Article/Interview/Feature/Columnists/Opinion

FARMERS/HERDSMEN CLASHES IS A PRODUCT OF THE FAILURE OF THE STATE.

 

The menace of alledged herdsmen menace in wreaking havoc through killings in parts of some states is very traumatizing and despicable, but for our understanding, whether we admit or not, the inescapable truth of the matter is that the farmers herdsmen clashes is a function of broken down relationship between both parties and this is how it originated. At a point in time in our history as a people, the relationship was peaceful and cordial. The farmers invited or allowed herdsmen to freely graze on his farmland to eat up the grass and pollinate the soil, while the herdsman in return gave the farmer milk from his cow, at this point in time, the relationship was like that of a united partnership, but along the line, criminality creeped into the relationship as the livestock of the herdsmen were rustled and in some cases, the herdsmen even lost their lives in the process. When the herdsman cattle is rustled in some cases with the connivance of some criminally minded farmers or otherwise, but the truth is that since his herds have been rustled, the herdsmen don’t trust anybody and so suspects that the farmer is complicit in his predicament and he reports to the police, but knowing the irresponsibility of the state, he is ignored and left to his fate, thus on realizing that he cannot get justice from supposed quarters, he resorts to self help in protecting himself and his cattle. Along the line, criminality becomes the name of the game as some persons with criminal intent now use the profession of herding cattle as a smokescreen to carry out their nefarious activities such as armed robbery, stealing. rape, etc. This is the chronology of the farmer/herdsmen relationship, as a result of broken down relationship, the herdsmen have now developed the culture of retaliation against communities where their kith and kin suffer loss as a result of the failure of the state to protect them and get justice. Subject to investigation, it might not be out of place if these herdsmen have a developed a militia as a counter force, one doesn’t have facts on this but only speculating, therefore if resolving this problem permanently will involve the creation of grazing colonies, so be it, so long as all parties willingly give their consent and abide by the terms and conditions of the agreement. It’s unfortunate that a lot of us stoking up this tension with comments are unaware of the long time damage that this crisis has caused to the psyche of the average farmer in the immediate because he or she can no longer go to the farms and same is affecting those interested in farming as a means of livelihood and the consequences on the economy and national unity in the long run will not be palatable to us all. Thanks as I rest my case.

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Nelson Ekujumi


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