Fulani Herdsmen, bigger threat to Nigeria internal security than Boko Haram & Niger Delta Militant
Boko Haram emerged about seven years ago as most significant threat to Nigeria’s internal security. The terror group that has been wreaking havoc in North Eastern part of Nigeria has been superseded by Fulani Herdsmen.
For about two years now, Nigeria has experienced an increase in vicious activities of Fulani herdsmen. Northern Nigeria has from time in memorial been the base of nomadic cattle farmer but the effects of change in climate like high decrease in rainfall and serious desertification has made cattle rearing hard for itinerant animal keepers.
Looking for way out, herdsmen are migrating to the southern Nigeria looking for greener land for their cattle. The search for rich grazing land by the nomads is causing deadly conflict in middle belt and south east between herdsmen and crop farmers.
According to a research by SBM Intelligence, an intelligence consulting firm based in Lagos, Nigeria, Fulani Herdsmen accounted for more deaths than Boko Haram and Niger Delta militants last year. SBM Intelligence statistics covers events and fatality counts for Nigeria’s biggest security challenges in 2016: pastoral conflicts involving Fulani herdsmen; the Boko Haram insurgency and cattle rustling; and renewed Niger Delta militancy.Though Boko Haram remains the most formidable insurgence in term of number of assaults, its average number of casualties per attack has reduced significantly.
There has been an increase in attack of oil installations by renewed militancy in Nigerian Niger Delta oil-rich south leading to reduced oil production and exports.
According to figures SBM Intelligence report, when juxtaposed with the Fulani herdsmen attacks and the consequential casualties, both Boko Haram and Niger Delta militants insurgences pale in comparison.
Most Nigerians are not satisfied with the response of President Muhammadu Buhari about the spate of attacks by the Fulani herdsmen. A very good instance is the silence of Mr. President for over a week about the South Kaduna killing which left hundreds of innocent Nigerians dead. Also Nigerians are worried about the way the herdsmen are going about with sophisticated weapons with impunity and without any challenge from the government.
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