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There’s A New Terrorist Group In Nigeria


Nigeria’s rampaging Fulani herdsmen have been named as the fourth deadliest terror group in the world by the Global Terrorism Index (GTI).

Nigeria is finally recording victories in its war against Boko Haram but unfortunately, another terror group has arisen in the country.

Nigeria’s rampaging Fulani herdsmen have been named as the fourth deadliest terror group in the world by the Global Terrorism Index (GTI).

According to the report, the herdsmen are believed to have killed at least 1,229 people in Nigeria in 2014, making the country the third most terrorized nation in the world.

Global Terrorism Index 

The atrocities of the Fulani herdsmen are largely connected with fights for grazing land which see them killing local farmers and private citizens mostly in Nigeria’s middle belt.

Benue State has recorded most of the violence with a particularly deadly attack occurring in the Agatu Local Government area of the state in February 2016.

The herdsmen are reported to have left about 300 people dead, and also burnt down several villages including Okokolo, Akwu, Ocholonya, Adagbo, Ugboku and Aila, during the invasion.

“What we see happening in Agatu today can be likened to happenings in the North-East and we call for urgent action by the Federal Government,” Opiatoha K’Idoma, a group made up of Idomas, Benue’s predominant tribe, said comparing the massacre to the Boko Haram insurgency.

“The Idoma nation is helpless. Over 300 Agatu people have been killed and others maimed in one week without concerted effort by the state government to abate the attack, killings and destruction,” the group added in a statement.

The GTI also warned that the Fulani herdsmen have been linked to Boko Haram adding that the former group’s attacks “now pose a serious threat to stability.”

The report said: “There has been an ongoing conflict over access and control of land between the semi-nomadic Fulani herdsmen and farmers in north-eastern Nigeria.”

“There have been reports of a link between Boko Haram and Fulani militants, particularly in regards to smuggling and organised crime.”

The threat posed by the herdsmen became more evident with the abduction of former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Olu Falae on September 21, 2015.

Falae was abducted by the herdsmen after having “a running battle” with them apparently over their activities on his farm in Akure, Ondo State.

“Baba Falae has been having a running battle with the herdsmen and this morning, we learnt that he visited the farm and he was allegedly attacked by these herdsmen,” Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for the state, Wole Ogodo said confirming the incident.

Falae eventually regained his freedom on September 24 after his family paid a ransom but 11 days later, his corn farm was destroyed by Fulani herdsmen.

In confirming an apparent link between the herdsmen and Boko Haram, Falae said:

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“When I told the kidnappers that my family could raise N2m for ransom against the N100m they demanded, they rejected it and told me, ‘Is it Boko Haram you are giving N2m to?”

The former SGF’s abduction led the Yoruba Council of Elders(YCE) to issue a communique banning the activities of the herdsmen in the South-West.

According to the YCE, the ban was decided upon “after an extensive and inclusive debate on the threat to our survival, especially after the unprovoked, unwarranted, mindless and serial attacks on the economic rights of our people by the Fulani cattle rearers which has led to loss of precious lives, rape and criminal abduction of our people.”

The Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) have also warned all Fulani herdsmen to leave Igboland because their safety can no longer be guaranteed.

“We can no longer tolerate the systematic killing of our people and invasion of our land in the name of cattle grazing,” the group said via a statement.

Former aviation minister, Femi Fani-Kayode has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of shielding the herdsmen from justice.

“These herdsmen have become the pests of our nation. They are like the east African tsetse fly: wherever they go they suck the life blood out of their hosts and, like the locust, they destroy everything in their path,” Fani-Kayode said.

“We recall how, after a violent clash between them and some Yoruba farmers in Oyo State in 2000, General Buhari (as he then was) led a strong delegation of northern leaders to see the late Governor of Oyo state, Governor Lam Adeshina. On arrival Buhari put the following question to him: “why are YOUR people killing MY people?” he added.

Buhari has said that the government plans to end the conflicts by mapping out grazing areas as a temporary solution until cattle owners are persuaded to adopt other means of rearing their cattle.

However, this plan makes it seem that the government is trying to appease the marauding herdsmen rather than address them as the menace that they have become.

Buhari needs to take a firm stand against these murderous herdsmen, especially since it has been alleged that they are getting away with their crimes because “they have one of their own in the Villa.”

The president cannot afford to send the message that a group of people can cause havoc in Nigeria and go unpunished especially since his administration seems to be especially hard on Biafra secessionists.

If the activities of the Fulani herdsmen are not checked, and urgently too, the group might just be one of many new terrorist sects that Nigeria will have to contend with.


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