Nigerians woke up this morning to the harsh news of a bomb blast in Nyanya, in Abuja claiming unofficially nearly 200 hundred lives. The attacks which have yet to be claimed by any terrorist group is however speculated to be masterminded by the insurgent group, Boko Haram which has become every citizen’s nightmare.

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president Goodluck Jonathan

For those of us who know the site of the blast it will be agreed that the casualty figures giving by eye witnesses is not far from the truth. The Nyanya under bridge bus stop is one of the most populated bus stops in the Federal Capital Territory being that most civil servants live in that axis of the town and in the usual bid to beat traffic hold ups, they start their daily journey at about 6 am. This hustle to break bread is what cost their lives today.

I am very sure that the president, service chiefs and every other person tasked with securing lives of taxpaying Nigerians will say: “we are on top of the situation”, “we will fish out the killers” and other clichés Nigerians should have been used to by now.

This situation quickly replays all the acts of violence that have been metted out on Nigerians on Nigerian soil while the government in its usual mouthy nature do nothing even as she is on top of the situation. Scores of people have been slaughtered and rendered homeless in Benue, Maiduguri, Yobe, Nassarawa, Kaduna and many other locations around the country within the recent 6 years of the Jonathanian reign.

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Bomb Blast Scene in Nyanya, Abuja

Reading reactions to these incidents on social networks has probed reasons into my head as to the panacea to this incessant crisis and also the motive behind this blight.

It has been widely claimed that the attacks and violence perpetrated around the nation is based on religious inclinations and sentiments however it is also interesting however that the casualties of these acts are Muslims and Christians alike.

When a bomb blasts it does not know religion neither does the rapid gunfire select one religious sect. The secondary school children who were murdered in cold blood were not selected on basis of religion. Maiduguri and the entire North East is largely an Islamic region, save for the negligible number of Christian minorities; however the scourge is resident there.

This issue has elicited arguments, accusations and blame trading between the two leading political parties in the country; the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) accusing the opposition All Peoples Congress (APC) of sponsoring the acts.

Only few weeks ago, President Goodluck Jonathan during a rally by the PDP, had once again reiterated that he knew those behind the Boko Haram sect with a threat to unveiling them.

When the issue of killings by perceived Fulani herdsmen is mentioned in any discussion, reasons adduced that they are necessitated by clashes between farming communities and pastoral Fulani whose cattle are rustled or have trampled on farms with their herd which certainly have also foraged on the farmers crops to his provocation.

However it will be apt to note that as a middle belter and Tiv man, I have been privileged to know that while growing up there had always been herds of cattle traversing Benue towards the South and East for greener pasture and in the travel many cows were rustled by my folks for claimed destruction on their farms but these were settled amicably. Why todays own different?

 We have been told that the only way out of this Farmer/ Herdsman brouhaha is the establishment of grazing routes and reserves, to which effect a committee has been tasked with the responsibility of setting these up. A tradition that has become obsolete world over.  

Even before the completion of the committee’s task, the people of the Middle Belt have already began kicking against establishment of reserves and routes in their lands as they are known to be farmers thus their livelihood may soon be taken away. This strategy seems the proverbial robbing Peter to pay Paul.

This is reminiscent of the wave of violence that swept across he nation during the Shagari regime which prompted a military take over. Do I hear some people wishing for a military regime? In as much as we had our rights stripped us, we however had our lives.

My humble suggestion is that the President and commander-in- Chief of the Armed Forces, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan be frontal enough to unearth these hooligans and bring them to book, having already informed us that he knows them and will bring them to book when the time comes. Now is that time!

If the above suggestion is not possible then we beg that His Excellency humbly resigns from office and in effect forfeit his 2015 presidential ambition for the interest of peace and tranquility. Afterall he is there to serve us and if “we” do not want him no, longer so much as to destroy ourselves to discredit him then what better way is there to servitude than forfeiting his position for the love of the nation?

 

 


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A Fulani Herdsman

The Federal Government on Friday inaugurated a technical committee on grazing reserves in Nigeria.

The committee is expected to work out modalities for establishing additional grazing reserves across the country to forestall future clashes between herdsmen and farmers.

It also mandated the committee to produce a report on how to address the challenges within two weeks beginning from Friday.

