Herdsmen Attacks: Could This Be Why Government Is Slow?
Herdsmen have carried out several attacks this year and over 100 persons have been killed, but some Nigerians have continued to wonder why the government has been slow in tackling this menace headlong.
But a lecturer in the Department of Sociology in the Federal University, Birnin-Kebbi, Dr. Muhammad Baba, has emphasised the need for the Federal Government to avoid using security forces to resolve the herdsmen crisis.
Baba gave the advice while speaking at the 14th Seminar Series of the university on Thursday in Birnin Kebbi.
Giving a speech on “One Crisis, Too Many: Pastoral Ful’Be, National Integration and the Challenges of Livestock Development in Modern Nigeria,” Dr. Baba identified the negative impact resolving the crisis with force could lead to.
He said using forceful action to resolve the crisis will snowball into violent tribal conflicts.
According to him, resolving the herdsmen attacks in Benue, Taraba, parts of Adamawa, Kaduna, Kebbi and Zamfara States required reference to Nigeria’s Constitution.
He argued that the constitution allowed freedom of movement for pastoralists and that care must be taken not to allow the herdsmen invasions to degenerate to a campaign like the Boko Haram conflict.
“The crisis that confronts pastoral Fulani today is not new in many respects, but it represents an intensification of the problems as well.
“The problems are exacerbated by political, economic, religious and ethnic factors, which portend grave dangers for the political economy.
“The situation has obvious implications for livestock development which is now seriously undermined.
"Two opposing views are indicated by the current situation as it relates to the future of the pastoralists and their relationships with hostile communities.
"These are the pessimists and optimistic possibilities,” Dr. Dada stated.
According to him, the security forces appear overwhelmed and the scenario does not look good at all.
Some Nigerians have accused President Muhammadu Buhari of handling the heardsmen crisis with less force because he is a Fulani. Most of the herders in Nigeria are also believed to be Fulani.