President Buhari’s silence and inaction, during his 100 days, on the issue of Fulani herdsmen seems to have poured petrol on the long smoldering embers of the Fulani menace in Nigeria. So there is a need to raise two questions: (a) Is Buhari’s inaction part of his Caliphate hidden agenda? (b) Is the Sultan of Sokoto, as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of MACBAN, the cattle breeders association, not the Grand Patron of a criminal enterprise--an enterprise that uses, for its economic gain, the crimes of trespassing, destruction of other people’s property, kidnapping, arson, murder, ethnic cleansing etc.?
In his Inaugural Address, President Buhari mentioned some security issues that he would solve as part of his change agenda. Among them was “herdsmen/farmer clashes”:
“Boko Haram is not only the security issue bedeviling our country. The spate of kidnappings, armed robberies, herdsmen/farmers clashes, cattle rustlings all help to add to the general air of insecurity in our land. We are going to erect and maintain an efficient, disciplined people–friendly and well–compensated security forces within an over–all security architecture.”
-- President Buhari’s inaugural speech, on May 29, 2015
Though he didn’t give it the priority and emphasis he gave to Boko Haram, these herdsmen/farmers clashes have quickly escalated into a security problem of far greater countrywide menace than even Boko Haram. Yet he has said nothing and done nothing visible to solve it. Perhaps his change agenda does not include change in this long-established security problem in Nigeria. If so why?
As we shall see further down in this x-ray, because of its territorial scope and its potential to ignite inter-ethnic war in 5 of the 6 zones of Nigeria, this Fulani menace is by far a greater threat to the lives of Nigerians and to the peace and territorial integrity of the Nigerian state than Boko Haram. Yet President Buhari has thus far chosen to leave it unaddressed. Why?
Reports of the criminal activities of Fulani herdsmen have captured the headlines since May 29. And Afenifere, the apex socio-cultural organ of the Yoruba nationality, stung by the exceptional provocation of the abduction of Chief Olu Falae, a distinguished Nigerian, Yoruba grandee and one of Afenifere’s leaders, reacted by renewing its threat of Yoruba secession from Nigeria.
Under the pressure of bad publicity and the Afenifere threat, the Caliphate has, among other measures, trotted out one of its Yoruba apologists to try to douse the political fires. Femi Falana has tried to minimize the problem by reducing it to one of effective law enforcement. He condemns as “unfortunate” Afenifere’s escalating the matter to the constitutional and political level that threatens the integrity of the Nigerian territorial state. According to Femi Falana:
“But the crisis of insecurity of life and property in the region became exacerbated after the 2015 general elections . . . the kidnap of Chief Olu Falae, a former secretary to the federal government in his farm in the outskirt of Akure, Ondo state last month added a new dimension to the kidnap saga in the region. . . . Chief Falae announced last week that his farm had been invaded . . . and taken over by a group of Fulani nomads. In a classical display of impunity, the Nigeria Police Force has failed to dislodge the lawless group.
Instead of calling on the security agencies to enforce the law by arresting and prosecuting the group some Yoruba leaders threatened that the south-west region would secede from Nigeria if Fulani nomads are not banned from entering the region! It is unfortunate that the senior citizens who issued the threat did not address the legal implications of their demand. It ought to be pointed out that every Nigerian has a constitutional right not be expelled from any part of the country.
. . . Chief Falae is likely to be pained that the illegal occupation of his farm by a criminal gang may degenerate to civil disturbances between Yoruba farmers and Fulani nomads.
More so, that Chief Falae was at the 2014 National Conference where it was unanimously agreed by delegates that “In the long term cattle routes and grazing reserves be phased out to lay emphasis on ranching” and that states which have large livestock populations should “endeavor to maintain grazing reserves.” It was further resolved that “An integrated development and livelihoods modernization program should be designed and implemented to address the issue of settling nomadic herdsmen into settled communities based on established cattle ranches with fodder development technologies, and including abattoirs, processors and other businesses along the livestock value chain.” The recommendations have been ignored by the Federal Government.