The  Minister   of   Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, who formally inaugurated the committee at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja, said the committee was made up of representatives from the Federal Ministries of Environment, Works, Science and Technology, Interior, and Water Resources.

However this attempt as noble as it may seem is not actually the desired end to the incessant clashes between believed-to-be fulanis and other tribes around the nation.

After proper scrutiny of the bill in the National Assembly which proposes this move I have totally seen it as another means to enrich and empower the Huasa-Fulani while depriving others of their inheritance and livelihood.

‘The National Grazing Route and Reserve Establishment Bill, 2011’, sponsored by Honorable Karimi Sunday Steve,  among other objectives seeks to establish a national grazing route and reserve commission to manage national grazing routes and reserves in all parts of the country of the nation.

It is learnt that the new bill seeks to establish a commission which in the opinion of many is not the answer.

 The proposed legislation aims at establishing a commission that will make regulations for government grazing routes and reserves in approved areas in the states and FCT. The commission, the bill notes is to determine the persons who may use the reserves , the number of stocks and types; prescribe the parts and routes and times when they are used as well as issuing permits to persons, prescribe fees payable for usage of such grazing routes and reserves; regulate the right generally and activities to be carried in the reserves: regulate conditions of entry into the reserves , imposition of penalties  for breach and prosecute those who breach the act  and as well demarcate  boundaries of the grazing areas

Interestingly the law prescribes a penalty of N50, 000 or imprisonment of six months while it gives powers to the commission to approach the governors of the 36 states and the FCT minister for the purpose of providing land to establish a grazing route and reserve upon which the governor will transfer the land to the commission for the purpose of grazing and reserve upon negotiation over a suitable place to locate the federal government reserve and route.

From the above I want to ask the proponents of this bill: in this era of consciousness you want to hide under the legal auspice of bona vacantia, that land does not belong to anybody. However let us be reminded, a farmer owns a land upon which he farms and therefore a grazer should own a land upon which he should graze.

In addition the law also proposes necessary compensation whenever any land is been transferred to the commission by the governor .This compensation shall be paid to persons, communities whose interest in the land has been affected by such transfer.

Like Sam Tsokwa had clearly put in his position against this impossibility, why won’t the Fulani man sell his cattle for land or better still give his cows for land if he so believes his cows must feed on my father’s land? Why will the peoples’ common wealth be used to pacify a few? Will the government also pay the Fulani man when I want to eat beef?

Moreover at a time when regions are advocating for resource control, why will we be robbed of our natural resource- fertile land? If the far North is plagued by desertation, too bad; their fall our gain. They stay in their ranches and were sell them fresh grass and hay. Why does our case seem different? Our farms are not oil wells where they can be conceded to whomever government deems fit!

Remember unemployment is ravaging the nation. Who knows some of our unemployed youth could also make a living out of selling grass and hay. This is also an employment generation strategy.

As a Tiv man I have known my people to be farmers and land is our greatest asset just like the Fulani man even prefers his Cow over a son. I will not begin to imagine my father’s farmland which I may have had cause to fight my brother over, given to an “Agwei” in the name of grazing reserve! Kai!

The Federal better looks into more practicable approach to this crisis like fishing out the sponsors of this systematic terrorism, this one no go work!

 


 

In spite of the peace accord struck between farmers in Benue State and Fulani herdsmen, dare devil gunmen have invaded some communities in Governor Gabriel Suswam’s local government area, Logo, and killed five persons.

 

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Gov. Gabriel Suswam

Nigerian Pilot Saturday learnt that about 100 gunmen, suspected to be Fulani militia, attacked villages like Chembe, Ifer and Tse Gundu, near Anyiin, around Anawah settlement in Ukemberaga/Tswarev ward of Logo Local Government Area, where they killed people.

According to some residents of the area who spoke to Nigerian Pilot  Saturday, the gunmen came in two groups using different routes to invade the affected villages, adding that a group entered through Ikapa-Tse Gundu road to attack Chembe village while the other group emerged from a far route and burst out at Achive compound.

The eyewitness added that the latter group mounted road block along Anyiin-Wukari road, shooting sporadically, making people who just returned to their base after earlier attacks to run into the bush for safety.

The gunmen were said to have carried out the attack unmolested for several hours, despite the presence of military personnel in the area.

Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Media, Chief Anawah Joseph, who hails from one of the affected areas, however said that two dead bodies were discovered in the latest attack.

Similarly, the State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, SP Daniel Ezeala, however said that the incident had no Fulani coloration, but robbery attack at Chembe, where he said two corpses were found.


 

The traditional ruler of Gwer-West, Chief Daniel Abomtse has pointed accusing fingers at the Governor of Nassarawa  State, Alh. Tanko Almakura over the incessant attacks on the Tiv farmers in Benue.

Abomtse wondered why Almakura who had failed to react on the attack on Tiv people in his state suddenly came out to condemn the killing of the insurgents at Keana. 

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Gov. Tanko Almakura

“The governor of Nasarawa is the number one person to be probed. He has been denying that Nasarawa does not harbour insurgents. When he paid a courtesy call to the Osana of Keana, he made the statement that those killed we’re not insurgents. 

“Almakura has remained insincere in his dealing as far as the issue of this crisis is concerned. And it is from this point that the president should begin to immediately investigate Almakura who I rank as terrorist grade one for harboring terrorists at the southern senatorial district masquerading as hunters,” Abomtse said.

 

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Chief Daniel Abomtse

He also accused the Islamic body, Jamal Nasru Islam as one of the financiers of terrorism in Nigeria for instigating the reaction of Governor Almakura to the effect that those insurgents killed in Keana were fulani Muslims and not insurgents.

 

“Why didn’t Jamal Nasru Islam comment on the seventeen Tiv villages that were overrun by the Fulanis who were insurgents? Why must they talk about the insurgents killed within Keana that the Governor exonerated?

 

“The Jamal Nasru Islam has not for once condoled the Tor Tiv over the destruction of his country home by the same insurgents within the same axis but now have the guts to talk about the insurgents that were killed by the soldiers where weapons were recovered as widely reported in the papers,” Abomtse further stated.  


By Leonard Karshima Shilgba, PhD

A Lead Paper Presentation At The International Conference On Ethnic Minority Agitations And Nigerian Politics: Reflections On The Tiv “Revolts” Of 1964: 50 Years After

Benue State University, Makurdi, Nigeria.
April, 2014.

Introduction

The main reason for the Tiv “revolts” of the 1960s was the demand for, insistence on, and actionable decision of Tiv elite to have autonomy for their people in the then Northern Region. This fact must not be forgotten by historians, scholars and the people of the Tiv nation. Every time an oppressed and subjugated people summon courage to ask for autonomy, they must be prepared to summon courage of equal measure to fight off the anger and brutal instigations of the oppressor. The attempt for autonomy by the Tiv elite of the 1960s was given expression in two major ways, namely, the formation of a political vehicle, the United Middle Belt Congress (UMBC) to provide both political mobility and cohesion for the peoples of the Middle Belt, who were considered by the unpretentious disposition of the royal rulers of the Northern Region as minorities and tools to be deployed for the interest of the aristocratic north. The second expression was the building of new alliances with Nigerians of the Western Region.

The oppression of Tiv people in the old Northern Region happened, not before the British colonialists held the people down, but after they had woven a bespoke political mosaic that placed the northern aristocrats in a position of advantage before their ceremonial departure. It must not be forgotten that the northern aristocrats, through their religious crusaders, could not penetrate Tivland as they were repelled by the fiercely conscious people of Tiv nation. Much later, the intervention of the colonialists gave them a proxy advantage which they have held unto with glee; and so, when shortly after the exit of the colonialists the conscious people of Tiv nation refused to be second class citizens on their land, the northern oppressive machine was cranked up and deployed against them. The political savvy of the northern aristocrats, which is most potent through subterfuge, red herrings, and remote and innocuous manipulations, goaded the Tiv people into an exercise in self-immolation. Shortly after, the Tiv people were deceived into a needless war, falsely christened the Civil War, and did the bidding of an interest that has now turned against them with brutal ferocity and mindless killings and dislodgment from their ancestral land. And in a deft move to forbid future uprisings, the same interest is working toward establishing grazing reserves for the vicious Fulani cattle herders right in Tivland, and this with the slavish collaboration of a so-called Federal Government of Nigeria. And should this be allowed by the Tiv elite of today to stand, let it be known that for the first time the Tiv people shall be conquered by a race within Africa.

