Herdsmen Brutality; A Threat To Life And Socio Economic Development In Nigeria (A Case Study Of Buruku And Ayangba Local Government Area, Kogi State)
This study examines the rising trend of Fulani herdsmen criminality and its implications on national security in Nigeria. The raising profile of Fulani herdsmen attack and their criminal atrocities across the country since the beginning of the Buhari government in Nigeria cannot be over emphasized. Across the length and breadth of Nigeria, their criminal attacks have rendered villages empty, properties destroyed while farms have been abandoned. This is worsened by government inability to caution them or take any effective measure to contain the situation. Government incapacitation to halt their criminal atrocities is viewed as a way of glamorizing their activities which seemingly have provided the fulcrum for their increased impunity and wanton destruction of lives and property. There is no gainsaying that their activities have grave and severe consequences on national security especially food security and national unity.
1.1 Background of Study
Crime rate and other forms of crises have increased overtime in Nigeria. a lot of effort has been put together to resolve the issue of crise and other forms of conflict in Nigeria.
According to Hellstrom, 2001; Niemella et al, 2005) stated that the incessant resource conflicts witnessed in the tropics have resulted in loss of lives, properties and environmental degradation as a also witnessed in some developed countries such as Balhans.
This incidence is now a household name among the West African countries including Nigeria.
(Thebaud and Batterburry, 2001) in their research stated that the Fulani Herds men have borne a large proportion of the blame for most conflict and environmental degradation in policy statements in the Guinea Savannah region of West African states.
The Fulani herdsmen brutality that was experienced lately in Benue state was a result of fighting space for grazing land. It is evident from the instructions from the president of Nigeria that each stated must provide a grazing space for the Fulani herdsmen; which resulted to conflict in most of the rural areas in Nigeria as a result of high level of illiteracy and greed.
According to Berger (2003) stated that there is a need for grazing movements to access pasture resources across regions in order to ensure food security for the herds. Hence, pastures, woody vegetation, water resources and land are taken as a common property resource.
Most of the local government area in Benue and Kogi State has had a terrible experience lately as a result of crises over grazing space. It was reported that the complex land-use system that has changed markedly over time, has culminated in the present day tension and conflicts between herds man and host communities.
Jibo et al. (2001) reported that the Benue Valley region in Nigeria had witnessed violent conflicts enough to attract both State and National attention. Crops, livestock’s, water resources and other vegetal resources played key roles in the development, maintenance and projection of socio-economic strength of a society (Schama, 1996). The Fulani herdsmen livelihood strategies had resulted in conflicts over the destruction of crops. The environmental degradation is perceived to be contributing enormously to the deterioration in ecosystem services to the environment of various communities. It is to this regard that study wishes to use Buruku local and Anyangba government area of Benue and Kogi State respectively as the case study.
1.2 Statement of Research Problem
What really instigated the study was as result of threat pose by the activities of the Fulani herdsmen on lives and socioeconomic development in Nigeria. It is evident that the constant change in complex land-use system has culminated in the present day tension and conflicts between herds man and host communities.
Secondly the level of illiteracy in most of the communities has significant effect on the effectiveness of communication among the fulani herdsmen and the members of the various communities. The ongoing incidence has resulted to lost of lives, damage of crops, livestock and environmental degradation.
1.3 Aims and Objectives of Study
The main aim of the research work is to examine the effect of herdsmen brutality on the lives and socio economic development in Nigeria.
Other specific objectives of the study include:
- To examine the effect of herdsmen brutality on the people of Buruku and Ayangba local government area.
- To investigate on the major causes on conflict between the people of Benue and the Fulani herdsmen
- To examine the relationship between herdsmen brutality and the socio economic development in Nigeria
- To discuss the roles of community heads in the resolution of conflicts between Fulani herdsmen and the people of Buruku and Ayangba local government area
- To proffer solution to the issue of conflict in Nigeria
1.4 Research Questions
The study came up with research questions so as to ascertain the above stated objectives. The specific research questions for the study are stated below as follows:
- What is the effect of herdsmen brutality on the people of Buruku and Ayangba local government area?
- What are the major causes on conflict between the people of Benue and the Fulani herdsmen?
- Is there any relationship between herdsmen brutality and the socio economic development in Nigeria?
- What are the roles of community heads in the resolution of conflicts between Fulani herdsmen and the people of Buruku and Ayangba local government area?
