between Fulani herders and farmers have typically resulted in the herders returning someday and perpetrating genocidal massacres of the farming communities, burning everything down.

Indeed, during the Jonathan years, we wrote about these unknown 3-500 so-called Fulani herders who had been ravaging the middle belt just as Boko Haram had been doing in Borno. We struggled to distinguish to two.

The day the Jonathan government finally caught some of them, it was announced that they were Boko Haram members and hired mercenaries. See in Vanguard of April, 2014, “Fulani herdsmen confess to membership of Boko Haram.”

While Boko Haram has many sponsors and wings, including political, its mission(s) may have remained illusive for these obvious reasons. As I postulated earlier, by virtue of its operations–decimating farming populations just as the rest Fulani-sponsored mercenaries do across the middle belt and south, Boko Haram may have always been sponsored by Fulani elements who have been unhappy with the Kanuri farmer as land, water and resource competition gets steeper. I will add to and elaborate on this ultimate conclusion later.

Insight On Fulani Vindictiveness From el-Rufai

Current Kaduna state governor, Nasir el-Rufai, during a period of hot debate on the wars between the Fulani and Berom people in Jos, revealed what he felt as a ‘Fulani’ (I am not sure what his DNA results are and we cannot say he speaks for all Fulani), was the nature of Fulani people.

El-Rufai in July of 2012, described the Fulani as scripturally vindictive. The governor used a Quranic phrase of God’s “vengeful nature” to emphasize the vindictive nature of the Fulani as he perceived them. The governor did not even exclude soldiers in the targets of vengeful Fulani retaliations. “Offending the Fulani is like a loan,” he said, using the scripture-based terms. A loan you will repay the debt collectors one day or the other, even if you are a soldier. And I am writing this here for all to see for all time, he said.

Quoting el-Rufai’s tweet: “We will write this for all to read. Anyone, soldier or not that kills the Fulani takes a loan repayable one day no matter how long it takes.”

Link: https://twitter.com/elrufai/status/224577000218689537

It is the same idea that has come to light in recent Fulani-related massacres across the nation. Defending the Agatu massacre, a so-called representative of Gan Allah Fulani Association claimed that it was today, under Buhari’s government, that the Fulani were retaliating for atrocities against them since 2013. [See: EXCLUSIVE: Why we struck in Agatu — Fulani herdsmen]

One of the suspects in the Enugu massacre, Mohammed Zure, arrested by Enugu police for other charges and then found to have a cell phone video of him killing a Nimbo victim, confessed that the Fulani herders had a terror family network across the nation and any one could be activated to join in these massacre and annihilate missions.

Nigeria’s senate earlier concluded that the Fulani herder militancy was the very same Boko Haram.

This Answers Question On Boko Haram’s Mission Against Kanuri Farmers

So while we have been used to Fulani herders’ vindictive natures across the country, them as a stand-alone group having been accorded the 4th worst terror group in the world; how come we have failed thus far to identify the plight of the people of Borno with this same formation?

Boko Haram is without doubt, a mixed and much convoluted group with many heads, but as far as the extermination of the Kanuri farmer goes, this aspect of the sect’s operation is in tandem with the same by the so-called Fulani militants on all “enemy”communities across Nigeria’s middle belt and south.

Just as the Fulani militants are unforgiving of those communities it goes back to years later in attempt to annihilate, so also the herders most likely took offense with Kanuri peasant farmers (over some cows stolen, etc) and has since engaged in the identical mission of annihilating them without regard and usurping their lands. This is one of the considerations that made us propose a “Kanuri warrior” in 2014 as the only way to defeat Boko Haram.

As we have written on in the past, a popular commentator with links to Boko Haram, Ahmed Salkida has earlier made reference to the pivotal history of clashes between herders, fishermen and farmers around the Chad lake. “The impact of the drying lake is causing tensions among communities around Lake Chad. There are repeated conflicts among nationals of different countries over control of the remaining water. …Fishermen also want farmers and herdsmen to cease diverting lake water to their farmlands and livestock.” [See: Africa’s vanishing Lake Chad, by Ahmad Salkida in 2012]

As this “disappearing lake” decreased to a tenth of its size, increasing competition for the water sparked serious fights around it. It can be imagined that the herders around lake Chad would have been more disgusted by farmers and fishermen competing for the dwindling lake’s provisions, and would have perpetrated their carnage right there on them without remorse or challenge.

