Four powerful men can quell clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers across the country. Surprisingly, they are all quiet or silently doing something to quell ongoing clashes. This is no time for silent nights, it is time to call people to order. The Lamido of Adamawa, the Sultan of Sokoto, President Muhammadu Buhari and Shehu or Bornu; in that order are the men that can call the Fulanis to order.
According to Norm Chomsky, terrorism means premeditated, politically motivated violence against the noncombatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience. It is use of coercive means aimed at civilian populations to achieve political, religious or other aims.
Accordingly, one wonders why our ruling elite are yet to designate the rampaging Fulani herdsmen as terrorists. A renowned world body, Institute for Economics released its 2015 global terrorism index. The results will shock you. Wait for it…
And here it comes: “The five most deadly terrorist groups were responsible for 74 per cent of all deaths from terrorism by known actors in 2014. In 2013 these five groups killed 5,932 people from terrorist attacks whereas in 2014 they killed 18,444, more than tripling their deadly impact. The fourth most deadly terrorist group of 2014, Fulani militants, has never previously featured among the most deadly terrorist groups. The death toll of the Fulani militants, also from Nigeria, jumped to 1,229 people compared to 63 in 2013.”
And again, “The majority of deaths from terrorism in 2014 occurred in three countries, Syria, Iraq and Nigeria. Nigeria’s terrorism is more diverse, with two major groups, Boko Haram and Fulani militants, having different aims and drivers. Any successful approach will need to deal effectively with the terrorist groups while also addressing the underlying drivers of conflict in the country. The country houses two of the five most deadly terrorist groups in 2014; Boko Haram and the Fulani militants. In 2014 there was a 172 per cent increase in private citizens as victims of terrorism. Over three quarters of this was due to three groups: Boko Haram, Fulani militants and ISIL.
President Muhammadu Buhari had initiated a plan to map out grazing areas as a temporary solution to the frequent conflicts “until cattle owners are persuaded” to adopt other means of rearing their cattle. Pray, whoever persuades terrorists? The president said he would deal with anyone who messes with the country’s oil facilities. He would also deal with people threatening the unity of Nigeria. IPOB comes to mind here. But why the president is yet to designate his Fulani brothers as terrorists is but surprising.
A prominent Fulani leader of the Gan Allah Fulani Association, an umbrella body of Fulani associations in Nigeria shed light as to whom sponsors of the Fulani herdsmen are. According to him, “A prominent Fulani leader, Ardo Madaki, was invited to the palace of the district head in Agatu (Benue State) on the grounds that a solution was being sought to the problem (alleged stealing of Fulani cattle).
“However, the Agatu militia beheaded Ardo right in front of the district head. This action reverberated across all Fulani people in the whole of West Africa and the clamor for revenge began to grow strong. He comes from a very well respected clan and the Agatu sent the Fulani a chilling message with his murder.”
“We have a full inventory of all the Fulani people killed by Agatu and we would produce the evidence as long as the inquiry commission is not under the National Assembly. We have no confidence in the national assembly because of the overriding influence of the former Senate President David Mark, who knew how the Fulani were being massacred and did nothing but use his influence to cover it up.
Recall that the Lamido of Adamawa openly stated that “My people (Fulani) and the people of Adamawa have got somewhere to go. I am the Lamido Adamawa and my kingdom extends to Cameroun. The larger part of my kingdom is in Cameroun. Part of that kingdom is today called Adamawa State in Cameroun. You see, if I run to that place, I will easily assimilate.”
President Buhari, Sultan of Sokoto, Lamido of Adamawa, and Shehu of Bornu should call Fulani herdsmen to order. The president should openly call them who they are, Terrorists and state arsenal should be deployed to “deal” with them. The recent killing in Enugu and other Christian dominated states tells a chilling story. Buhari should call his kinsmen to order.