The war against Boko Haram menace can be said to be technical successful based on the premise that military formations and structures are not longer the main target, Shekau no longer offend the sensibilities of Nigerians by laughing sarcastically of how weak our military is, successful raid and moping operations of our military forces in collaboration with neighbouring countries, documentary evidences of BH members in disarray and most importantly, their shift of focus to soft targets and vulnerable using suicide bombing instrument of children and recently birds. Another wave of terror is being perpetuated by Fulani Herdsmen that requires urgent steps to curtail them before Nigeria has more problems to contend with.
The Fulani herdsmen known as cattle grazers are predominately found in Northern Nigeria and by virtue of search of food for their cows, they move from one state to another state grazing. This grazing activity has most times led to confrontations with farm owners as well as members of the any community they found themselves. Recently, the Fulani herdsmen are in the news for the wrong reasons despite being named one of the deadliest terror groups in the world amongst Boko Haram, ISIS, Taliban and Al-Shabaab.
This tension has seen dramatic escalation in recent times to include attacks, kidnappings and killings by the nomads. Between 2010 and 2013, Fulani militants killed about 80 people in total but by 2014, they had killed 1,229 people. I will be limiting myself to four (Prominent) Nigerians that have felt the terror unleashed by the Fulani herdsmen.
Okezie Okoroafor: He was the Divisional Police Officer in Girei Local Government in Adamawa until he was killed with 30 other peoples in Adamawa state by Fulani herdsmen. Okoroafor case was so gruesome because he was trying to mediate in a crisis between the community and the Fulani herdsmen until it turned ugly, his fellow police officers fled with the patrol van leaving their boss at the mercy of his killers and because he was dressed in mufti; he was mistaken for a Bwatiye person and was murdered in the line of duty.
His Royal Majesty, Akaeze Ofulue III: He was the royal monarch of Ubulu-Uku kingdom in Aniocha, Delta state. Words are not enough to express the kidnap and gruesome murder of the monarch in the hands of Fulani herdsmen which caused agony for the people of Ubulu-Uku Kingdom. In Ubulu-Uku and other kingdoms, it is a taboo to kidnap a king not to talk of killing him. Vigilante group members found his decomposing remains at the stomp of a tree in the bush at Umunede, Ika North East local government area, the boundary between Delta and Edo States. Such act must be condemned as despicable, abominable, horrible, detestable, repugnant and erosion of culture of the Igbo people.
Olu Falae: There is a cultural saying among the Yorubas that lightening does not strike the same place twice but the Falaes’ have experienced Fulani herdsmen attack twice. The family was first attacked in October 2015 in which Olu falae was kidnapped and released when N5 million ransom was paid and his residence was attacked again this year again with one of security guard killed.
Wole Soyinka: The distinguished Nobel Laureate’s residence was also invaded by this menacing Fulani herdsmen while he was abroad. He disclosed that his home was invaded with their cows making a “motorable” path. His saving grace was that he was not around when they came; who knows what might have transpired.
The writer as well has a sordid encounter with these ravenous killers during my youth service year at Jere Junction between Abuja-Kaduna road in 2013 with a close shave to death (matcheted on the face). I join the voice of millions in clamouring for an immediately end to menace perpetuated by Fulani herdsmen and that government and security forces should live up to its constitutional responsibilities of protecting lives and properties.
Written by Dosunmu Moshood
Twitter handle: @msdoes