Note: I am not excluding the violence and provocation by the farmers against the herders, but what makes the issue of the herder terror a topic is its organized nature and network. This is what is in focus here.

The training in weaponry, access to arms and ammunition and incendiary and ruthlessly vindictive “debt collector” modus operandi of the Fulani militants across Nigeria and Boko Haram are too identical to distinguish. The question is: who is the boss of who? I am of the opinion that well placed Fulani (wannabe) actors are sponsors of  the sophisticated, whassap group coordinated Fulani and Boko Haram terror synchronized anti-farmer assassin operation.

PDP chairman, Bamanga Tukur, recently commemorated by President Muhammadu Buhari is reported by Punch to have said in 2012, “Boko Haram is fighting for justice; Boko Haram is another name for justice.” Is this the “justice?”

Similarly, Borno governor, Kashim Shettima is reported and witnessed to have said on more than one occasion, “Leadership calls for restraint. Believe me, if I spill the beans (on the sponsors of  Boko Haram) heads will roll.” Is this the beans?

We urge Nigerian security departments to take the Boko Haram and militant nomadic terror most seriously by apprehending and bringing the heads of this monster to book. Terror will never be successfully defeated in Nigeria until the sponsor(s) repay the loan they took from the people of this could-be-great nation.

Dr. Peregrino Brimah; @EveryNigerian

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Fulani Herdsmen Imbroglio: Need For Caution – MURIC

The Nigerian community is currently facing an ethnic controversy as Fulani herdsmen are being accused of attacking their fellow Nigerians on their farmlands. The complaints have spread from the plains of Plateau State to Benue in the North and from Ondo in the South West to Enugu in the South East.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) strongly condemns the alleged killings. In line with our avowed motto, ‘Dialogue, Not Violence’, we denounce all acts of violence, all actions capable of disturbing the peace and all statements calculated to cause public disorder.

We remind the Federal Government (FG) that security of lives and properties of all Nigerians is its inalienable responsibility. Article 14 Section 2(b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria states that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government”.

According to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Article 4, Clause 1 & 2, “Human beings are inviolable. Every human being shall be entitled to respect for his life and the integrity of his person.” As a signatory to the African Charter, the FG should take urgent steps to protect lives and properties and also bring perpetrators of crimes to book.

Nonetheless, MURIC still calls on all stakeholders to exercise restraint as nothing has so far been proved against anybody. We must allow the security agencies to pursue the matter to a logical conclusion. All allegations at this point remain assumptions. Article 7(b) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights stipulates the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty by a competent court or tribunal.

We call on Nigerians to consider the huge pressure on the corporate existence of the country as manifested in the Nigeria-Biafra war of 1967 to 1971, the June 12 saga from 1993 to 1999, the numerous religious crisis experienced in the country, the Niger Delta militancy over resource control which is still ongoing, the Boko Haram insurgency which is just about dying out and the reincarnation of Biafra in form of renewed agitations from the Eastern region.

All the above took heavy tolls on the Nigerian nation in terms of human lives and collateral damage and it has been a miracle that Nigeria has survived all. A new crisis under the guise of attacks by Fulani herdsmen poses a very serious threat to the corporate existence of Nigeria and no one can predict its outcome.

It is noteworthy that there are backlashes already. Seven youths of Northern extinction who engaged in tricycle business in Ugwuaji, Enugu South Local Government were allegedly killed and secretly buried in January this year. There are calls by ethnic groups and individuals from the South East and the South West for Northerners to leave the region.

MURIC considers these calls as premature, unjustifiable and untenable. The calls for certain ethnic groups to leave particular regions are tainted with ethnic jingoism. They are as parochial as they are myopic.

Our position is based on facts emerging from police investigations into alleged Fulani killings and attacks. For example, the Elogba and the Egba in Benue State clash which claimed 60 lives was blamed on Fulani herdsmen. The kidnappers of Chief Olu Falae who were citizens of Niger State were led by one Baba Olu, a Yoruba man, but Fulani herdsmen were blamed for it.

It is didactic that the police have absolved Fulani herdsmen from blame over the killings in Nimbo community of Enugu State. Equally instructive is the fact that the Inspector General of Police has issued a similar statement. We advise Nigerians to stop calling a dog a bad name in order to hang it.

