Of late, Fulani herdsmen seem to be in the news for the wrong reasons. Not long ago, they were seen as harmless, friendly people who take care of their cattle but recently the reverse seems to be the case. Kidnapping, cattle rustling, armed robbery, maiming and killing have become synonymous with herdsmen in recent weeks. No wonder they were named the fourth deadliest terrorist group in the world.
One begins to wonder when did things began to go wrong, when did the Fulani herdsmen begin kidnapping and asking for ransom? The kidnapping of former secretary to the government, Olu Falae was allegedly carried out by Fulani herdsmen. It’s a common sight in some areas to see the herdsmen brandishing dangerous weapons publicly acting as if they are above the law. Where did they get the weapons from?
I think they should be restricted to grazing in their home communities because it doesn’t make sense when their cattle enter the farms of their host communities, destroying crops in the process and when their cattle is attacked, the herdsmen end up killing people just for fun in those areas. Take the case of the recent killings in Agatu, Benue State, where herdsmen reportedly killed about 200 residents.
Some are of the opinion that Boko Haram may have been carrying out some of these attacks disguised as herdsmen while some are also saying criminal elements in the herdsmen are giving the whole tribe a bad name and are calling for the criminal elements to be fished out and punished.
The proper solution to this recent menace is for the federal government to ban them from grazing in areas other than in grazing reserves, so this will in turn check some of the vices associated with the herdsmen.
Written by: Jonathan Nda-Isaiah