1.5 Statement of Research Hypothesis
- H0: there is no significant relationship between herdsmen brutality and the socio economic development in Nigeria
- H1: there is significant relationship between herdsmen brutality and the socio economic development in Nigeria
- H0: herdsmen brutality has no significant effect on the people of Buruku and Ayangba local government area
- H1: herdsmen brutality has significant effect on the people of Buruku and Ayangba local government area
1.6 Significance of Study
The study heardsmen brutality and socio economic development in Nigeria will be of immense benefit to the people of Benue (Buruku local government area) and Kogi state (Ayangba local government area), the study will also be of great benefit the local government, the state government, students and other researchers as it will discuss the causes of conflicts in Nigeria and ways to resolve the ongoing issues in Nigeria.
1.7 Scope of Study
The study herdsmen brutality, a threat to life and socio economic development in Nigeria is limited to Buruku and Ayangba local government of Benue and Kogi states respectively.
1.8 Limitations of Study
Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.9 Definition of Terms
Savage physical violence; great cruelty
Socio Economic Development:
Is the process of social and economic development in a society
The owner or keeper of a herd or of herds; one employed in tending a herd of cattle
1.9 Organization of the Study
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
- Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
- Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study its based, thus the review of related literature.
- Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
- Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
- Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain the impact of headsmen brutality a threat to life and socio economic development in Nigeria.
In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the impact of headsmen brutality and it impact to life and socio economic development.
The Like in Ekiti and Taraba states, the leadership of Fulani herdsmen have continued with their threat to lives of the people of Benue once again.
They do not only threatened to invade the state but to unleash all forms of attack on the people and kill them even more for daring to come up with a law to “chase them away from the state”. But as expected that attempts to end the incessant and excessive killings across the country by the killer herdsmen would be met with stiff resistance either by the Fulani herdsmen themselves as it is the case at the moment. Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state undoubtedly, was aware of those hurdles. He has consistently briefed President Buhari himself who is a Fulani man and sure have herdsmen of cattle. He was at separate occasions reported to have held closed door security briefing with the President over the continuous killings in the state by the Fulani herdsmen since his assumption of office as the Governor on May 29, 2015.In what was termed as a pogrom, the massacre In Agatu, Buruku, Guma, Tarkaa, Logo and Katsina Ala threw both the people of the state and the Governor off balance. The massacres in a coordinated manner even though attracted concerns from the international communities like the ECOWAS, AU, UN, the United States as well as many international and local humanitarian organisations including the Red Cross, etc did not merit the visit by the President of Nigeria to those affected areas neither a strong worded statement of warning to the killer herdsmen and to assure the people of their safety and protection from further attacks. Any statement by the Presidency was not more than the usual promises to fish out the perpetrators who are still free doing their worst.
Government must assiduously work for the protection of all citizens. They must not be seen to be supporting one ethnic group against another. They must maintain neutrality and fair treatment to all citizens. The increased criminality and the impunity of Fulani herdsmen have been exacerbated by government inaction. The principles of democracy must not be jettisoned or interpreted to favor parochial interest. Justice must be done and must actually be seen to have been done to all persons concerned without iota of doubt or pretense. Justice is what makes a government strong. Justice is what provides legal impetus for good governance. Justice gives integrity to government policies and actions. This present government lacks the administration of justice in all its actions and so injustice is permitted to thrive because it serves the interest of a cabal in the country. The criminal credulity of the Fulani herdsmen has persisted so long as the criminal justice system has felt incapacitated to combat the menace
There is need for the identification of Fulani herdsmen and this must be done through the registration of genuine herdsmen especially in areas which is not known for cattle rearing. The identification numbers must be engraved on a uniform to be worn by all herdsmen especially when they are out of the bush. The registration will enable citizens and host communities to identify when a stranger infiltrate the ranks of the herdsmen. Government must declare these attacks as national emergency which need full scale response of government action. The leaders of herdsmen association in any locality must be held responsible and accountable for any breach of peace in the area of their domicile. There should also be severe sanctions and compensation for victims of attacks and criminality resulting from breach of code of conduct. The compensation of victims will act as restorative palliative and assist in rehabilitating the victims. Building of ranches as done in other countries of the world should be carried out by owners of cattle through the assistance of government. Cattle owners are required to go for training on how to keep and breed their cattle in ranches as this will not only increase their yield but also reduce tensions and destructions of another man’s source of livelihood or life.
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