--Beyond Chief Olu Falae’s kidnap, by Femi Falana, on October 12, 2015
I will later return to the Confab aspect of Falana’s submission. But let me start by quoting two newspaper reports that put the Falae matter in its countrywide and historical context.
First, a February 2014 report from Benue State:
Speaking with newsmen at the Government House yesterday, [Benue State Gov.] Suswam lamented that the Fulani mercenaries have continued to wreck havoc on his people despite several efforts by his administration to foster peace with the herdsmen.
He noted that the average Fulani man now goes about with AK47, and that if the situation is not quickly addressed, indigenes might be forced to defend themselves.
“Yesterday morning, Fulanis numbering over 700 attacked and destroyed the Tor Tiv’s village house. For them to have targeted the Tor Tiv’s house is an affront and totally unacceptable,” he said. “I have been trying since yesterday to control the situation because emotions have risen.”
Consequently, “our people have congenially been displaced from their homes by these Fulani herders on a daily basis. Some of our children have not been to school in the last two years because they have been displaced. If the situation is not quickly addressed, I fear that it may result into a tribal war soon.”
-- Fulani attacks in Benue, Fresh attacks on Borno
http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/index.php/news/national-news/150242-scores-killed-in-fresh-attacks-on-borno Published Thursday, 20 February 2014
Here is a more comprehensive magazine article that casts light on the constitutional and other aspects:
On Monday, 24th February, 2014, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN wrote what many Tiv indigenes in Benue State, North Central Nigeria regarded as a highly provocative letter to President Goodluck Jonathan. Titled, Mr. President, Call Governor Suswam to Order Now Before It Is Too Late, MACBAN argued that their movement with their cattle across the country is covered by Section 41, Subsection 1 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which says that “every citizen is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof and no citizen of Nigeria shall be expelled from Nigeria or refused entry thereof or exit therefrom.”
The group also contended that the Constitution also expressly under Section 42, Sub-section (1) (a) forbids the imposition of any disabilities or restrictions on any citizen by any executive or administrative action against any citizen of any ‘community, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion…”
MACBAN whose motto is Read, Rear and Farm insisted that the herdsmen have lost hundreds of their lives and hundreds of thousands herds of their ancestral and generational wealth of cattle to what they called “criminal, genocidal marauding tribal and religious murderers who are calling themselves indigenes, farmers and Christians.”
The group also called on the federal government to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the crisis between the herdsmen and farmers in the North Central Zone. “When the committee is set up, the government would see beyond the facade of wicked falsehood and propaganda,” MACBAN said.
Before the letter to the President, the Tiv also alleged that the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar said the “Fulani have been grazing on their traditional grazing land in Tiv land.”
So, it is against this background that on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue state set out on inspection of Guma Local Government Area of the State which had earlier been attacked by unknown Fulani herdsmen numbering over 100. The attackers, not only burned down the entire village but also killed more than 30 people. The governor was probably warned by his security aides not to underestimate the unknown killers, who during the invasion of the village were said to have used sophisticated weapons. As a precaution, he took on his convoy a detachment of soldiers from an army barracks in the state to strengthen his security which also included men of the Nigerian Police and Department of State Security, DSS.
But while approaching the besieged village, the soldiers suddenly stopped and informed the governor that they were instructed to turn back by their superiors whose names they never mentioned. The governor nonetheless proceeded on the journey but a moment after, he came under heavy gunfire from yet to be identified attackers, who laid siege at Tsekenyi where he stopped over to inspect the level of damage done by the invaders.
In trying to repel the attackers, the governor’s security engaged them in gun duel for almost an hour before they finally succeeded in whisking the governor away in his vehicle. The attack left in its wake, 40 people dead. It was learnt that the intention of the attackers was to kill the state governor who has spared no words in his trenchant condemnation of the activities of the Fulani herdsmen which have increased in the past few weeks.
. . .
Describing the attack on his convoy, Suswam stated that the Fulani killers have become more sophisticated and needed to be tamed quickly. He called on the federal government to intervene before the crisis turns into a bloodbath. But just few days after he gave this warning, the invaders attacked again. This time the invaders slaughtered over 22 persons at Anyii and Ayilamo and Logo villages where the governor hails from.