ETHNICITY AND ETHNIC DYNAMICS IN NIGERIA

The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) states in section 25 (1) (a) as follows:
The following persons are citizens of Nigeria by birth, namely—

every person born in Nigeria before the date of independence, either of whose parents or any of whose grandparents belongs or belonged to a community indigenous to Nigeria:

Provided that a person shall not become a citizen of Nigeria by virtue of this section if neither of his parents nor any of his grandparents was born in Nigeria.

Ethnic groups that form contiguous communities in the geographical location called Nigeria today existed before the artificial creation of Nigeria by the British colonialists and for British interest. Historical accounts indicate that the name Nigeria was proposed by Flora Shaw, a former Colonial Editor of the London Times, who wrote in the newspaper on January 8, 1897: “The name Nigeria, applying to no other part of Africa, may without offence to any neighbors be accepted as co-extensive with the territories over which the Royal Niger Company has extended British influence, and may serve to differentiate them equally from the colonies of Lagos and the Niger Protectorate on the coast and from the French territories of the Upper Niger.”

The Lagos colony and Niger Protectorate, all in the south, were not included in the territories to be called Nigeria. The Igbo lands were very much later forced by Walter Egerton, the first Governor of the Southern Protectorate from 1906-1912, who before then took over from the ailing Ralph Moore in 1904 as Governor of Lagos colony, and at the same time was High Commissioner of the Southern Protectorate (which was formed in 1900 to include the Niger Protectorate and areas south of River Niger below Lokoja, which were charters of the Royal Niger Company, and which Protectorate was eventually joined by Lagos colony in 1906) to join the Southern Protectorate after 1906. The Northern Protectorate was called “Royal Niger Company Territories,” and so Ms Shaw’s proposal was for a shorter name for the “agglomeration of pagan and Mohamedan States.”

When we take together the constitutional provision of citizenship by birth and the original geographical inclusivity of the territory code-named Nigeria, and the consideration that the constitution is vague about “communities indigenous to Nigeria”, the most certain community claim by any African living in what is loosely defined as Nigeria is their ethnic affiliation. Accordingly, a Fulani man in Adamawa State, for instance, would accept another Fulani man in Garoua, Cameroon as a brother more than he would so regard a Tiv man or an Igbo man. This is the tragedy of Nigeria, which belongs to none but is claimed by all. Accordingly, there is an urgent need to define:

i. What Nigeria is and means;
ii. When Nigeria was;
iii. How Nigeria has become;
iv. Why Nigeria is and must be; and
v. Who Nigerians are.

The claim by anyone to be a Nigerian by birth constitutionally can only find expression in an ethnic group “indigenous to Nigeria.” And because this phrase is a blank check, all kinds of amounts are being filled thereon, thus creating a situation whereby the resultant insolvency of the bank of citizenship threatens inevitable consequence of a dud check.

It is a bit of colonial hang-over that often creates in the minds of Africans that aversion to “ethnic” issues. In fact, there is a derogatory intention meant when the word “tribalistic” is used instead to describe patriotism to one’s ethnic causes. A claim to Nigerian-ness must only be a consequence of a strong patriotic passion for one’s ethnic group that is inclusive in Nigeria by some sensible definition. The word “tribe” is an offensive word that is often used to identify ethnic nationalities or nations in Africa. For instance, it is more appropriate to use the phrase “Tiv nation” than “Tiv tribe.” When someone says you are “tribalistic”, unknown to them, they are commending your patriotism even though the intention is to belittle your disposition.

Ethnic dynamics in Nigeria play out within the context of community-preservation. Smaller (by population) nations in Nigeria may find that their future is assured if they must form bigger ethnic groupings with other physically contiguous nations that are often also socially contiguous. This is the principle behind the strong emergence of the Middle Belt group, of which Tiv nation is a strong part, and that is now assertive and shall never ever be rightly or consequentially referred to as part of the North. Indeed, it is know in intelligence circles that the future of Nigeria depends on the collaboration between the Middle Belt and South-South regions. These two regions combined constitute a huge majority; and it is in their interest to insist on their rights over their land and the resources therein and thereon.

