by Alhassan Haruna Danbatta
Many things have already been said about the possibility of who is behind the new phenomena of Fulani herdsmen, but the recent released information only add to intricacies of major conspiracies housed and motivated in the dungeon of the hearts of the conspirators who utilizes every opportunity to call the dog a bad name in order to justifies it hanging in the market place.
Just some hours ago, the commissioner of Police, Enugu State, Nwobodo Olechukwu
stated on Channels television that, The Enugu attack that saw some people been killed and information released with conflicting figures has nothing to do with Fulani herdsmen, it israther a clash of two group of hoodlums in the area who attacked themselves.
Furthermore, the inspector General (IG) of the Nigerian police have stated times without number that, the violent fulani herdsmen are not Nigerians. These available and official information only intensified the intensity of the various questions we need to ask ourselves before we crucify the known peaceful fulani people who have lived in various Nigerian communities in peace with their neighbours.
The Fulani people are relatively peaceful people who goes in the bush feeding their cattles and other animals, in the process they themselves bear children who not only where reared in the bush, but are the least Nigerians who enjoy any government and public services. They are marabound in nature, so they are always on the go.
The Fulani people have existed for centuries, living in peace with all other Nigerians for decades. If not of recent, the Fulani people are relatively unknown and less concern with their rights as all other Nigerians, they care less about their rights to movement in all cranies in Nigeria, only for the few lucky ones educated in western education, in the process acquiring the knowledge of their rights as their might.
These days it seems, various groups agitating for their political rights have succeeded in co-opting the term “Fulani herdsmen” to promote division and hatred against the peaceful Fulani people who only cares for their herds and only show their faces within any city they dwell in Nigeria to supply cow milk and other related milk output. It is very hard for the Fulani to just storm a city and attack its inhabitants, it is very hard.
The coined term of ‘Fulani herdsmen’ being used by various criminal groups to justify the crucifixion of the innocent Fulani people are only wicked and murderous to their conscience and totally unbelievable, it is like in the James Hardly Chase where a murderous gang are released to clear a town of all living things, or like the Sudan where children are burned alive. The information being released by southerners is heart racking, but to our knowledge, the Fulani people have never and will never attack innocent people and massacre them without mercy, these behavior to our understanding only fit those with animal characters, those without conscience and religion.
Some weeks ago, we heard of the news that Fulani herdsmen attacked Olu Falae farm, as reported in the media. They said the OPC leader was killed by Fulani herdsmen but the mother has a different fear;
“Ayo came home last Saturday and told me that some people were trying to depose him as the coordinator of the OPC. He now informed me that before the end of the month, the people would know his position on the leadership tussle.
I was praying for him. I don’t know this is how it would happen”.
Rachael who was sobbing intermittently as she narrated the incident said the deceased was 33 years and her last child. She said her husband died when the deceased was a toddler.
“He was my last born. He was the sixth of my children. When it happened, they did not allow me to know. It was three days after the incident that I saw pastors of my church and some family members. I asked them what happened. They did not tell me. They started preaching to me and I asked them to come straight. They now explained that Ayo Ige who was the head of the security in Chief Falae’s farm has been killed. “I am pained because I suffered on him.
Only this fact is enough to discredit the insinuation that, these various criminalities were executed by the known peaceful Fulani people.
What do we understand by the term Fulani herdsmen? To those who knows the term concept may always inform you that Fulani herdsmen are not, usually, not upto five in number when ever they move out for grazing of their cattles, i was surprised some time ago when i came across Fulani people in kogi state who doesn’t even speak hausa language but English language and the local dialect. Many of them where born there and many others have naturally died and buried there.
These bring us to the conspiracy theories, where many believed and propagated that the Fulani herdsmen concept was only coined and promoted immediately the dreaded Boko Haram were almost defeated, this, they believed is an arrangements of various agitators to enter the clothes of the Fulani herdsmen in order to promote their criminalities and sabotage, doing it un-identified, hence the coined Fulani herdsmen fits into their strategy.
Many other opinion theorist have since concluded that this deceit is being promoted by the Nnamdi Kanu IPOB in order to tarnish the image of the president who also happened to be a Fulani man.
These continued theories by these theorist, have also justify the postulation that, it is remnants of Boko Haram in Fulani people clothing, they continued to lay emphasis on the tactical operations of these criminals with heavy machinery. The most popular of all these opinions being circulated is that the indigenous people of Biafra IPOB have already waged a war of attrition and murder, they killed and claimed being killed.
Vanguard news reported that, Christ Holy Catholic Church, in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State was burnt in the early hours of Monday morning, following the invasion of the community, by over 500 fulani herdsmen. Many have now asked and are still asking, are these really Fulani herdsmen that room the bush to rear their cattles? Many people only believed that there is an egg in a basket that stayed unnoticed.
Additionally, a threat was made by the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) to the president, giving him 30days to do something about the incessant
attacks by Fulani herdsmen, to end the attack on innocent or face its wrath. This, many believed, is a justification of their future action to retaliate and kill innocent Fulani people in order to promote the impression of division and ethnicity supremacy. Dont forget that they said Fulani herdsmen must be relocate from the South-East.
In collaborations with MASSOB stand and agitation, the Niger-Delta Avengers have also issued a warning of what is to be expected of them, they said:
“Clear example is the present administration where Fulani herdsmen whom are the kinsmen of President Buhari are above the law despite the killing and atrocities they have committed against farmers in the south and middle belt but the president can give a shoot on sight directive to military against the peaceful protest of the Indigenous people of Biafra”.
These it seems very clearly, the agitators are looking for loophole to justify their future criminal and violent reaction against the peaceful Fulani people.
In view of these, it has became necessary to urgently advise the Nigerian army and main stream media to stop endangering true and decent Fulani herdsmen by connecting them to all sorts of banditry and criminal elements. It is more reasonable to still believe there are more decent Fulani herders than not.
In a recent Nigerian military press release, some 92 suspect armed bandits cum terrorists intercepted in a lorry and camry cars near Abuja were called “herdsmen.” While they had Fulani staffs, they clearly had no herds and hardly dressed or appeared like Fulani herders with some not appearing to
be of the Fulani ethnicity.
By labelling all bandits and terrorists Fulani herders, Nigeria is putting innocent herders at serious suspicion and risk across the entire country and seriously endangering their lives.
There are bandits and terrorists and there are herders and the distinction must be underlined. A herder who kills and burns is a terrorist. He must be arrested and dealt with under the Nigerian anti-terror laws.
For the Fulani various cultural groups, they must remain vocal, denying any criminalities corroborated to them, they should also senitise their members to be ever ready to stop any un-provoke attack on their innocent family. The government must come out loud to denounce these killings and further expose the real criminals behind this Fulani herdsmen concept and its unending blackmail.
Comrade, Alhassan Haruna Danbatta