Who hires Ak47-bearing boys behind herdsmen– Exclusive?
At the last count, no fewer than 2,000 lives and millions of properties have been wasted in the past two years, no thanks to clashes between communities and some people believed to be cattle rearers, and of Fulani stock.
The year 2016 was the epic of the crisis, as no news ever became worth writing and reading, if not on how herdsmen invaded of community or the other, in search of pasture for their animals.
It was as if Nigeria started in 2016 and must also disintegrate the same year.
But government functionaries failed to do the needful to stem the tide, many observers have stated.
What started as a minor communal clash with a pocket of herdsmen in Gboko, Benue State in early 2016, later grew wings when the Miyetti Allah, spokesman, Mohammed Hassan, said the umbrella body housing the herdsmen had investigated the number of communal crises involving its members and other communities and discovered that the herdsmen were never the aggressors.
Hassan also came up with a claim that the herdsmen were being blackmailed, kidnapped and subjected to all sorts of inhuman treatments by communities, aimed at forcing them accept responsibilities for crime that they never committed.
To make matter worse, the association threatened that it would not fold its hands and watch its members, who have been going about their business in a legitimate manner being meant tom lose their means of livelihood, include threats to lives.
But to the victims of the bloody clashes, nothing can be true that the allegation that the Fulani were catching in on one of them being the President of the country to be criminally bold in their act.
Among them recent victims were: Nimbo, in Enugu, Ozuitem in Abia, Etam in Cross River State, among others.
The debate over whether the over 500 lives lost in Southern Kaduna, in November, through December 2016, was part of the herdsmen crisis is till going.
It is in a bid to finding solution to the spates of killings that each state in Nigeria are being to have some lands dedicated for pasturing animals cattle.
Some people have intensified efforts at seeing to early passage of a special law that would create land for the use of the cattle rearers in their sojourn from the north to southern part of the country.
In fact a bill to that effect was said to have been lying with the National Assembly, which when passed will make it mandatory for the right of way to be given the herdsmen.
Some states, including Abia , Ebony and Imo have already given their node of working with the law.
But Ekiti State is leading the pack of other state, already having their reservations over such laws and are currently domesticating counter laws via their legislators.
As a matter of fact, the recent clashes between the Housa Community and the Ile-Ife, in Osun State took its destructive dimension because of the already existing tension in the land, not far-fetched from the unresolved face-off between the herdsmen and their host communities.
Imageries of hordes of stretched line of cattle ,on a lonely bush path, being trailed behind by arm wielding youngsters , has dominate both the social media the conventional media for sometimes in the past months.
The question that remained answered is, can haggard-looking Fulani man, who in every sense does not appear to have hope of surviving the next day , actually afford the prices of AK47 riffle, with its Canadian market price of $2,000( or N6.5 million each).
If he can, afford such, does he have the wherewithal to pay the young escorts, at times four that give him coverage for such a long stretched journey?
The simple answer is no. Meaning that Nigerians have not been told the real truth about the emergence of a new style in cattle rearing business, which has literally been taken over by unknown practice.
There was a culture that was seeing the herdsmen live among their host communities in the recent past . What has gone wrong is the worry of many observers, including international watchers.
Instances , according to investigations show that , there is hardly any part of the country that was not known for harbouring these herdsmen with love, such that even when any of their cattle’s is sick, they would give it away to the willing villagers to kill and eat before it eventually die in their hands.
A security exerts, Chief Robert Anyim, Ariko Security Guard said the real herdsmen could not have been the ones behind the cattle with such sophistic gun. The herdsman could have taken such delight in killing and destroying peoples ‘properties.
“I have a strong feeling that these are hired men outside Nigerian borders, those who hate the country and who will be glad seeing it disintegrate.
“The Fulani I knew as a young man in my native land in Ngwo, in Enugu State, can hardly kill an ant, let alone sacking villages the way these new ones are doing, meaning that some people are selling a dummy to the people. “
The theory of the infiltration of the insurgent elements in the north eastern part of Nigeria into the herdsmanship business should be subjected to scientific inquiry as against mere dismissal by the authorities .