How long will the Fulanis head farmers?

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Yuam loved his family and did anything to feed and protect them. Last week, on his quest to provide for his family, an altercation broke out with some Fulani herdsmen in Benue state and Yuam didn’t live to tell the tale.

Aseer Yuam, the mother of young Yuam, waited and waited on that fateful day for her son but he didn’t return. She later received news of her son’s gruesome murder in Tombo council ward and grieved. The Fulani herdsmen again struck her provider down and this is not news anymore in Nigeria.

According to the BBC, “In 2014, more than 1,200 people lost their lives to the Fulanis.” The Global Terorrism Index 2015 report tags the Fulanis as “the world’s fourth deadliest militant group”. (I don’t know how they came up with that ranking). However, the number of dead farmers keeps increasing. Add the 300 that died in February in central Benue, plus last month 40 killed in Enugu. And now, another 81 lives lost in Benue again within last two weeks.

The level of cluelessness that ravages the present regime is beyond what words can describe. It’s absolutely astonishing that the president with his ministers and legislators can’t proffer solutions to this consistent carnage and other issues. We thought the last president was clueless but, the present one, it seems is clueless with a touch of panache.

imageThe Yuams, like most Nigerians, will be made to lick their wounds and move on. Welcome to Nigeria, where fairing in the face of despair is the way of life.

Some of the reasons for dispute between farmers and the herdsmen have been disagreements over the use of farmland, grazing areas and water. Some farmers claim the herdsmen come to their farmlands uninvited, destroy crops and take their water whilst the nomads claim that these farmers steal their cattle, chastise them and treat them like non-humans.

That’s another side of the coin. Why can’t the farmers share with the Fulani normads? Or, why can’t the Fulanis ask amicably for this resources? Why can’t there be a peaceful coexistence? It mustn’t always result to violence. There must be a way for local farmers and a nomad to co-exist.

President Muhammadu Buhari, himself a Fulani, has responded to the public outcry and ordered the security forces to crack down on the cattle raiders. That, however, is not enough. Spewing of words and carrying out actions are two different things. Actions, they say, ….

The root problem must be located and that is, the farmers and Fulanis herdsmen must come to an amiable way to sort disputes out. Murders never solve anything.

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