Tiv Interest

Forefathers of the Tiv people got them the land on which they live today in the 18th century AD when there was no “Nigeria”. They have not been slaves to any group of people, and have always resisted oppression. The most important resource of the Tiv person outside of their people is the land. It is a general principle in law that he that has absolute ownership of land has absolute ownership of the resources both on the surface of the land and within it. Accordingly, the issue of land ownership is a sensitive one to the Tiv people. By implication, if the Tiv people should stand against resource control, then they have officially surrendered their land to outsiders to take it from them and use it as they want. But is this what the Tiv people want; is this in the present or long term interest of the Tiv people and their offspring? With regard to the recent intractable clashes between cattle herdsmen and the Tiv farmers and people, would the Tiv people oppose resource control? The most sensible answer is that Tiv people, being fiercely conscious of their interests and autonomy, stand behind resource control. The Tiv forebears had established an agenda—to get sizeable land for their offspring to carry out their farming activities on. And no sensible Tiv son or daughter should support any arrangement, however apparently innocuous, that would result in ceding any part of their land to outsiders for their exclusive use and settlement. Tiv people can manage their resources better than anyone can do so for them.

When we talk of resources, we do not restrict that to oil resources. Item 39 on the Exclusive legislative list includes, “Mines and minerals, including oil fields, oil mining, geological surveys and natural gas.” In other words, no state government has control over mines and minerals or oil fields, oil mining, geological surveys and natural gas within its territory; only the federal government has the control.

The Gboko-Makurdi federal road is under threat because of the mindless excavation for limestone by Dangote Cement factory. The Dangote group has taken over both federal and state shares of the company, leaving the Benue people empty-handed! The people of Benue state did not through their representatives in the state House of Assembly sell the company to Dangote. The take-over of the company has thrown many Tiv sons and daughters out of a job and crippled the economy of the Tiv capital, Gboko. We should think that the Tiv people should thereby appreciate what the oil-producing communities in Nigeria are suffering. But unlike them, they do not enjoy even the 13 per cent derivation as required in section 162 (2).

The 1910 Perry Girourd committee on land ownership in the Northern Protectorate recommended as follows: “A declaratory Proclamation should be passed to the effect that the land of the Protectorate should be under the control and dominion of the Government, and that no title to the occupation, use, or enjoyment of any land is valid without the assent of the Government… The control and dominion of Government should be exercised in any particular case with due regard to lawful customs proved to exist at present in the province or district where the land is situated…”

The Tiv people, by this time, were part of the Northern Protectorate by coercion. Fifty-two years later, the Land Tenure Law of 1962 was based in part on the Perry Girourd Committee report. The subsisting Land Use Act of 1978 derives from the 1962 Land Tenure Law. The question that must be answered at the 2014 national conference in Abuja is: Who owns the land and all resources therein? In USA, the federal government owns only about 30 per cent of the land and controls, for instance, exploration for oil on the land it has control over. This question should be of tremendous interest to the Tiv people. The national conference should resolve which land falls to the federal government and which land falls to the states or regions. Once this is resolved, the question of who owns the resources will become a no brainer.

By virtue of section 315 of the 1999 constitution, which provides recognition for such decrees as the Land Use Decree of 1978, the Tiv people must promote the concept of resource control otherwise it is a matter of time before they lose their land completely through devious contraptions such as the Grazing Reserves Bill being contemplated in the National Assembly.

Fiscal Federalism

A Federation is a union of Constitutions. Therefore, fiscal federalism is an agreement between the federating units on how to share or allocate resources, responsibilities and liabilities among them and the central government which exists, not as an oppressive and domineering “Prefect”, but a facilitator of the dreams, fundamental objectives and principles contained in the common Constitution that is designed as a contract between the units to foster nationhood, security and welfare of the people. As an independent country, Nigerians gave themselves, for the first and only time, the 1963 Constitution, which still serves as the only reference to a truly people-oriented Constitution.

Chapter 1 of the 1963 Constitution opens thus:

1. This Constitution shall have the force of law throughout Nigeria, and subject to the provisions of section 4 of this Constitution, if any other law (including the Constitution of a Region) is inconsistent with this Constitution, this Constitution shall prevail and the other law shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.

2. Nigeria shall be a federation comprising Regions and a Federal territory, and shall be a Republic by the name of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

3. –(1) There shall be four Regions, that is to say, Northern Region, Eastern Region, Western Region and Mid-Western Region.

