The Oasis Reporters
September 13, 2021
If you want to understand why Fulani herdsmen and all their umbrella bodies like FUNAM, Miyetti Allah Kyautal Hore, etc, are adamantly resistant to change in keeping with global best practices of cattle rearing, look no further beyond the greed and primitive love for profits and more profits. It doesn’t matter if sedentary farmers are hacked to death and society is destabilized.
According to Hon. Dr Samuel Omotoso, Chairman, House Committee on Information at Ekiti State House of Assembly, EKHA, “herding as practiced in Nigeria today does not encourage inputs of recurrent expenditure in cow business.
The profit margin on each cow approaches 100% due to zero cost of feeding which is obtained most times from illegal grazing on lands and crops belonging to others. This encourages nomadism and resistance to change by the herdsmen”.
He expressed his remarks at The National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS, Kuru. Jos titled:
PROGNOSIS OF FACTORS SUSTAINING THE SEDENTARY FARMERS AND NOMADIC HERDERS’ CONFLICT, TOWARDS A STRATEGIC RESPONSE
He delved into sub topics on:
Conflict as a Wrong Diagnosis
Doctrine of Tort: Trespass and Aggression
Sustaining Factor/Problem Statement
Aggravating Factor: The Fuel/Grazing Cycle
Contributory Factor: The Profit/Greed Factor
• Positive Prognosis
• Negative Prognosis
Dr. Omotosho started by explaining the raison d’être behind the brainstorming initiative, ” NIPSS
serves as a high level centre for Reflection, Research and Dialogue.
The National institute has once again demonstrated leadership by choosing the prevailing threat to national security between the farmers and the herdsmen for the first brainstorming session in 2018.
The issue of the herdsmen has been sporadic, widespread and recurrent in Nigeria. It has also become intractable, from Abia to Adamawa, Benue to Enugu, Niger to Plateau, Taraba to Ondo and Ekiti to Zamfara.
It has been tales of woes, weeping and gnashing of teeth.
A pastoral Fulani family is the traditional herding unit. This unit divides task by gender, allowing the men to manage the herds by finding grazing sites, they build tents and camps and provide security through knives, bows and guns. The women are laid back to milking of cows, weaving and marketing of mats and sourcing for food.
Cattle is the dominant composition of the Fulani herd in Nigeria and are largely females of about 60-70% and males of about 30-40%. The Males are largely reduced through selling for consumption purposes.
These livestock provide a bulk of the beef consumption in Nigeria and hence a veritable source of animal protein for the nourishment of the population.
These are settled farmers who practice agriculture in one place in which fields are not rotated. They farm the same place continuously in contrast to shifting cultivation.
Sedentary farming started in Angermanland, northern Sweden, during the Iron Age and medieval period based on pollen analytical investigations (Jan-Erik Wallin, Umea University, Sweden) and it is still commonly practiced in Nigeria and several parts of Africa.
One thing common among the sedentary farmers is poverty. It is the rate limiting factor to ownership of several plots of land for shifting cultivation and thus increases their hunger, anger, desperation and vulnerability to been killed by the herdsmen.
These are livestock farmers that move frequently from place to place without a fixed pattern and are principally of the Fulani extraction in Nigeria.
There are two types of nomadic farmers
1. Pure nomadic- which engages in random movement of cattle.
2. Semi Nomadic – which engages in planned transhumance movements between one grazing ground to the other in a seasonal cycle, from highlands to lowlands and vice- versa to their camps or homes?
Occur because of the following factors; search for abundant grass and water, to avoid tax, harmful insects and hostile weather, for social relocation, to increase sales and to maximal profit etc.
Watch out for Part 2.