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DANGERS OF HERDERS AND FARMERS CONFLICT TO NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA
The seemingly non-stopping and increasing conflict between herdsmen and farmers has become worrisome and most apt for national discuss especially in the middle belt, north central Nigeria. Most media outlets both local and international have reported aching stories around the conflict with accounts powered by ethnic and religious undertones. Consequently, this has led to unfathomable increase in misunderstandings and level of distrusts among ethnic groups in Nigerians. The conflicts have demonstrated high potential to exacerbate the insecurity and food crisis particularly in rural communities where most of the conflicts are localized, with reverberating repercussions nationwide. Fulani Herdsmen has been ranked as the fourth deadliest terrorist group in the world by the 2014 Global terrorism Index. Thousands of people have been killed, communities have been destroyed and so many farmers and herdsmen have lost their lives and property in an extended orgy of killings. Nigeria has about 19 million cattle, much of it in the hands of herdsmen. The tension in the country is now so high that grazing should be limited to states which are more receptive to the Fulani people or are of predominantly Fulani ethnic group, such as Adamawa, Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Bauchi and Jigawa states. Therefore, it is the main thrust of this paper to ascertain causes of herdsmen and farmer’s conflict, implications of herdsmen and farmer’s conflict for national development as well as evaluation of government efforts to control herdsmen and farmer’s conflict in Nigeria.
Keywords: Conflict, Farmers, Grazing, Herdsmen, Security, Ranching