(2) The Regions and the Federal territory shall consist of the areas comprised in those territories respectively on the thirtieth day of September, 1963.

Sections 136-145 of the 1963 Constitution made detailed provisions with regard to public finances of the federation—how revenues from regional mineral resources, import duties, sundry taxes and the amounts in the “Distributable Pool Account” should be shared among the Regions. There was a clear sense of justice in the arrangement, where fifty per cent of proceeds from minerals, including mineral oil extracted from a Region was given to the Region, thirty per cent of the proceeds was paid into the Distributable Pool Account and ninety-five per cent of the accruals was shared among the four Regions according to the ratios established in section 141:

Northern Region—forty of ninety-five; Western Region—eighteen of ninety-five; Easter Region—thirty-one of ninety-five; and the Mid-Western Region—six of ninety-five (This ensured that at any time there were some savings in the account since five per cent of accruals in each quarter was always reserved in the Distributable Pool Account). Regions contributed in offsetting administrative costs in revenue collection in their territories (See Section 142 of the 1963 Constitution).

Why is Nigeria seeking to re-invent the constitutional wheel when independent Nigeria already has a worthy constitutional precedent to work on? Why, for instance, would limestone be extracted from the Tivland of Benue State and the people do not receive even one per cent revenue benefits on the principle of derivation from the activity, and the victims are rather being killed when they protest this injustice? Even the 1999 Constitution, in section 162 (2), recognizes and provides for the principle of derivation on “any natural resource”, which must be reflected in any revenue sharing formula to be proposed by the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), which “shall take into account, the allocation principles especially those of population, equality of States, internal revenue generation, land mass, terrain as well as population density.” I am yet to be shown how the revenue sharing formulae that the RMAFC has ever come up with have reflected the principle of “internal revenue generation”.

When local and international oil companies are given an Oil Mining Lease (OML) on a limited and specified oil field, they pay royalty on the crude oil they extract from the ground, and respective host states and communities get their respective shares on the thirteen per cent derivation they are paid. But within Tivland of Benue State, the Dangote Cement Company keeps excavating for limestone without any perceived limits, and the host communities and Benue State receive no derivation. The former Benue Cement Company that was sold to Dangote Cement, in which the state had more than twenty per cent shares, was a limestone processing company, which must acquire the raw material, limestone, at a price (the shares that Benue State held in the company). Purchase of an oil refinery by a private investor, for instance, does not ipso facto mean that the investor would be given crude oil free of charge interminably. The company infrastructure was acquired by Dangote Cement Company, but the limestone within the soil cannot be exploited outside a specified agreed perimeter limit and without some commensurate royalty paid to the host community and, by extension, the Benue State government based on the constitutional principle of derivation. This injustice must be corrected, and the Benue people and host communities must be paid all revenues due from the time of the acquisition of the company by Dangote Cement. Similar injustices across Nigeria must be corrected, and the national government must be forced to respect and enforce the country’s constitution.

Leonard Karshima Shilgba, PhD
Visiting Professor of Mathematics, Nigeria.
Email: shilgba@gmail.com; TEL: 08055024356.

References
1. Omo Omoruyi. The origin of Nigeria: God of justice not associated with an unjust political order. (2002).
2. Leonard K. Shilgba, From My Heart—The Black Race: Myths, Realities and Complexes. Strategic Books, USA. ISBN: 978-1-60911-049-9 (2011).
3. Leonard K. Shilgba, Nigeria and Her Seven Secrets: Sovereign National Conference and Building a Perfect Union (In press).
4. E.H.C.M. Bell, Flora Shaw – Lady Lugard. DBE, London (1947).
5. Falola, Toyin; Heaton, Matthew, A History of Nigeria. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521681575 (2008).
6. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999).
7. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1963
culled from Sahara Reporters: http://saharareporters.com/article/fiscal-federalism-tiv-interest-and-ethnicity-leonard-karshima-shilgba-phd


 Benue Youths last weekend visited the Internal Displaced People at the IDP Camp in North Bank, Makurdi to put smiles on the victims of the unfortunate Tiv/Fulani Crisis.

