Isreal Ekanade (PhD), Kayode Adesoye Olayode


A renewed wave of extra-lethal violence supposedly embarked upon by Fulani pastoralists in Nigeria has birthed a new form of terrorism. To find greener pastures for their livestock, these nomads migrate from their communities in Northern Nigeria to other communities down South, encroaching on farmlands owned by local agriculturalists and destroying their crops, brewing tensions and ultimately leading to conflict. The recent spate of attacks by the Fulani pastoralists and reprisal attacks by the affected farming communities has heightened security concerns in Nigeria. The passage and implementation of an anti-open grazing bill by some states of the federation and calls for a cattle colony by the nomads on the one hand and the emergence of non-state actors on the other has further deepened the crisis. The anti-open grazing bill and the proposed cattle colony severely affect Nigeria. This paper investigates the reasons behind the intractable conflict and the failure of the Nigerian Federation through its security agencies to curb these evil trends despite its ‘big brother’ status and successes in regional and international peacekeeping missions. We argue that the ‘prebendal’ and nepotist nature of the Nigerian state, which manifests in polarization along ethnic and religious lines, has fostered acrimony amongst ethnic and religious groups in the country. Africa’s most populous nation faces a high-security risk with the prevalence of internal strife, resulting in high budgetary allocations for defence and internal security as the country tries to regain balance after a period of economic recession. Qualitative research methodology in desktop study using analytical and descriptive explanations was adopted. It concludes that the government should compensate victims of the violence, adopt a method of peacebuilding between all parties and use its military might where necessary.


Cattle colony, communities, nepotism, security, tensions, economic recession

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