EFFECT OF FULANI HERDSMEN ATTACK ON SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF NIGERIA

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CHAPTER ONE/INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study

This thesis looks into Fulani herdsmen attack and its effects on the socio-economic and national development in Nigeria. The activities of this group has caused loss of lives, properties and created the sense of fear and insecurity among the Nigerian populace.

Fulani herdsmen or Fulani pastoralists are nomadic or semi nomadic herders whose primary occupation is raising livestock (Iro 1994). Fulani herdsmen engage in both random and planned transhumance movements. Random movements are usually taken by the pure nomadic Fulani herdsmen while planned movements are taken by the semi nomadic pastoralist. A primary reason for migratory nature of the herdsmen is to reach areas with abundant grass and water for the cattle (Iro

The menace of Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria is becoming worrisome and thus poses a serious threat to national security. Apart from Boko Haram, one recurrent security challenge that confronts many states in the country is the challenge of Fulani herdsmen. The herdsmen attacks on the several communities in Nigeria have been on increase (Akevi, 2014). There have been escalations of reported attacks by Fulani herdsmen who brutally kill natives of the invaded farming communities including women and children in various states across the country (Duroyaiye, 2014). The worst affected states include: Benue, Nassarawa, Plateau, Taraba, Kaduna, Adamawa, Zamfara, Oyo, Imo, Cross River, Abia, Ebonyi and Rivers. Fulani herdsmen normally attack their target communities at the time they are most susceptible such as mid-night or prayer days, when they are in their churches, incessantly killing people with sophisticated weapons, looting properties and burning houses (Durojaiye, 2014). The Global Terrorism Index (GTI) (2015, p. 43) reports that Fulani herdsmen are believed to have killed at least 1, 229 people in Nigeria in 2014.

The combat readiness and sophistication gives them the courage not only to attack host communities but to confront and attack constituted authorities that are heavily protected with the state of art military convoys (Nte, 2016, p. 27). A scenario where the convoy of the governor of Benue State (Gabriel Suswan) was ambushed and attacked by these herdsmen elucidates the picture better (Nte, 2016)

Insecurity exerts a heavy toll on national economies. It is inevitable that the economic impact of the activities of herdsmen would be more felt in unsophisticated mono-cultural low-income economies than they would be felt in highly advanced, diversified industrial economies. Therefore, the continued rise in the attack by Fulani herdsmen in the country, if not quickly checked, may result in greater investor apathy for the country and resulting in low inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and would make institutional investors look for other stable economies to invest their money. On the state of the country, when people feel insecure, their appetite to invest, to buy or rent from the product of investment reduces; and that is why all over the world, any country that radiates an environment of insecurity naturally repels investment initiatives from both the international community and its own local investors.

Hence, the activities of herdsmen is a threat to the economic, political and social security of a nation and a major factor associated with underdevelopment; because it discourages both local and foreign investments, reduces the quality of life, destroys human and social capital, damages relationship between citizens and the states, thus undermining democracy, rule of law and the ability of the country to promote development.

Historically the Fulani are traditionally a nomadic, pastoralist, trading people, herding cattle, goats and sheep across the vast dry hinterlands of their domain. The Fulani were the first group of people in West Africa to convert to Islam through jihads, or holy wars, and were able to take over much of West Africa and establish themselves not only as a religious group but also as a political and economic force1. The current struggle between the Fulani and other peoples of Nigeria represents the end result of years of conflict between the Fulani and others in the area and results from many social, economic, and environmental factors that have long affected the Fulani.

Objectives of the Study

The main objectives of this study is to find Effect of Fulani herdsmen attack on socio-economic development of Nigeria

The study were guided by the following specific objectives;

  • The causes of Fulani – Herdsmen and farmers clashes in Nigeria;
  • The social effects of the menace of Fulani – Herdsmen in Nigeria; and
  • The economic effects of the menace of Fulani – Herdsmen in Nigeria. Based on the above, the following hypotheses are postulated for this
  • There is no significant difference between farmers and Fulani perception of the causes of Fulani – Herdsmen and farmers clashes in
  • There is no significant difference between farmers and Fulani perception of the social effects of Fulani – Herdsmen and farmers clashes in
  • There is no significant difference between farmers and Fulani perception of the social effects of Fulani – Herdsmen and farmers clashes in

Research Questions

  • What are the causes of Fulani – Herdsmen and farmers clashes in Nigeria?;
  • What are the social effects of the menace of Fulani – Herdsmen in Nigeria; and
  • What are the economic effects of the menace of Fulani – Herdsmen in Nigeria. Based on the above, the following hypotheses are postulated for this study?

Hypothesis

  • There is no significant difference between farmers and Fulani perception of the causes of Fulani – Herdsmen and farmers clashes in
  • There is no significant difference between farmers and Fulani perception of the social effects of Fulani – Herdsmen and farmers clashes in
  • There is no significant difference between farmers and Fulani perception of the social effects of Fulani – Herdsmen and farmers clashes in

Scope of the study

This study is on Effect of Fulani herdsmen attack on socio-economic development of Nigeria. It was limited to the damages caused by the frequent attacks on armed herdsmen in Nigeria economy.

Significance of the Study

The study will equally add to the existing body of knowledge on the subject matter. Students undergoing research work similar to the present study who may wish to use this work as a reference material or a spring board for their own work will find this work really useful.