A Fulani man, Adamu Garba, a politician and the CEO of IPI Group Limited, took to his Twitter handle on 24 January 2021, to express his opinion on the perennial problem of conflict between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in various communities across Nigeria. In his opinion below, Adamu Garba cites the law and common sense, worth quoting in full:

I’m a Fulani man, but I can tell you that it doesn’t make sense for cows to be roaming the streets in 2021. Cows should be ranched on a land acquired or rented by the ranchers. By law, land can only be used through rent or purchase. Govt should step forward & clear this out. I believe, to reconcile the raging herders crisis is to open proper communication where each knows the laws of the land. All lands in Nigeria, including forests belongs to some entity, FG, SGs, LGs, Companies or individuals. Thus, no land can be used without proper authorization. The problem of the Fulani herders is a betrayal from the city Fulanis, who decided, after moving to cities, acquiring wealth & power, but forget to carry the village brothers along, leaving them in a desperate situation. The rich Fulanis must come together & get ranching lands. Land issue is as old as humanity, no any state power can give land to anyone where the land is been identified with owners for generations, without purchasing or renting. The rich Fulanis must come together & assist our fellow brothers to get ranching land or forest for grazing. Lack of proper communication to the herders in understanding the law of land use, by bringing the surrounding communities onboard isn’t good enough. It may well be a breeding ground for a circlical conflicts, a very ripe situation for civil war. This must be avoided AT ALL COST.

From the above, Adamu Garba appears to be saying that Fulani herdsmen must accept that cows are not citizens. And even if they are, citizens across the nation must respect the rights of other citizens. The constitutionally guaranteed freedom of movement does not mean freedom to unlawfully move into lands belonging to others. The right to life does not mean the right to take the life of others who disallow you forceful entry into their lands. The Federal Government, other rich Fulanis and stakeholders must stand up to the occasion to properly address what appears to be the excesses of Fulani herdsmen across the nation.

Stephen Azubuike
Author: Stephen Azubuike
Stephen is a lawyer with expertise in Commercial Dispute Resolution and Technology Law practice. He is a Partner at Infusion Lawyers. He has successfully argued cases from the High Courts of various jurisdictions to the Appellate Courts on behalf of financial institutions, other corporate bodies and multinationals. He has worked with a number of startup tech companies. He tweets @siazubuike.
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