It is sad that pictures of herdsmen in Sudan, Mali, Niger and Chad brandishing AK 47 rifles are taken from the internet and displayed to gullible Nigerians as Fulanis on Nigerian soil. This is quite misleading, highly mischievous and grossly provocative. It is incitement on a large scale. The Nigerian press is advised to desist from playing to the gallery.   

We appeal to Nigerians to separate individuals with criminal propensity from their tribes and religions. Every Nigerian tribe has its own criminals, lay-abouts, never-do-wells, busy-bodies and area boys. Yet every Nigerian ethnic group has its men and women of honour, men and women of timber and caliber, including Fulanis and Igbos in particular.

We therefore call for objective appraisal of incidents and caution against generalization, sensationalisation, stigmatization of Fulani herdsmen and the profiling of Northerners or their religion. It is a time bomb waiting to explode and none can visualize its reach or its victims.

We must not allow people who nurse anti-Fulani and anti-North agenda to blow this country apart. Neither should we allow politics of resentment and unsubstantiated minority claims of marginalisation to becloud our sense of critical analysis at this point in time. We have all the law we need to punish the individual Fulani, Igbo or Yoruba if he commits any crime. But we have no moral right to target a whole ethnic group for annihilation.

In conclusion, MURIC calls on all Nigerians to allow one love to keep us together. Let us think Nigeria and stop thinking of ethnicities. Let us rise as one to punish individual criminals and not their tribes.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

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Opinion: Are The Fulani Victims? By Peregrino Brimah

Well of course the Fulani are victims. Just like we all are.

The Fulani have lost their immemorial abundant grazing reserves and routes. Desert encroachment, deforestation, modernization, increased urbanization and sheer greed have challenged the herder lifestyle of these West and central African semi-nomads. Their migrations into hinterlands with their millions of Naira herds constitute greater challenges every day. And don’t get it wrong; they don’t migrate south, running into and in-through more and more developed and utilized lands for fun, they need to in keeping with the seasons as fodder and water gets scarce in the north.

So, facing the consequences of a national population that has quadrupled in the last half-century, with increased competition for dwindling dwelling, arable and grazing land and the challenges of more sophisticated banditry –including extremes like Boko Haram – in a nation that has failed to grow its security departments in parallel, the Fulani are victims with many having nothing of wealth to pass on to their young. The youth who typically carry on the herder legacy with hundreds of cows worth tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars, are now unemployed and restive.

But Who Is Not?

So while we agree that the Fulani are victims, the question is, who is not? Apart from the politician class and their cabal friends who get it all including what they do not need, the rest of us are all victims just as well.

The inhabitants of the Niger Delta who lived off of the land and sea have lost this too to oil exploration. Their lands are polluted and poisoned as are their waters. They too have lost their primordial ways of life.

The farmers in Borno and much of the north are victims too as urbanization and then deforestation with desertification takes over. Lake Chad, a source of water for not just the herders but over 4 million that includes farmers and fishermen in four countries have likewise lost their means of sustenance.

But not just those who live off the land, 80% of Nigeria’s population, the destitute population living under a dollar-a-day are without a promise of decent livelihood. The failures of successive governments have deprived the citizens of Nigeria, especially its youth the stability and comfort of meaningful application of themselves in rewarding employment. We all are victims of change and a failed country. We all are robbed by thieves, armed robbers and politician and military pen thieves. Should we all resort to terror?

The ‘Victim’ Tale Of Boko Haram And MEND

When Boko Haram started its campaign of calumny, their initial messages were an alleged crusade against government corruption and ‘Boko,’ or ‘western civilization’ which they blamed for the government corruption, oppression and the inequality and poverty it caused. For those who remember, this was the initial agenda of Boko Haram and their first rally call: to save the people from the corrupt western influenced government agents.

Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND said the same thing: we are victims, we cannot fish and farm anymore and it is due to the wicked and inconsiderate people taking over our land, excavating it of its resource and depriving us of the benefit. To this end, we will economically terrorize till our rights are protected and our emancipation cemented.

Victims Squared

The victims of the terror are hardly the politicians and military leadership behind the failure to ensure the promise for all from the abundant land and resource God has blessed Nigeria with. The victims north, south, east, west and nomadic make new double-victims from among co-victims in revenge of their deprivement and disenfranchisement.