Also, Guma where the supervising Minister of Aviation, Samuel Ortom hails from has been under sporadic attacks from Fulani militias since the beginning of this year. Before Suswam was attacked, The Fulani gunmen late February, killed 30 persons and razed over 14 villages, including the village of a former member of the House of Representatives, Godwin Ikerave.
Also torched during the attack on Guma was the palace of the traditional ruler of the Tivs, Tor Tiv Alfred Akawe Torkula and the surrouding villages which have now been taken over by the invaders who the magazine learnt, have set up settlement in the ‘conquered’ territories.
. . .
Prominent persons from Benue state are alleging a deliberate and systemic plan to wipe out the Tiv and Beron people. They argued that the fact that the wanton killings by Fulani herdsmen of their kinsmen has persisted for this long indicates sinister motives. Senator Joseph Waku, whose village is among those sacked by the attackers, accused the federal government of not doing much to restrain the invaders. According to him, the fact that the Fulani onslaught has been sustained, points to the bid of the invaders to completely eliminate the Tiv race. A former Commissioner of Police in Lagos state, Abubakar Tsav shares this sentiment. He explained that the alleged support by uniform men for the Fulani to carry out these attacks further proved that some interests have declared a deliberate war to eliminate his people.
Since the violence started early this year, no fewer than 80,000 persons have been displaced across the three states of Nasarawa, Benue and Plateau where the recent violence took place. There are also fears that the same situation could spread to other neighbouring states where the Fulani have settled to graze their animals.
Since the attacks tension has been rising over the activities of the Fulani killers particularly in Benue state where people now live in perpetual fear. To forestall further break-down of law and order, prominent Nigerians particularly from the northern part of the country have called for calm. The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammdu Sa’ad Abubakar III, last week called for end to bloodshed. He called for end to hostilities among the Fulani and their hosts, the Tiv. Abubakar who is also the Chairman, Board of Trustees of MACBAN condemned the crisis which he said has resulted in unnecessary bloodshed on both sides.
. . .
Last weekend, the President of Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), Ephraim Goje, lamented that government and security agencies have proven unable to protect the lives of the people of Southern Kaduna. According to Goje, the Southern Senatorial Zone of Kaduna State has suffered 40 attacks since 2010. Atakar and Marwa, bordering Plateau State are preferred destinations for the Fulani herdsmen. Goje promised that since the government and security agencies are unable to defend them in the face of the unofficial jihad declared on Southern Kaduna, they have no option but to defend themselves.
A disturbing trend since the attacks by the Fulani started in 2010 is the alleged role played by men in uniform. In Dogo Nahawa in 2010, survivors alleged that Muslim soldiers aided the butchering of over 500 persons.
. . .
Though some argued that the Fulanis and their neighbours in the Middle Belt states of Nasarawa, Plateau and Benue have lived together in peace since the cattle breeders in the quest to find green pastures for their animals migrated to these areas, but investigations indicate that their arrival normally left in its wake frequent bloodbaths, as has been witnessed in virtually all the North Central states and places such as Oyo, Imo, Abia, Ogun, Enugu, Delta and others.
Whenever they attack, they do so with stealth and considering the sophisticated weapons in their possession, their host communities are usually helpless during such attacks. Saki in Oyo state, Jos in Plateau state and Sagamu, Ogun state have witnessed the most deadly attacks from the invaders, who after bloody clashes with farmers left the communities desolate.
. . .
the vulnerable looking Fulani man with his cattle has powerful influential people that support them, whose cows they are rearing; e.g Sultan of Sokoto, governors, ministers, senior military and government officials.
. . .
