Fulani in Northern Nigeria: Banditry, bandits and kidnapping, by Habibu Idris Gimba Kafin Hausa

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Kidnapping is the unlawful act of capturing and carrying away a person against their will and holding them in false imprisonment.
The banditry, kidnapping and blood leading across the northern Nigeria is alarming not only that, general insecurity of the country is worrisome. Especially in Zamfara to Katsina, Sokoto, Kaduna, Kogi etc.
From 2009 to date, over 8,000 women had been made widows by the bandits in Zamfara State, while 16,000 children have become orphans.
The bandits have killed at least 5,000 people and injured more than 9,000. Also, over 10,000 houses were dilapidated by the bandits.
Recently, about 30 people were killed in Katsina state, when the bandits invaded Dankar and Tsauwa communities in Batsari local government were 15 were set ablaze and eight died from gunshots.
In Kaduna State, kidnappers have taken control of the Kaduna-Abuja Highway and they are rendering their services without any challenges from the security personnel.
Who are the bandits?
Banditry according to the dictionary is the practice of plundering in gangs. For long, since I grew up over 28 years ago, the Fulani’s are in search of pasture, they don’t have a single village or settlement (Ruga).
Majority of Fulani’s cattle’s have being dispossessed by cattle rustlers, while others lost their cows as a result of infections and intestinal viruses.
Over the decade the Fulani sets out with cattle and roam from northwest to north central and to even other geopolitical zone on foot, in its pathetic life of moving in the bush without any good future.
The Fulani has no shelter, no education, no good health care services, even nomadic education is no longer functional efficiently. They are living in a watched and perilous vagrant life.
They are living in dangerous places in the name of freedom of movement. The Miyatti Allah association, claiming that constitution grants them (Fulani) the freedom of movement with their goods, but Miyatti Allah, has failed to succeed in providing the security to the Fulani’s who several time gotten attacks by cattle rustlers and woefully failed to provide shelter, education and health services which are responsibilities of government in line with the provision of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria and the hazardous
freedom.
When developed countries and their Herdsmen adopted goldmine modern cattle industry led by extensionist, scientist and supported by financial institutions, in our lovely country Nigeria, Hens men are practicing ways of our ancestors who live in dark through walking in the bush with starving cattle.
What led to the banditry? 
The young Fulani’s grow up in bush, they are not prepared for city life, they do not have education, they do not have skills of any type, they are not farmers and they are not traders, in fact they lack of knowledge on how to do trading, and even their children could not see their fathers everyday and they are not going to the school.
It is obvious that rearing animals, is no longer sustainable that is why Fulani’s and their families can no longer live in Bush in the name of herding by virtue of rising population that influence the migration of large numbers of Fulani especially youth to urban cities in search of jobs opportunities better then cattle rearing.
Over the years, the Fulani have being killing with their cows in Kaduna state, some Fulani have been killed in Zamfara state as well as Plateau state but we all kept mum despite the fact that they find themselves in a predicament.
It is ridiculous and unfair to say majority of Fulani’s are bandits, and they hutunised some communities while you don’t have certainly on who are the bandits and kidnappers. Some have taken arms in order to balance the terror of some of the neighbor communities and launch attacks on Fulani who are the victims of cattle rustlers and conflict between farmers and Herdsmen.
So many communities that prior settled/lived in harmony between Fulani and other tribes decides to take arms against Fulani as revenges despite that fact that Fulani received extra judicial killing by so called ‘‘ Yan Sakai’’ In Zamfara and Katsina state while other Fulani cannot visit some local community markets over the fears of extra judicial killing.
In 2019, southern governors asked the Fulani Herdsmen to leave the southern part of Nigeria over the allegation of kidnapping and banditry by suspected Fulani and they allegedly tagged them as criminals despite the failure of government to executive any positive initiative, toward resolving the herders problem, not showing any encouraging concern for the dilemma of Fulani.
I could remember the daughter of chairman of Afenifere late Mrs Funke Olakunri, was killed by ‘‘unverified’’ suspects but Fulani were being blamed for the killing of Mrs Olakunri. Unfortunately, former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan and other non-patriotic Nigerians were insisted through changing narratives about killing by Identifying Fulani’s as suspects.
Similarly in 2019, Federal Government moves to settled Fulani in one location as ‘‘Ruga Settlement’’ aimed to solve the conflicts between farmers and Fulani the conflict between farmers and Fulani, but on 9 July 2019 southern governors jointly, agreed to stop the movement of herders and cattle in southern region.
In fact they even feels to have arrogated powers to decide which categories of Fulani should be allowed to live in the south and other places, despite the fact that the Fulani’s are the Nigerians and they are entitled to move freely like any other ethnic group in the country in line with our 1999 constitutions as amended.
For long, the Fulani have being described as ‘‘Killers’’ who for long killing their countrymen, some bigots see that Fulani deserved to be killed even where they were killed, the southern media conspiracy will portrayed Fulani as the Perpetrators, because Fulani do not have a
formidable voice in Nigeria.
It is obvious, northern elite and Fulani are waiting for southern press to give them their cooked and biased stories.
How to address the issue of banditry?
Government should tackle the menaces of clashes between farmers and Herdsmen.
Government should provide free and compulsory education from the grassroots.
Government should create skills of acquisition centers across the country for our teaming youth.
Miyatti Allah, should regulate the activities of Fulani to avoid the future stupidity of these Fulani.
Habibu Idris Gimba Kafin Hausa is a News Caster and Reporter@ Redemption House (Sawaba Fm Hadejia)

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