FULANI HERDSMEN AND FARMER CRISIS IN SOUTHERN KADUNA; EFFECT ON FOOD SUPPLY IN SOME SELECTED LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
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The study critically examined incidents of Fulani herdsmen and farmer’s crisis in southern Kaduna, siting it effect on food supply in these selected Jama’a, Kachia, Kajuru and Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State. Its causes and effects on national integration in Nigeria with the view to providing information on the intricacies of the conflicts in the region. The study employed case study research design to interrogate into the phenomenon of farmers-herdsmen conflicts and used secondary data such as books, research articles, newspapers and government publications in Nigeria. The data was content analyzed. The study found that farmers-herdsmen conflicts are not caused by a single reason but are propelled by multi-causal factors, such as limited resources in the face of greater need, reprisal attack, and shortage of land as well as climate change among others. The study also found that farmers-herdsmen conflicts have disintegrative effect on the country. The study concluded that farmers-herdsmen conflicts are inimical to the unity of the country and therefore recommended that visibility study should be carried out in consultation with state governments to ascertain the establishment of suitable cattle ranching reserves for herdsmen, restoration of earlier symbiosis relationship between herdsmen and farmers, and that Nigeria’s porous borders be well monitored.
1.1 Background of the Study
The rumors of farmers-herdsmen conflicts across various states and locations in Nigeria have caused a lot of menace to lives, livestock and food supply in Nigeria. Nigeria, undoubtedly the most populous black nation in the world with an estimated population of about 170 million with over 250 ethnic groups and about 400 languages like any other states exists primarily for the protection of lives and properties and ensuring the well-being of the people. Kaduna State is currently enmeshed in a humanitarian crisis. The southern part of the state has become the epicentre of deadly violence, most of it inflicted by herdsmen on farming communities. This is situated within two wider contexts: Attacks by Fulani herdsmen on farming communities, and reprisals, particularly in the North Central region. However, the political history of Nigeria is characterized with an unprecedented level of insecurity. Inter-communal and inter-ethnic clashes, religious violent, and armed robbery, assassination, murder, gender based violence, and bomb explosions have been on the increase leading to enormous loss of lives and properties and general atmosphere of siege and social tension for the people.
The Fula people or Fulani or Fulɓe are one of the largest ethno linguistic groups in Africa, numbering approximately 40 million people in total. They form one of the most widely dispersed and culturally diverse of the peoples of Africa. The Fulani are bound together by the common language of Fulfulde, as well as by some basic elements of Fulbe culture, such as the pulaaku, a code of conduct common to all Fulani groups.
These conflicts have now become so threatening on the country‟s national integration, such that the hitherto peaceful relationship between farmers and herdsmen across various parts of Nigeria is degenerating to a carnage level, leading to loss of lives and properties. Attempts by the federal government to curb the incessant farmers-herdsmen appear to be futile.
Nigeria is a nation suffering from many woes, such as Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen in clashes with Christian farmers, famine-like conditions in the NorthEast, drought and refugee crisis quickly add up to make Nigeria a very trouble country (. Hassan, J. (2017). The menace posed by Fulani Herdsmen in the different communities they migrate to for purposes of grazing their cattle is becoming very alarming. They are more and more constituting major security challenges to their host communities. The propensity towards engaging the land and farm owners of the sites they graze their cattle is increasing by the day as they update their arsenal with highly sophisticated weapons.
Nigeria is presently experiencing high population growth with an accompanying increased demand for arable land. The need to provide food to meet the ever growing demands necessitates opening up of virgin lands hitherto uncultivated. In many cases, especially where increased population densities have led to overcrowding of existing arable lands, agricultural intensification has inevitably resulted. This kind of population-driven agricultural intensification often necessitates the adoption of certain farming techniques such as irrigation procedures and the adoption of agro-chemicals or improved organic farming techniques. The area (Southern Kaduna) under study has experienced a high influx of people of different ethnic background partly as a result of its rich soil, pattern of rainfall, vegetation, location, etc. and that has automatically increased the number of its inhabitant. Following the influx, child birth and increase in the population, farm lands that were left to fallow for natural regeneration of the soil nutrients are fast disappearing so also are grazing lands and paths which have traditionally provided majorly dry season grazing to pastoralist.