They sure put smiles on these faces. See pictures of the event below:

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Displaced people scramble for supplies

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Displaced people queue for provision

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cross section of the displaced children pose for a shot with volunteers

       

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A cross section of IDPs pose for snapshot with volunteers

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the deplorable situation these kids live in

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kids at the camp pose for snapshot with volunteer                                                                                          

You can also be part of this noble event and be the reason why a kids life is saved! you can put a smile on a face today!

You can #LendAhand no matter how small.Please call Ukan Kurugh-08069082285;Zainab Adama-08034422031; Ati Kengkeng-08034640130

if you cant feed a multitude, feed on person- mother theresa of calcuta


 

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By Prince Charles Dickson

These beans are not delicious, these beans are not delicious, yet the coiffure at the occiput is shaking vigorously. (A person’s actions towards a person or thing belie his or her detracting comments; if one claims to dislike something or someone, one’s actions should not say the opposite.)

Let me start with this riddle: A man was selling his goat, and another man agreed to buy it. The man is using his last money to buy the goat but as soon as he brought the money out to pay for the goat, the goat jumped and snatched the money from his hands and chewed all. Who owns the goat? The buyer or the seller…

In far away Delta, Fulani herdsmen were caught with arms, they have been know to attack in Ibadan, in Kwara, in Taraba, Kaduna, Plateau, Benue, parts of Kogi, Katsina, in Zamfara, border towns and villages in far flung away places like Anambra, Lagos etc.

In recent weeks, it has got worse. Ask those in Taraba, ask those in Benue, also in Zamfara, in Plateau it is case as usual in Beromland and lately the Tarokh axis. The frequency has become scary and worrisome melting into both ethnic and religious hot pond.

Who are these Fulani herdsmen, my DSS friend Kuni tells me “there’s nothing like Fulani herdsmen, these are well trained militia men, you need to see the arms, combat readiness, and well kited military uniforms that these people come in…”

Samaila on the other hand disagrees, “They are fulanis, it is part of a planned Jihad, but they will fail, we are ready for them.”

The media is torn against itself and ethics, on one hand its the fulani herdsmen, on the other “unknown gunmen”, in between we hear of “cattle rustlers”, and the army say they are “insurgents”.

With alleged chemical warfare reports from Benue, one that no appropriate body has confirmed, and on the Plateau where we have seen villages raided over-night commando style, while soldiers are awol, the question is what really is the game plan.

Yet in Bokkos, loads of Fulani live peacefully, so also in many Benue villages. But can we negate the fact that the ingredients for a time bomb is the making.

Only last week former Zamfara governor Sani Yerima quoted an abridged scriptures, “where one or two fulanis are, there is trouble.” Let me add, not only trouble but double trouble, there is tension in the air, people are filled with mob justice sentiments occasioned by poverty, public distrust and failure in governance.

But wait, who are these Fulanis, what is the historical perspective, why is it that for all the intellectualism paraded or masqueraded, we have not been able to solve some of the cattle problems beyond the controversial grazing zones. How have we not answered the question of the lanky Fulani whose only strength was at display at the traditional flogging to mark his coming of age or marriage metamorphosing into the Uzi/AK-47 and chemical welding killer?

Are Pastoralist Fulanis same as bandits, same as terrorists, who are the Hausa-Fulanis, why are there no Fulanis on rampage in Sokoto, in Maidugiri, in Yobe. Who are the cattle fulanis, where do they come from?

Governor Tanko Almakura of Nasarawa state brought a twist condemning the killing of some Fulani herdsmen by soldiers in Keana Local Government Area of the state saying that those killed were not insurgents.

But wait, is Almakura not Fulani, the last time I checked we had been ‘ruled’ by Fulanis, what is our intelligence agency doing, are Fulanis ghost, how about the captured Fulanis, there’s a long list of prominent fulanis, and it is high time they speak. We cannot continue to have Fulanis involved in violent clashes.

There are Fulanis in Chad, Sudan, Burkina Faso, Niger and other ends of the Sahel region, they are not killing, slaughtering as is the case in Nigeria.

Can the stealing of one, two or ten cows lead to such carnage or a governor’s convoy being attacked ala Suswan, or is it the same Nigeria where the police arrests goats when truckloads of cows belonging to Senators disappear?

