Closer than you think: Fulani Herdsmen attack four villages in Taraba and things could get worse

Fulani herdsmen have extended their blood thirsty tendencies to Taraba state, a place known for its peacefulness and dependence on agriculture. They have attacked Angai and Ndole villages in the Gashak local government area of the state, killing no fewer than 44 people, while razing down houses and livestock.

Fulani herdsmen have always been a violent group in Nigeria but in 2016, reports state that the group has been responsible for consistent attacks in selected states around the country. According to the 2015 Global Terrorism Index, over 90 percent of the attacks carried out by the group are on private citizens, accounting for 81 percent of deaths in the area. Also, these attacks have mainly been through armed assaults, killing an average of 11 people per attack.

In the past, fulani herdsmen have been known to spread fear and mayhem wherever they go over land disputes. This rings true for their activities in Jos, against the Berom people as well as the people of Benue state. In the past, however, the fulani herdsmen in Plateau state, declared that the government refused to address and compensate the fulanis for their huge losses during the Jos crisis, causing them to launch reprisal attacks in areas where government presence was highly concentrated.

It could very well mean that for every wrong a tribal or ethnic group has suffered, a group of defiants will rise to fight the powers that be as a way of defending their people. But if the fulani herdsmen wish to go head-to-head against the government for whatever reason, why kill thousands of innocent civilians?

Notoriously referred to as one of the deadliest terror groups in the world, fulani herdsmen are mainly cattle grazers, feared amongst the Nigerian populace and are known for their land grabbing tendencies as well as their violent traits. However, with the recent attack on innocent victims in Taraba, it is clear that this group may easily become even more powerful than Boko Haram. This is because they keep going to several states, wreaking havoc on unsuspecting citizens.

Nigerians need to be aware of these fulani herdsmen and is rather sad that President Muhammadu Buhari has remained silent on the matter. The killings perpetrated by the group in recent past has remained an issue not worth addressing by the president (who is currently in China, facilitating production capacity cooperation between both countries). Yet, President Buhari has been actively involved in shutting down the Biafra movement (which has not given to attacking and killing innocent citizens at any given time). One wonders which of the movements should be more important to this administration.

So, as far as security and safety from these fulani herdsmen is concerned, Nigerians need to look out for themselves and not rely on a government that is not doing anything worthy of note to rein these ‘out-of-control’ cattle grazers turned murderers.

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