THE FULANI HERDSMEN AND SECURITY DILEMMA IN NIGERIA

Fulani herdsmen grazing their cattle across farmlands in southeastern states of Nigeria
Fulani herdsmen grazing their cattle across farmlands in southeastern states of Nigeria

In recent times, so many Nigerians have taken to Facebook, posting, commenting, and debating what they call the influx of Fulani herdsmen into southeastern states, using their cattle to graze farmlands and in the process killing farmers and villagers who protest the destruction of their farmlands and crops by these herdsmen. With AK-47. It used to be poisonous bows and arrows when we were kids. Now they are getting sophisticated.

The pictures of these killings are as gory as they are grotesque. The narration of the carnage and the pictures of helpless villagers fleeing their village as these herdsmen sack their villages are soul touching. And understandably, the outrage and the anger directed at the federal government of Nigeria over its inability to protect vulnerable Nigerians from fellow countrymen who are carrying out evil deeds against them are justified. Who in his right mind would stand by and watch their farmlands, which they spent energy, time, and most especially money to cultivate being destroyed by nomadic cattlemen. And just do nothing? And what sane neighbor or relative will sit idly and watch errant cattlemen overrun their kin who has the right to at the least protest the invasion of their farmland. As they they hacked to death?

In my analysis of these occurrences, I initially differed from most compatriots on who to place the blame on for the insecurity of lives and properties in the southeastern states where these Fulani herdsmen are perpetuating evil. To me, the governors and the local government chairmen or mayors of the affected states and local governments are the chief security officers of their various states and localities. It is their responsibility therefore, not only to rule their own people, but to also provide them with security. So if there is a breakdown of security or lawlessness, the mayors and the governors should be held responsible for such. They are the ones that has failed their people, and not President Buhari. But then I met Honorable Kwande Suleiman, an honorable member of the Federal House of Representatives in Nigeria and he reminded me that the federal system of government as practiced in Nigeria is completely different from what is obtained here in the United States. And that is what has incapacitated the governors from carrying out both their moral and constitutional duties of securing the lives and properties of their people from the invading Fulanis.

For example, here in the United States, every locality, every city, and every state have their own law enforcement units. Independent of federal government control. You have the county sheriffs, you have the city police departments, and you have the state troopers. They are all under local and state control and they serve their various communities within the state. But in Nigeria, the police are federalized. Only the president has control over them. In this instance, President Buhari. And a state governor, who is supposed to be the chief security officer of his own state does not have control over the commissioner of police that works within his state. The governor cannot give orders to the police commissioners. Furthermore, here in the United States, we have what we call the national guard, which is the reserve component of the U.S. military but which is under dual control of the states and the federal government. In emergency situations, the governor(s) of the affected state(s) of the union reserves the authority to call out the national guard to safeguard lives and properties and maintain order. In Nigeria, even though we have at least a military barracks in almost every state of the federation, the state governors do not have power over the garrison commanders and does not give them orders. So for a governor whose tools to secure lives and properties within his state are the police which he does not have power over, and or the military which he cannot give orders to do, how then can he protect his own?

But is that truly the case?

I lived in Nigeria for 25 years. I lived through several election cycles and I participated actively in most of them. And I saw firsthand how governors, local government chairmen, and even individuals of influence, USED, not only the regular police and their paramilitary unit (popularly called mobile police), but also the military, to rig elections, to harass their political opponents, and many a times to indiscriminately kill youths who did not support their political aspirations. So if state governors and local government chairmen in southeastern states can call out these law enforcement agents to do their bidding, to help them secure political power, whether they bribed their commanders or however they pulled it off, now that they have the power, nothing stops them from calling out these law enforcement agents again, this time to protect the governed. Or is the security of lives and properties of the governed not worth it?

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THE EZEOCHA POST ANNOUNCES $100 CASH PRIZE AWARD FOR OUR READERS

The essays have started trickling in earlier than expected. We encourage you to get involved.  Let us join the conversation and figure out the best way to solve the problems facing our contemporary world.

Let the debate continue…

THE EZEOCHA POST ANNOUNCES $100 CASH PRIZE AWARD FOR OUR READERS.

THE EZEOCHA POST ANNOUNCES $100 CASH PRIZE AWARD FOR OUR READERS

awards

 

The Ezeocha Post will be celebrating the one-year anniversary of the registration of the domain name www.ezeochapost.com on March 23, 2015. We at Ezeocha Post are proud of and grateful to our followers who visit and comment on our website regularly, share our posts on our Facebook page, and retweet our tweets on Twitter. We appreciate your encouragements and comments, which are very invaluable to the work we do.

As a way of encouraging more debate on the issues we write about, and to commemorate our one-year anniversary, we are announcing a 2-Category $100 Cash Prize Awards to our esteemed readers.

The 1st Category $100 Cash Prize Award which will go to the person who between today March 02, 2015  and the 19th of March, will provide the most objective comment(s) to each of the essays we have published so far on our blog. Not our Facebook page. And not our Twitter account. Rather, at www.ezeochapost.com. That is to say that if we have published, say 15 essays so far, the person that posts a comment on all 15 essays will win the cash prize. If more than one person meet this criteria, the objectivity of the comment(s), whether the comment to each essay is pertinent to the issues raised on that particular essay, and whether the comment inspired further debate on the issues raised, will be used to determine who the winner will be. The prize will go to only one winner.

Our 2nd Category $100 Cash Prize Award for our one-year anniversary will go to the person who writes-in the best essay on any of the contemporary challenges facing the international community.

The topic of the essay can be related to

  1. The terrorist group, ISIS,
  2. The negotiation between the U.S. and Iran to put a brake to Iran’s nuclear weapons program,
  3. Israeli-Palestinian crisis,
  4. Insecurity in Nigeria,
  5. Russia’s territorial ambitions and its aggression in Ukraine,
  6. The future of the Eurozone,
  7. The challenges facing the continuous existence of one Nigeria after the general election,
  8. Poverty,
  9. Global distributive injustice, or
  10. Income inequalities at the workplace.

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ATTRACTING FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT TO NIGERIA

 

calabar
Construction work at the early stages of the development project of the Calabar International Convention Centre (CICC), Calabar, Cross River, Nigeria. CICC Image/May 2014.
By Chinedu Ezeocha for Ezeocha Post
Originally Published on Wednesday May 21, 2014 at 3:07 AM CT

According to World Bank data, China enjoyed a rise in foreign direct investment (FDI) from US$30bln in 2000 to $150bln in 2008. Cheap labor and existing infrastructure were responsible for this boom in FDI. As Chinese workers are getting educated and demands for better working conditions are on the rise, corporations are relocating their manufacturing base to neighboring Nepal and Bangladesh. Many are trooping into Africa. Ghana in recent times has been a host to legion of foreign corporations seeking access to cheap labor, existing infrastructure, and security for business.

FDI lowers the rate of unemployment, boosts the economy, and produces a strong middle class – the lifeline of any functioning economy. As one of the least developed countries of the world, Nigeria can position itself to take advantage of these billions of dollars in FDI that is looking for a conducive environment to be invested. Hence President Jonathan should be proactive in tackling the power issue, the infrastructural deficits, and more importantly, the Boko Haram security concerns. He has a moral obligation to do so.

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