--The Fulani Militia--The rise of new warlords and why they are killing
http://www.nationalaccordnewspaper.com/news/crime-news/1709-the-fulani-militia-the-rise-of-new-warlords-and-why-they-are-killing (Accessed 22June 2014)
This long excerpt is from a much longer magazine piece that presents the many issues and sides of the matter, including the sourcing of the weapons of the Fulani Militia from Turkey and Libya; and the recruiting of Fulani mercenaries from across West Africa. It should be required introductory reading for all Nigerians who wish to understand and solve this countrywide security problem. Among its disclosures is that, in Benue state, these Fulani militia on taking over Tiv villages, “set up settlement in the ‘conquered’ territories.” This would make them a Nigerian equivalent of the ethnic-cleansing Janjaweed militia in Darfur. That means that MACBAN is an organization that, for its economic gain, has resorted not just to the crimes of trespassing, arson, kidnapping and mass murder, but also to the ICC crime of ethnic cleansing. By the criteria of the RICO Act, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, of the United States, MACBAN, would qualify as a syndicate, an association of gangsters, and would be prosecuted for racketeering: engaging in criminal activity as a structured group. The Sultan of Sokoto, as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of MACBAN would be seen as the grand patron of a criminal racketeering organization. All appropriate Nigerian and international prosecutors should please take note.
The territorial scope of this security problem
What is the territorial scope of this security problem? The Fulani militia has been reported active in many states of the North Central zone including Plateau, Benue, Nassarawa; and the southern parts of Kaduna state in the North West zone. The Fulani herders’ crimes have been reported from many other states and zones including Ondo, Kogi, Oyo, Imo, Abia, Ogun, Enugu, and Delta. So the problem, if unresolved, could provoke ethnic and inter-communal wars in the SW and NC, as well as SE and SS and NW—i.e. in 5 of Nigeria’s six zones.
One must presume that Femi Falana, in seeking to reduce and minimize this whole matter to a law-enforcement issue, isn’t aware that his MACBAN friends, (or is it clients?) were the first to make it a political and constitutional matter when they quoted the constitution to defend the alleged right of these criminal herders to invade and destroy other people’s property everywhere in Nigeria, on behalf of the cattle of the Caliphate grandees which they herd.
From the above excerpted account, it is MACBAN who first made this problem a political and constitutional matter. Femi Falana, and all Nigerians, should please take note that Afenifere has simply followed suit and upped the ante, turned up the political heat and begun the pressure necessary to bring the Caliphate to the table for a political solution. All the other nationalities victimized by the twin menace of Fulani herdsmen and Fulani militia should wake up from their passivity and join Afenifere on this issue and let the Caliphate know that its criminal habit of murderous impunity shall no longer be tolerated. It is more than time for Nigerians, and indeed the whole world, to wake up to the fact that the Fulani are a menace to all the other nationalities in Nigeria, what with the criminal Fulani herdsmen, Fulani ethnic-cleansing militia and the Fulani colonialist Caliphate that insists on its divine right to rule and exploit all the other Nigerian nationalities on the basis of the doctrine put forth in 1960 by the Fulani leader, the Sardauna of Sokoto, that:
“The new nation called Nigeria should be an estate of our great-grandfather, Uthman Dan Fodio. We must ruthlessly prevent a change of power. We use the minorities of the North as willing tools and the South as a conquered territory and never allow them to rule over us, and never allow them to have control over their future.”
–Sir Ahmadu Bello, Leader of the NPC and Premier of Northern Nigeria, (Parrot Newspaper, 12th Oct. 1960; republished on November 13, 2002, by the Tribune Newspaper, Ibadan.)
The Caliphate has a choice to make, and make quickly: Stop blocking the path to a peaceful change to the pro-Caliphate-hegemony terms of the Nigerian Union by agreeing to negotiations for a truly democratic Federal constitution devised and agreed to by “We the People’, or the non-Caliphate Nationalities will pull out of the One Nigeria that the Caliphate inherited from the British and treats as its colony. (The book to read is Caliphate Colonialism: The Taproot of the Trouble with Nigeria, by Chinweizu.
The publishers, Clear Coast Communications, may be contacted through firstname.lastname@example.org; and +2348026440272. )
Afenifere has done all non-Caliphate Nigerians a signal favor by raising this matter in the dramatic manner it did.
Buhari and the Fulani menace
Now to Buhari’s role in this matter. With Gen. Buhari now back in power as President Buhari, the escalation of the menace of Fulani herdsmen in Yorubaland needs to be examined in the light of Buhari’s hidden Caliphate agenda.
