|Photo credit: The Citizen NG|
Just this week, 13 people were
killed in a fire accident and about 5 vehicles burnt at the Mowe, one of the
neighbouring villages to Lagos, on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. The fire
accident was a result of a truck who attempted not to crash into a herd of cattle crossing the ever busy express road. Hours later when the evacuation has been
done, a car caused a spark that ignited the fire which consumed lives and
many cars. This is one of the endless wastage associated with the Fulani herdsmen
and their cattle.
The herdsmen typically Fulani are emotionally
attached to their cattle. They nurture these cattle with all that is within their
care. They cover hundreds of miles with their cattle leading them to
graze from one part of the country to another. Despite these complaints of the destruction of many farms, the menace
of the herdsmen and their cattle became a reoccurring decimal in Nigeria.However, many families consume beef in
large quantity daily which remains a major source of protein in our country.
As reported by Naij.com, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of
Nigeria, MACBAN, has defended herdsmen over the alleged attack on farmers
across the country, saying they did so in self-defence. The leader of the group,
Senator Dagiri Alkali said herdsmen moved into new territories across the
country because members of the Boko Haram sect attacked them in the North-East
and other parts of the country and stole millions of cows from them.
Nigerians have reacted to these
happenings and some people advocated for grazing reserves within the country.
This has been opposed by the National Assembly. According to Pulse NG, the Deputy Senate President,
Ike Ekweremadu, said this after a meeting of the South East governors and
stakeholders said there is no request on the creation of grazing reserves
either in the Senate or House of Representatives.
Unfortunately, people took the laws into their hands. There was a
reprisal attack by suspected gunmen that 20 people and 83 cows in Nasarawa
State. The gunmen assumed to have crossed over from Benue State. Nasarawa
and Benue governments have to step into the incessant clashes between the
Fulani and the Agatu.
In order to forestall other further killings and unwanton waste of lives, the
Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) in Cross River State led by Rev Lawrence
Ekwok and Secretary, Apostle Frank Umo, issued a communique also strongly
condemned the attack and killing of people in the middle belt and southern
parts of Nigeria by the Fulani herdsmen. The group called on the
Inspector General of Police (IGP) to as a matter of urgent national interest,
arrest and prosecute all gun-carrying Fulani herdsmen.
After the outcry by Nigerians on
the silence of President Muhammadu Buhari to these killings, he ordered the Chief of Defence
Staff and Inspector General of Police to crack down on rampaging herdsmen, who
have been attacking many villages and killing hundreds of people across the
country. President Buhari President Buhari’s order came on the heels of the
latest attack on Ukpabi Nimbo community in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu
In a swift response to the orders of the President, the Chief of
Defence Staff, (CDS) General Abayomi Gabriel Olonishakin, told Fulani leaders
that following President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive, the military and other
security agencies would fish out perpetrators and punish them accordingly.
The CDS, represented by
Defence Headquarters’ Director of Administration, Maj- Gen. Fatai Alli, told
leaders of Meyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association at a meeting in Abuja,
that the military will not tolerate any form of violence from any group that
takes up arms against another.
Every party on the various
divides have spoken but political analysts are scared of it been another form
of insurgence in the country since Boko Haram is currently coming to an end. There is a need to build a habitable environment
for the citizenry. The development of the country cannot continue to be stalled
by violence. We must all settle down for development 12 months after President
Muhammadu Buhari became the President of Nigeria.
References: The Punch, Vanguard, The Daily Post