Nigeria’s next security challenge is evolution

thin cows

In Africa the low-level clashes between nomadic Fulani herdsmen and farmers used to be confined to the northernmost regions of the country, but due to the increasing desertification of nomadic grazing land in those areas which are traditional cattle-rearing territories, overgrazing and lower rainfall; the nomadic herdsmen have been pushing farther and farther south in search of grass and water for their herd.

This has caused clashes with farmers whose farmlands are being destroyed in the country’s middle belt, where Nigeria’s north and south meet and is the country’s most fertile agricultural belt.

Despite being overlooked by the international media for the most part.

The herdsmen are Fulani, a predominantly Muslim ethnic group that spreads across West Africa and is the world’s largest nomadic people; the farming communities, particularly in the middle belt and south, are made up of many smaller predominantly Christian ethnic groups.

The real problem here though is the nomadic herdsmen refusing to evolve to pastoralism (ranching for their animals) citing cultural reasons for sticking to nomadic rearing. Dispite that this would end a bloody conflict which has killed thousands and make them more money.

It is not uncommon to hear references to the Fulani jihad of Sheikh Othman Dan Fodio of the early 19th century and claims that the attacks are a continuation of the ancient religious military campaign.

The danger in this is that both sides will continue to wage this bloody battle for supremacy in order to not just survive, but to also control the economic prize of fertile land for farming or grazing. As it stands, the firepower advantage lies with the Fulani herdsmen but it will only be a matter of time before other communities and ethnic groups try to catch up in an emerging arms race in the region, and worsen the conflict.

Seemingly, only a transition to ranching by cattle rearers will bring an end to these conflicts which is rapidly escalating into a crisis.

I feel the need to spell this out. If the herders kill the farmers there will be no more food.

Want to fix Africa stop giving them money. They are not evolved enough for that yet. Start sending them farm equipment so they don’t have more kids as slaves.

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