ICC Note: A Nigerian senator has acknowledged the violence of Fulani herdsmen against indigenous rural Christians in Nigeria, calling for a solution that he believes can lead to peace. Senator Ben Murray Bruce, the senator representing Bayelsa East in Nigeria’s National Assembly, proposed the use of more contemporary cattle ranching techniques that would prevent the nomadic herders from moving their boundaries and coming into conflict with indigenous farmers. Although the mass violence has been historically attributed to land disputes and charges of cattle rustling against agrarian Christians, more recent calculated attacks appear to be religiously inspired forms of ethnic cleansing.
By Ben Murray Bruce
8/03/15, Nigeria (This Day Live) – It will shock Nigerians to know that more people have died as a result of Fulani/indigene clashes in the last half a decade than have died from terrorist activity occasioned by the Boko Haram terrorist sect. As horrific as individual Boko Haram activities are, they pale in comparison to the barbarous slaughter of over 500 men, women, and children in a single night of terror at Dogo na Hauwa village of Plateau State of 2010.
Terrorist activities occasioned by the Boko Haram terrorist group have been largely localised in Nigeria’s North-east save for some sporadic attacks in other parts of the North and the Federal Capital Territory.
However, Fulani/indigene clashes have occurred in every state of Nigeria bar none! Needless lives have been lost all over Nigeria in these clashes and this will continue in perpetuity if as a nation we do not take steps to change the conditions that give rise to these clashes.
Just as with the Romany Gypsies of Europe, it is very easy to blame this itinerant group of cattle herders, buying such an exercise would in my opinion be an exercise in futility. I share the same view as movie producer, J. Michael Straczynski, who famously said: “People spend too much time finding other people to blame, too much energy finding excuses for not being what they are capable of being, and not enough energy putting themselves on the line, growing out of the past, and getting on with their lives.” Nigeria must grow out of her past and that cannot happen until Nigerians stop pointing in blame and starting pointing to solutions.