Recently, many have written to condemn the killings perpetrated by the Fulani herdsmen in the past few months. Authorities have spoken against this insane behaviour as well, however, they seem to have left out possible ways of curbing the attacks. While the attacks in Nigeria’s south east are inexcusable, perhaps these tweets by El-Nathan John will help us understand these nomads better.

No sane person would go around killing people without a reason, therefore it may be unfair to categorise all herdsmen or the entire Fulani tribe as killers. Recently, the Vanguard interviewed Baba Othman Ngelzarma, who is the National Secretary of the Fulani herdsmen. While Ngelzarma was quick to condemn the unfortunate incidence in Enugu State, like El-Nathan he acknowledged the need for grazing reserves. “These clashes came as a result of the absence of developed grazing reserves and the protection of those reserves. These are areas that have suffered a lot of neglect because the pastoralists’ livelihood has been frequently undermined by unfriendly policies and laws.”

The Secretary went further to explain the nature of an average Fulani man and their aversion to danger – “If you look at the Fulani man, the cattle business is his livelihood, so you then wonder why he would be pushed to the southern part of the country in search of grass and water because, if grass and water were provided in the reserves in the north, I do not think the herdsman would have the desire to go anywhere and expose himself to danger because he always moves with his family. He provides security for his family and security for his business, so how do you expect, no matter how illiterate he is, to go and ignite trouble for himself to get killed?”

El-Nathan has some suggestions which should be strongly considered in order to solve this crisis and possibly alleviate Nigeria’s economic woes.

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