If things were properly planned and cognizantly approached, grazing routes will be the least commitment. Indeed America has thousands of acres of protected grazing reserves. Grazing reserves are more for the survival of the ecosystem than for the occasional herders who ply them. Nigeria cannot do without such contiguous protected land reserves. What do we wish to become? A concrete jungle? But the reason why even this tiny commitment becomes irritating is because of the flummoxed and befuddled disposition of successive administrations. Why initiate a reward in response to terror? The offer of grazing lands as a reward for terrorism just does not humor the neurons. Deal with terror and address the various needs of the needy populace, including grazing solutions as an independent mission.

Should The Rest Of Us Victims Kill Too?

We are all victims. Because I lost my job and means of livelihood; because the errors of Jonathan and Buhari made my dollar-based business collapse and condemned me to millions of dollars debt as the naira lost half its value, does not mean I need to buy a pulp action gun and go kill a cabal or hire mercenaries to run them over on my behalf. Indeed the cabal and their politician partners who are still in business with access to dollars at the CBN rate, the ‘those who can afford it’ government-advantaged few, as Buhari referred to them who can still afford to get government rate dollars to pay their tuition abroad, are my identified enemies. But I will not pick up an AK47 and fire at them and burn down their houses. No. I will not resort to kidnapping the affluent. Whether I like it or not, as a civilized being, I will go to the courts and pray to my God and fight and wait for justice. I will protest and encourage those who know how to protest to do so. I may relocate or try to learn a new –non violent– trade while waiting for justice. But as a victim I will not become a terrorist and terrorize both innocent and guilty new victims because I lost my livelihood. Or I become a terrorist and a barbarian and an oppressor too who makes victims.

Dr. Peregrino Brimah; @EveryNigerian

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Fulani Herdsmen: A Road Not Taken, By Joe Onwukeme

The title of this piece “Road Not Taken” was the name of Robert Frost’s poem written in 1916. The narrator regrets not following a particular branch to his destination, after choosing another road, the narrator tells himself that he would come back to this branch one day in order to try the other road. However, he realizes that it is unlikely that he will ever have the opportunity to come back to this specific point in time because his choice of path will simply lead to other branches in the road (and other decisions). The narrator ends on a nostalgic note, wondering how different things would have been had he chosen the other path.

Same way the writer ended on a nostalgic end for the road not taken is the way Nigerians who underestimated the savagery of the Fulani Herds men are living in regrets for granting them access to their communities. The Fulani Herdsmen have been a pain in our communities. There’s no State or region that would say they have not had their own bitter tales with the Fulani Herdsmen bothering on land dispute and grazing issues. On every of their murderous appearance, they have been leaving tears and blood behind. From the North Central states of Plateau, Benue, Nasarawa, Niger and Taraba State to North West, South West and South south zones, the story remains the same. Their latest casualty is Enugu State and the once peaceful community of Uzo Uwani LGA woke up Monday morning to behold the gory sight perpetrated by the nomads with graceful impunity. The attack was so bloody that the Governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, on his visit to the community broke down in tears as he watched helplessly the lifeless bodies of innocent people that were massacred in their sleep by the Fulani Herdsmen.

It’s painful what these pastoralists do to their host communities, they are not acting in isolation, our security agencies are yet to tell us the mission of these murderous errands in human form.

The Federal government’s complicity on these utmost savageries also validates this quote by Martin Luther king Jnr, “The deepest part of hell is reserved for those leaders who kept silent in the face of evil”. This is the time for the government to break their undignified silence and act preemptively to ensure the safety of the public from this ethnic cleansing that is threatening our nation.

For how long are we going to continue to suffer these killings from outsiders in our communities? For how long are we going to leave in regret for “the road not taken”? Yesterday it was Benue, today its Enugu, who knows whose turn it might be tomorrow?

There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people -Howard Zinn.

Joe Onwukeme writes from Enugu



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The “Fulani Herdsmen” Should Be Declared As Terrorists And Insurgents – Muslims Against Terror

Assalamualykum (Brother/Sister),

We the Muslims Against Terror organisation condemn the acts of killing of innocent people, farmers and others, by alleged “fulani herdsmen”in Nigeria.

