I am beginning to think about the spate of herdsmen attack, raping, maiming, robbery and killings and i wonder what has become of us these days.
I grew up in a small community in Osun State and since i was born, we have been living with some Fulanis and Hausa people. These people have settled down in that small town for long and they are living peacefully with the host community up till the moment.
My uncle have about 100 cattle as am writing and he doesn’t have a ranch or take care of them himself or by any of the family member. These cattle are been managed by the Fulanis living in the community together with their own cattle.
I could remember in few occasions, we have had situation where cattle entered some farmlands and destroyed some crops, in fact before the owner of the farm raised an alarm, the Fulanis are already in the houses of the farm owners to report the incident and head of the community will come in and the matter will be settled amicably ans in some cases restitution are paid.
Few years ago, one of the old Fulani around, called me to come and buy some cows and add to there own for them to be taken care for me and at the end we will be sharing profit as agrees and in a shortest time but i was not interested but few of my siblings and relations already keyed in to the program and today their return on investments are reasonable. I can tell you that two years ago I changed my mind and invested in it by buying 10 calves to be part of the business.
These Fulanis never carry guns and not roaming around with sophisticated weapons like we see these days,
We should ask ourselves who are these people and what is behind the killings?
We can say the climatic condition and depletion of the green forest is an issue but not the main issue because those Fulanis in my village are still there and doing the same business.
In my own opinion I believe that there are politicians who are using this to cause problems and are hiding behind it. It is very expensive purchasing one AK47 and majority of the herdsman are not the owner of the cattle and does not have the financial capability to obtain these weapons.
Suggested solutions: I suggest that we should encourage more peaceful coexistence, tolerance and love. Also I enjoined the APC government headed by able President Mohammadu Buhari to allow all cattle owner to be registered and the areas you are gracing should be known. In fact all cows should have chip and should be monitored. In that case at any point in time, we will know the cattle owners, where cattle are and we can be able track so that when there is an issue, we will know who to be held responsible.
Finally ranching is the way out of the problem and if we are serious, we should encourage it and tap into the market by doing this we can be one of the highest exported of beef, milk and the rest. This cannot be achieve overnight but if the above steps are taken, in no time we will get to where we are going and we will live in a country free of herdsman killings everyday.
Let us learn from South Sudan with population of about 10 million and have cattle more than 30 million and Brazil has over 200 million head of cattle and they are living peacefully among themselves.