The above has remained one of the major remote causes of the conflicts and clashes between farmers and herdsmen for a very long period of time in Southern Kaduna, although there are instances when some of these clashes and conflicts are hijacked, escalated and also given religious and ethnic coloration. The study therefore, is geared toward analyzing the causes of these conflicts, there effects to food supply and development as well as proffering lasting solution to this menace in the selected Local Governments in Kaduna State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Daily, the society and the media is inundated with alarming and scaring news such as “herdsmen burn 22 hectares of cassava and rice plantation land”, “73 people killed in Benue”, “Taraba killing!!! Death toll rises to 60”, “herdsmen killed 700 people in Jonathan administration”, “Sad!!! Fulani herdsmen kill final year student in Benue state”, Fulani Herdsmen strike again kill 10 farmers in Benue”, “herdsmen kill woman, destroy 200 acres of farms”, “herdsmen attack Benue state leaving 500 persons missing”, “19 people killed by Fulani herdsmen in Jos village attack” (Fulani Herdsmen Archives, Information Nigeria, www.informationng.com). More worrisome is the ethno-religious dimension of the conflict. For instance, in Jos, Plateau state, since 2001, ethnic clashes over the grazing and control of farm lands have pitched the indigenous ethnic Christians Berom people against the Hausa Fulani population. In sustained attack on communities such as Riyom and BarkinLadi, entire families have been wiped out in some instances, with attacks occurring daily on homes, fields and roads. Farms are looted, homes burnt, grain stores destroyed and crops cut down, depriving survivors of shelter, sustenance and income. Yet, the Federal Government which controls both the army and the police has not dealt with the armed herdsmen to allow the farmers to return to their farms. Many cannot return to their farms in southern Kaduna. It is therefore imperative in this study to examine the causes of the incessant Fulani herdsmen and farmers conflicts in Nigeria on food supply.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The primary objective of this present study is to examine Fulani herdsmen and farmer crisis in Southern Kaduna; effect on food supply in Jama’a, Kachia, Kajuru and Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State. The study intends to also look into the following sub-objectives:
- To examines the incidents, causes and effects of the conflicts on food supply in Jama’a, Kachia, Kajuru and Kaura Local Government Area.
- To evaluate the economic consequences as a result of conflicts experienced in southern Kaduna towards deriving appropriate policies with the hope of curbing further occurrences.
- To examine the conflict relationship between the farmers and the Fulani herdsmen, and the consequences or implication of such relationship on food insecurity and economic development.
- To analyz the causes of these conflicts, their effects to food security and development as well as proffering lasting solutions.
1.4 Research Hypothesis
H0: there is no significance influence of Fulani herdsmen’s crisis on food supply in Southern Kaduna.
H1: there is a significance influence of Fulani herdsmen’s crisis on food supply in Southern Kaduna.
H0: there are no economic consequences of Fulani herdsmen conflicts with farmers in Nigeria.
H2: there are economic consequences of Fulani herdsmen conflicts with farmers in Nigeria.
1.5 Significance of the Study
It is conceived that at the completion of the study the findings will be of benefit to the federal government in policy formulation, and also to the security operatives who are charge with the responsibility of securing citizens and farmers in the state. The study will also be of importance to foreign investors and potential investors, and finally the study will be useful to the academia, teachers, lecturers, students, researchers and the general public.
1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study
The study covers the effect of Fulani herdsmen and farmer’s crisis in southern kaduna under President Buhari administration, one would expect the boundaries of this study to cover all the local governments in Kaduna State; but for authenticity of information the researcher places her focus on Jama’a, Kachia, Kajuru and Kaura Local Government Area. However, the study has some limitations which are;
Availability research materials: materials that the researcher requires for the research work was unavailable for the research work.
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.7 Definition of Terms
Fulani herdsmen: The Fula people or Fulani or Fulɓe are one of the largest ethno linguistic groups in Africa, numbering approximately 40 million people in total. They form one of the most widely dispersed and culturally diverse of the peoples of Africa.
Southern Kaduna: The geographical or geo-political entity commonly referred to as “Southern Zaria” now Southern Kaduna is situated within the central high plains of Northern Nigeria. It is located between longitude 5 and 7 east. The area shares common boundary to the north and east with Jos Plateau and Bauchi and to the south, with the Federal Capital Territory
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