We urge the Nigerian government to firmly condemn these wanton acts and declare the perpetrators terrorists and an insurgency according to the law and deal with them with the full power of the military.

We Islam (Muslims) actually teach and the Quran States clearly,”That Anyone who kills a human being- it shall be as though he has killed all of mankind, if Anyone saves a life, it shall be as though he has save the lives of all mankind.” (Quran 5: 32).

We express our condolences and symphatize with the people of Benue, Enugu, Delta, Anambra etc and government of Nigeria and the Families of the Victims killed by the “fulani herdsmen”.

We stand with the victims in soliderity during these difficult times.

We pray for Allah (The GOD) to expose the sponsors and the real perpetrators of these “fulani herdsmen” and they must face justice.

We pray for peace, love, and security to return to Benue, Enugu, Delta, Anambra etc in the name of Allah (The GOD) Our Lord , we pray Ameen.

We urge you to join us:

From Nigeria to the world!
We denounce terror.

Doctor Ahmad Amadi Jnr.

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Agatu: Nigeria’s Fulani Have Become A Law unto Themselves, By Peregrino Brimah

The first justification for the barbaric massacre of hundreds of Agatu people given by Fulani leaders was that the Agatu had killed 10,000 of their cows.

The latest justification for the genocide-in-progress agains the Agatu was given as presented in PremiumTimes, by a certain Saleh Bayeri, “the Interim National Secretary of Gan Allah Fulani Association,” as a “retaliation” for the Agatu having allegedly killed a certain Ardo Madaki in 2013.

The Fulani believe they now have the power and legitimacy to revenge, perhaps under an administration they believe will not punish them;

and the second point to take away from these “justifications” is that the Fulani herdsmen openly believe in the barbaric “Genocidal Thinking” reasoning that any life of a clan can be taken to avenge the death by suspected other members of that clan or ethnic group.

There is a serious problem in Nigeria. The indifferent response of the Buhari government to the Fulani rising above the State and constituting a State-within-the-State, taking the law into their own hands in such deadly fashion, is scary to say the least.

Why do the Fulani in Benue State suddenly think they are the almighty authority of Nigeria?

Are they not afraid that similar thinking barbarians like them in other parts may perpetuate the same evil against members of their fold in areas where they are of minority numbers?

No one should for a minute be tolerated to act above the law. I am saying this even though I have a good amount of Fulani blood running through my veins.

Quran 4:135 says what means: “O ye who believe! stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest ye swerve, and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.”

And the Bible says: Leviticus 19:15 ESV  “You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.”

The issue at hand is the lukewarm and permissive posture of the Nigerian police under Arase, Army under T.Y. Buratai and government under Buhari. The Nigerian government is promoting terror in the nation by thus far failing to act and act promptly to arrest everyone implicated in this barbarism and above-the-law insanity, killing farmers and wiping out the indigenous population.

Locals and State representatives of Benue have complained that the Nigerian Security department deployed are not making any arrests and continue to watch the killers take over the communities. This is beyond comprehension. The Police even invited toe killers to table and refrained from arresting any one of them! How absurd.

Even Saleh Bayeri, the Interim National Secretary of Gan Allah Fulani Association must be arrested immediately for defending such deadly lawlessness and the massacre of populations under the brazen “justification” that the Fulani herdsmen now have the authority to be judge, jury and executioner.

What happened to Buhari stating that he can not allow a people be a “disturbance,” and in his words, “how can any group create a State-within-a-State?” The same government that massacred hundreds of Zarians for erecting road blocks in fear of impending massacre and protesting of the killing of their members by the same army a year earlier, and killed unarmed pro-Biafrans for protesting and praying, is now watching the Fulani-Boko Haram herdsmen operate not just a State but a fully militarized and genocidal State in Nigeria’s Benue State?

We call on the Arase to arrest and sentence in Capital proportions, all herdsmen or farmers who have taken lives in this disgraceful episode of terror. It is time Nigeria’s government decides to live up to its responsibilities and stop terror and the evil activities of citizens and officers including top Security level, that incite and fuel an unending cycle of terror and lead to Nigeria remaining the most terrorized nation in the world.

Dr. Peregrino Brimah @EveryNigerian



Editor: Opinion expressed on this page are strictly those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of abusidiqu.com and its associates

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