EMERGING CHALLENGES IN NIGERIA’S NATIONAL SECURITY IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY: THE FULANI HERDSMEN MENACE

I.F. Ezeonwuka, Austine Uchechukwu Igwe

Abstract


‘Frustrated and landlocked nations can go to war because of water.’ Violent conflict is the major hindrance to national development in the 21st century; it leaves in its trail, human suffering through death, destruction of livelihood, detailed economic challenges, constant displacement and insecurity. As human populations are battered, scarce veritable energy and resources are flagrantly diverted into servicing the conflict. Shamed, to be designated by the United Nations in November, 2015, as the world’s third largest terror habitat, Nigeria is a reliable reference point to international terrorism. Nigeria, as a multi-religious/ethnic nation, has managed to remain afloat on a patron-clientele, ethno-politico-religious manipulation, stared by struggle for accessibility to, and control of power, resources and other values which shape the destiny of a people. The atrocities of the Boko-Haram group in Nigeria, which is centered on politico-religious indoctrination may be confirmed a child’s play, if an in-depth reassessment is made of the smoldering volcano of the Fulani intransigencies. This has direct bearing on the delicate issue of land and food security. The deep and complex social cleavages inherent in Nigeria are central in the analysis of identity construction, conflict flows and settlement. Protracted conflicts and attacks, which have turned several urban and rural locations into killing fields, have continued and grown in propensity some two years ago in Nigeria. Investigative history has fingered the Fulani ethnic group in Northern Nigeria as the consensual belligerent. Recent developments have proved that just as no place in the country may be impenetrable to them; quite also, no one may be outside their reach. Graduating from the use of clubs, sticks, machetes and poisoned spears, they have proven their digital perfection in modern warfare, through their application of sophisticated weapons and tactics. Successive incidents have proved that their resolve to their vision and mission is daft, while their logistics remain intact and intelligence-driven. At this stage of Nigeria’s chequered strides, putting into consideration the constancy and multiple effects of these conflicts involving Fulani herdsmen, and other Nigerians, added to the ubiquitous pastoral variegated settlements of the Fulani within the country. Adopting the eclectic research approach, this paper examines the Funani herdsmen menace across Nigeria and argues that a historical reflection may very well provide the needed clue to guide community and governmental policies towards lasting conflict resolution and management.


Keywords


Violence, Grazing Right, Drought, Cattle rustling, Transhumance

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