Back in August 2012 a scion of the Caliphate, Usman Faruk, who had been the military governor of North-West State during the Yakubu Gowon regime, boasted:
“North replies Asari: We subdued Yorubas & conquered the Ijaws; We will do it again”, http://africanheraldexpress.com/blog7/2012/08/14/north-replies-asari-we-subdued-yorubas-we-will-do-it-again/#comment-311818 (Accessed October 2012)
Under President Buhari, this subduing of the Yorubas triggered the on-going APC crisis. It began by trying to force Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the leader of the ACN (the Yoruba component of the APC), out of the NEC of the APC.
[Plot to bar Tinubu from APC NEC meeting thickens http://sunnewsonline.com/new/plot-to-bar-tinubu-from-apc-nec-meeting-thickens/]
In the light of the Caliphate project of subduing the Yorubas, is it a coincidence that the Fulani herders have increased their menace in Yorubaland by attacking high status Yorubas—including Chief Falae and Oba Adebisi Obademi, the traditional ruler of Apaa-Bunu community in Kabba-Bunu Local Government Area of Kogi State?
--[Yoruba Oba kidnapped by Fulani Herdsmen in another daring move
Published: Thursday, 01 October 2015 13:34
Could these kidnappings be part of the Caliphate effort to subdue the Yorubas? Is this upsurge a coincidence or are the kidnappers being explicitly encouraged? Or have they been emboldened simply by the fact that their champion is back in charge of Nigeria? Whichever the case, their crimes and impunity are unacceptable to peace-loving Nigerians.
Some may wonder why I call President Buhari the champion of these criminal herders. Let me explain. Back in 2000, two retired Fulani generals, Buhari and Marwa, acting on behalf of the Fulani herders, led a delegation of the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, that attempted to intimidate Alhaji Lam Adesina, the civilian governor of Oyo State. Here is a detailed eyewitness account by Agbaakin Kehinde Olaosebikan, the Chief Press secretary to Gov. Adesina:
“It was on 13 October 2000, when words went round that General Muhammadu Buhari was leading the Arewa team to the governor’s office to confront the state over alleged killings of Fulani cattle rearers in Saki, Oke Ogun Area of the state. Buhari did actually telephone the governor that he was leading a team to his office.
In less than 30 minutes after the general informed the governor of his visit, we noticed that the entire secretariat was already filled with lorry loads of our brothers from the North. This created some tension but we kept our calm. At about 2 p.m., Buhari arrived in a long convoy at the governor’s office in company of the former governor of Lagos State, General Buba Marwa, Alhaji Aliko Muhammed, Alhaji Abdulrazak and Alhaji Hassan. They all wore long faces. In fact, the anger in them was palpable as all pleasantries extended to them were ignored. “This is trouble” was the expression on the faces of all of us in the governor’s office.
Shortly afterwards, the state Director of State Security Service (SSS) and Commissioner of Police arrived. But their presence did not change anything particular on the fears that had already gripped majority of us. The two security chiefs did not come with any operatives, they came almost alone.
The meeting was called to order after Lam walked into the Executive Chambers. Introductions over, Buhari spoke on their mission to the governor’s office. Emitting fire, the general accused Lam and the government of Oyo State of complicity in the killing of over 68 Fulani people in Oke Ogun area and perversion of justice.
His words: “Your Excellency, our visit here is to discuss with you and your government our displeasure about the incident of clashes between two peoples… the Fulani cattle rearers and merchants are today being harassed, attacked and killed like in Saki. In the month of May, 2000, 68 bodies of Fulani cattle rearers were recovered and buried under the supervision and protection from a team of Mobile Police from Oyo State Command.
` “That some arrests were made by Oyo State Police Command in the massacre with their immediate release without court trial. This was said to have been ordered by Oyo State authorities and they were so released to their amazement. The release of the arrested suspects gave the clear impression that the authorities are backing and protecting them to continue the unjust and illegal killings of Fulani cattle rearers…”
According to the general, they therefore wanted immediate stoppage of the killings, justice and compensation to the Fulanis.
