Activities Of Fulani Herdsmen And Its Implication On Community Development In Nigeria
The main focus of this study is to examine the activities of fulani herdsmen and its implication on community development using Etsako Local Government Area in Edo State as case study. Survey research design was employed, Using convenience sampling method the research conveniently selected 256 participants who are residents of Etsako LGA. Well structured Questionnaire in Likert scale was issued and out of 256 copies 225 copies were returned and validated for the study. Data was analyzed using frequency and tables. Findings from the study revealed that fulani herdsmen actitvities in communities has hindered community development and masterminded the increase in rural-urban migration, disruption of social and economic activities. Other impact includes pause in social economic activities, most construction companies has left their site,leaving some community development project abandoned and on the advert, foreign direct investment,trade and infrastructure have been impacted. Rural communities have loss of man power caused by killings of indigenes, more so school children are no longer attending to educational activities, no more economic activities and hence impoverishing the rural dwellers and impeding community development. The study therefore recommends that Government should come up with credible and implementable policies to curb the incessant attacks on rural dwellers and improve their livelihood.
1.1 Background of Study
With a population of 20 to 30 million, the Fulani are the largest ethnic group in the Sahel. The Fulani have traditionally been semi-nomadic cattle herders, and communities would travel long distances along grazing routes to find food for their herds. The Fulani are an ethnic group, thought to be the largest in the Sahel with an In Nigeria, the Fulani are mostly concentrated in the north. However, a combination of political insecurity and drought is driving them further south, where they are clashing with local farming communities. Tensions between farmers and herdsmen have risen dramatically in recent years. According to Dr Roudabeh Kishi,(2018) director of the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), which monitors and maps conflict, the conflict ‘has increasingly ethnic (Fulani vs other Nigerian ethnicities), religious (Muslim herders vs Christian south), and cultural (nomadic vs sedentary) dimensions. According to ACLED data, Fulani ethnic militias were responsible for 217 civilian deaths between January and April of this year, with March being particularly violent. In comparison, Boko Haram, one of the continent’s most dangerous terrorist groups, killed 78 civilians during the same time period. ‘Fulani attacks on farmers are primarily practical rather than ideological; competition for suitable grazing land over the autumn and winter months. Though this has historically been seen as a reoccurring seasonal problem for many of the area’s farming communities, last month’s uncharacteristic level of violence has demanded attention of the national government and military,’ says Kishi.(2018)
During the colonial period, the concept of community development emerged. It consists of three major components: community participation, organization, and work. Community development is a process in which members of a community work together to solve existing problems. This type of collective action frequently results in the economic, social, environmental, and cultural well-being of the community. Community development actions can be initiated by a small group or by the entire community.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Fulani herdsmen and farmers’ violent clashes have wreaked havoc on many Nigerian communities. Many people have died, many have been displaced, and property in the form of crops, animals, houses, vehicles, and so on has been destroyed. The deadly clashes between herdsmen and crop farmers have become one of Nigeria’s most serious security issues, ranking second only to the Boko Haram insurgency (Okoro, 2018). The two groups’ violent conflict has manifested itself in the form of bloody clashes (attacks and counter attacks).
1.3 Objective of the Study
- To learn if Fulani herdsmen activities prevent companies from settling in communities
- To learn as to if Fulani herdsmen activities reduce the population of the communities
- To know if residents evade from the communities during the Fulani herdsmen attacks
1.4 Research Questions
- Does the activities of Fulani herdsmen cause growth of communities?
- What are the effect of Fulani herdsmen in communities?
- Do the activities of Fulani herdsmen have an impact on the increase in infrastructure?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The significance of this research work is to emphasis on the effect of the impact of Fulani herders on community development, and this research would prove beneficial for other academics, intellectuals, and students that might want to organize similar research.
1.6 Scope of Study
This study concentrate on the influence of Fulani herdsmen attack on community service, the was carried out in Esako, Edo state.