For now like the buyer and seller of the goat, we may engage in the analytics and semantics of why are Fulanis aggressive, how they don’t forgive, and, or why nomads clash with local settlers and whose fault it is –fact however is that these attacks are getting more vicious and deadlier, the earlier we identify the buyers and sellers of these problem the better, but for now how much longer this will continue–only time will tell.

 original post: http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/articles/where-one-or-two-fulanis-are.html


Sequel to the series of meetings held recently especially in Makurdi Government House

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targeted at ending the bloody killings in Benue state indications are rife that they might after all be an effort in futility.
One of such played out during the weekend at the last meeting of peace building and reconciliation committee headed by the Inspector General of Police (DIG) in charge of operations, Mr. Micheal Zuokumor.
The meeting which was allowed to be observed by the press ended dramatically as the state secretary of Miyetti Allah cattle breeders, Mr. Garus Gololo was whisked away by policemen who insisted he was frustrating the peace effort.
The DIG during the meeting did not mince words in accusing the state secretary of Miyetti Allah of fueling the crisis, insisting that he (Gololo) has been frustrating every effort of enhancing peace between the two rival groups.
It was observed at the meeting that the secretary was immediately moved away from the hall probably by policemen who were compelled to stay action for his quick disappearance. The quick disappearance of Gololo from the venue occurred less than 10 minutes after the DIG lambasted him. Gololo, it would be recalled told the press after the initial meeting that the Benue state government was dealing with the fake leadership of the MIYAITI Allah Alhaji Abdulahi Bodejo who also signed the peace pact that was signed between the DIG, Fulani herdsm en and farmers.
Gololo explained that the authentic President of Miyetti Allah Cattle Rearers Association of Nigeria is Mahmoud Kirowa who was duly elected. The situation sparked fresh crisis between the aggrieved parties.
However, at the meeting in Government House, the visibly angry DIG Zuokumor warned while pointing fingers at the secretary of Miyetti Allah, that “the force will no longer tolerate any act of criminality or mischief from anyone willing to foster disagreement between the Fulanis and farmers.”


 

ImageMilitary have denied authorizing the killing of Fulani herdsmen by suspected solders in Nasarawa, 

This was its reaction to the complaint by the Nasarawa State Government, which accused the military of deliberate killing Fulanis in Keana Local Government Area of the state.

The military high command thus promised to commence investigations into the allegation.

There were media reports of the killing of some herdsmen by military personnel in the area in which the state governor, Alhaji AlMakura Tanko, alleged that those murdered were not mercenaries but ordinary Fulanis.Image

Director of Defense Information, Major General Chris Olukolade, who spoke to newsmen yesterday in Makurdi, Benue state capital, explained that the military authority would investigate the matter, adding that the military was not against any ethnic group but out to maintain the unity of the nation.

“At the moment, we cannot say we know anything about what happened, until the matter is fully investigated and the true picture of what actually happened is gotten,” he said.

“Let’s be sure of the narration of the people who are recounting what happened, the matter will be thoroughly investigated by the military, I can assure you that.

“The point, however, is that, the incident is certainly not in line with the pattern of our operations, it s not in consonance with our modus operandi. But we will investigate it, know what happened and how come.

“At the moment we certainly cannot say we know anything about it unless it qualifies as a gathering of an armed gang. But those on ground should be able to give us an insight,” Olukolade added.


After series of meeting constituted by the Inspector General of Police headed by DIG Operations, an eight man peace committee made up of 4 Tiv men and 4 Fulani herdsmen at the Banquet hall of Government House Makurdi Benue state.10154317_1397566123853503_1694746392_n 1488747_1397555883854527_2136820934_n 10154890_1583410605217394_4899873093854468162_n
The 8 member committee has Alhaji Aliyu Tashaku as the coordinator, Anyamsy Aondo, Amos Shiukaa, Ude Ubende and Adaula Madaki on Tiv side while Medu Useni, Yaritza Sani, Yahaya Boso and Haru E. are representing the Fulani interest.
It is worthy of note that the state government had earlier announced a cease fire agreement between both parties which was later refutted by the body representing the Fulani Cattle Herdsmen (Miyetti Allah). See : http://atiterkula.wordpress.com/2014/04/05/miyetti-allah-disassociate-themselves-from-tiv-fulani-peace-deal/