As weighty and indicting as Buhari’s allegations were, Lam remained unperturbed. He fired back with his own well coordinated arsenals.
Lam identified all the points raised by Buhari and simply asked the heads of the organizations directly involved to respond to the allegations.
First to speak was the Commissioner of Police who debunked all the claims. Instead of the allegation that the natives were killing Fulanis, the commissioner said pointedly that the opposite was the case.
“The killing of the natives by the Fulanis was duly reported to the police and, of course, we can’t make arrest because, as soon as they kill, they migrate to other areas. Who are you going to arrest? That is the problem”. On the killing of Fulanis, which he said was as result of “piled up anger”, the commissioner disclosed that arrests had been made and the suspects were in police custody.
Next was the Director of SSS, who equally debuked the allegations by Buhari. “The natives don’t have problem with the Fulanis who are resident but those who are coming in, they don’t care about anybody. They just go ahead and when they graze the natives farms, whoever cares to challenge them runs into trouble. You said 68 people were killed, and people driven away. I am not saying there were no killings but they cannot be more than five. The petition is on the harsh side, there is nothing like that.”
Not done yet, Lam called in his Deputy, Barrister Iyiola Oladokun; his SSG, Chief Michael Koleoso, both from Oke Ogun, and the chairman of one of the affected local government areas, Mr Ademola Alalade. They stated the true position of things, corroborating the submissions of the security chiefs. At this point, all the tensions and apprehensions evaporated.
Trust Lam any day, he must rub it in. He spoke for about 20 minutes and the generals were at the edge of their seats for the entire period. They were like chicken that had just been thoroughly beaten by the rain.
Lam said: “Before I thank you for this visit, you have come to tell me something. I also want to tell you something and that something is to make an appeal. General Buhari has been a former Head of State, Brigadier Marwa has governed Lagos for some time and with credibility… so you are national leaders of this country. Even though, by accident of birth, you are from the North, you can be born anywhere; may be next time when I am coming to the world, I will be born in the North or the South-South.
“My appeal will be that effort must be made to unite this country and that will be in the best interest of all Nigerians. I am appealing to the Arewa Consultative Forum, under which auspices our distinguished Nigerians are here; in recent times, they have been sending wrong signals to a number of us who believe in the unity and peace of Nigeria; you have been too critical of the efforts of the Federal Government. I am saying this because Nigeria, at this point, cannot afford to break and the words you northern leaders utter are very weighty, at the South here, we normally analyze them critically”.
On all the allegations, he said: “From what they have written in the petition, this government is completely blameless because we don’t interfere either with the judiciary or with the police functions. I always preach peaceful co-existence in Oyo State and Nigeria as a whole. We are all Nigerians and that is what we have been preaching all along and we shall continue to be Nigerians, no matter the present or immediate problems which will be solved by the grace of Allah.
“I want to say also that we really have to appeal to our people, the itinerant Bororo people, that they should observe less aggression. It is not good, it is not right just coming from somewhere then you just pass through farm lands cultivated may be with the person’s life savings and then over night everything is gone. That is not right, even Allah does not approve of that.
We even wonder when they talk about this people carrying dangerous weapons, I say do they really believe in Allah? When you just take life like that and go away! Are we not forbidden not to take human life? So I think General Buhari, General Marwa, you have to be educating them… It is my pleasure to inform you that at the Presidential Lodge, we have made some arrangements for refreshments so that before you go we can refresh together”.
Buhari and his team did not wait for any refreshments. They came in angry and left bewildered.