1.7 Definition of Terms
They own or keep domesticated animal herd
Fulani herders or Fulani pastoralists are nomadic or semi-nomadic Fulani people whose primary occupation is livestock raising.
A community is a social unit (a group of living things) that shares characteristics such as norms, religion, values, customs, or identity. Communities can share a sense of place in a geographic space (e.g., a country, village, town, or suburb) or in virtual space via communication platforms.
Growth, improvement, progressive change, or the addition of physical, economic, environmental, social, and demographic components are all examples of development. The aim of development is to raise the population’s standard of living and quality of life, as well as to create or expand local regional income and job opportunities, all while protecting the environment’s resources.
Community development aims to provide individuals and groups of people with the knowledge and skills needed to affect change in their societies. These abilities are often developed through the development of social groups dedicated to a common goal
The effect that an action or decision will have on something else in the future
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
The main focus of this study is to examine the activities of fulani herdsmen and its implication on community development using Etsako Local Government Area in Edo State as case study. Survey research design was employed, Using convenience sampling method the research conveniently selected 256 participants who are residents of Etsako LGA. Well structured Questionnaire in Likert scale was issued and out of 256 copies 225 copies were returned and validated for the study. Data was analyzed using frequency and tables.
Fulani herdsmen and farmers violent conflicts have created humanitarian toll across many communities in Nigeria and impede community development. Many have died, many displaced and properties in form of crops, animals, houses, vehicles etc. destroyed. Farmers, though, have occasionally been involved in carrying attacks or reprisal attacks against the Fulani herdsmen, have been seen to be mostly at the receiving end of the conflicts. They count more losses than the herdsmen. However, the research concludes that Fulani herdsmen activities has led to disruption in infrastructure development, social, economic, educational and agricultural activities. On the extreme foreign direct investment and trade have been impeded and abandoning of community development by contractors due to fear of loosing their lives, high rate of rural urban migration and insecurity of rural dweller hence decrease in community growth and development. This occurs 2-3 times per month, while at least 2 Nigerians die daily owing to the herdsmen activities.
The causes of the conflict include: revenge or reprisal attacks, disputes over destruction of farmlands and crops, Grazing rights dispute, decades long history of violence competition for land resource, reactions to Anti-Grazing law, Cattle rustling, and violence habit of the herdsmen. The socio-economic effects of the conflict are: Loss of Human lives, displacement of persons, destruction of houses, destruction of farmlands and crops, distrust, unemployment, threat to National security, and threat to food security in Nigeria. Government and security institutions are yet to be responsive in solving the dangerous imbroglio, which in turn precipitated break of law and order, as many Nigerians now take law into their hands defending themselves and protecting their properties against perceived enemies.
The following recommendations are made from the findings of the study:
- Federal government should engage peace and conflict resolution experts in dealing with issues concerning herdsmen-farmer crises. This will enable effective dialogues, negotiations and of course a win-win resolution, while encouraging early warning mechanism.
- Government should adopt community policing model to forestall peace in the rural areas as it will enable the police and the community members detect when the herdsmen gain access into the communities to attack residents. Community policing seeks the effective community engagement in the provision of solution to policing issues and also developing partnership in the maintenance of safety and security in the society.
- Governments at all levels should promulgate legislations outlawing open grazing of cattle while encouraging herders to establish ranches for their cattle.
- State governments should designate some areas as grazing fields for the nomadic herdsmen and make them pay tax to the state, whilst warning that any crime involving a Fulani herdsman would attract severe penalties. All Fulani herdsmen operating in any local government should be registered to enable monitoring of their activities and co-existence.
- Representatives of the host communities and Fulani herdsmen should be conveyed under a public forum and involved in the decision making and permitted to take part actively in the planning procedure of restoring peace to most of the affected communities.
- Participatory planning process that involves all stakeholders (herdsmen and farmers) in the dispute resolution mechanism should be adopted.
- There is need for proper re-orientation of the essence of social interaction irrespective of the religious and ethics background .
- Government should be firm and fair in its resolution and implementation of decisions.
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