--Day Lam Adesina clashed with Buhari, Marwa, others (over Fulani herders)
http://www.vanguardngr.com/2012/11/day-lam-adesina-clashed-with-buhari-marwa-others/ published on November 18, 2012
If Gen. Buhari, as a private citizen, could attempt to intimidate an elected state governor on behalf of marauding Fulani herdsmen, can we expect him to desist from championing and protecting them now that he is President? Moreover, he probably has a personal conflict of interest in the matter. The cattle which graze other people’s farms belong to the Caliphate bigwigs. I would be surprised if Buhari does not own any cattle being grazed by Fulani herders in some part or other of Nigeria. His assets declaration should be examined to find out whether he does or not. Appropriate NGOs, especially the FOI Coalition, should use the Freedom of Information Act to investigate and report to Nigerians about this. If Buhari is shown to own cattle in such a herd, then he has a personal economic interest in the continued criminal activities of the Fulani herders. That could be one of the reasons he has taken no action on this matter that is a serious threat to security in many states in Nigeria and which, by provoking Afenifere’s secession threat, is also a threat to the territorial integrity of Nigeria. Let’s now return to
Femi Falana’s submission.
Let’s recall that he stated that the 2014 Confab had offered the following solution to the problem:
“In the long term cattle routes and grazing reserves be phased out to lay emphasis on ranching ” and that states which have large livestock populations should “endeavor to maintain grazing reserves.” It was further resolved that “An integrated development and livelihoods modernization program should be designed and implemented to address the issue of settling nomadic herdsmen into settled communities based on established cattle ranches with fodder development technologies, and including abattoirs, processors and other businesses along the livestock value chain.” The recommendations have been ignored by the Federal Government.
But why are the Confab recommendations on this grave problem being ignored by the Federal Government?
Two things should be noted: Firstly, that with MACBAN’s use of the 1999 Constitution to justify the Fulani herders’ crimes; with the Confab having offered a political solution; and with Afenifere’s threat of secession, this security problem has already ballooned beyond a law enforcement matter. Secondly, that the Fulani Militia attacks began since 2010 and have not been ended by police action. And with the Fulani militia in 2014 already fielding battalion-size units of 700 men armed with AK-47s, and sacking and occupying villages, the Fulani militia problem has long ago gone way beyond a police matter. This Fulani menace requires a long-term political and constitutional solution that can restore peace. And the 2014 Confab report contains the seed of such a solution. So Falana’s law enforcement approach is already obsolete. Why then are the Arewa leaders pressing President Buhari to ignore the Confab report? [Northern leaders move to block implementation of confab report http://sunnewsonline.com/new/northern-leaders-move-to-block-implementation-of-confab-report/]Are they, perhaps, opposed to a peaceful solution? Is it perhaps part of their Caliphate hidden agenda to use the Fulani militia to seize and keep as much as possible of the lands of the indigenes of Benue, Plateau, Southern Kaduna and other states before these ethnic cleansing operations are interrupted? In that case, going by the robber-friendly legal principle that “possession is nine-tenths of the law”, the Fulani will hang on to the territory they would have already seized from the indigenes of Benue, Plateau, Southern Kaduna etc. Could that be a factor in Buhari’s silence and inaction on this most dangerous problem?
If Buhari is really interested in solving this security problem, why hasn’t he publicly committed himself to implementing the Confab report? He should come clean on why he and his Caliphate constituency are not interested in adopting and implementing the Confab report even though, among its sensible solutions to Nigeria’s myriad problems, it includes a peaceful and modern solution to the problem of the Fulani herders—a solution that follows the practice in advanced countries? Why are they so addicted to the fraudulent 1999 Constitution that nurtures most of Nigeria’s problems? Buhari’s answer will show Nigerians whether he is really interested in solving a security problem that is even more widespread in its territorial scope and more serious in its potential for mass mayhem than even Boko Haram.
To sum up, Falana’s law enforcement approach is obsolete, retrograde and futile. Restraining even a single 700-man militia contingent is beyond the capacity of the police and the courts. A similar problem in Darfur, Sudan, has been in the hands of the UN for many years now. So, regardless of whatever Buhari decides to do about this matter, Nigerians should recognize that, given its international dimensions, (including arms sourced from Turkey and Libya, and Fulani mercenaries imported from outside Nigeria) this twin problem of Fulani nomads and Fulani militia is long overdue for the UN and the ICC. Afenifere as well as the now victimized “willing tools” that consists of the Northern minorities (Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, SOKAPU; Waku, Tsav, Suswam, etc.) should please take note of this peaceful UN path out of their plight.