Fulani herdsmen are not Nomads – Conference delegate

“They would not move around the country if the right conditions were put in place for them to feed their animals in one place.”

A delegate to the National Conference, Rommy Mom, on Monday said that Fulani herdsmen were not nomads.

Mr. Mom, a civil rights activists and President of Lawyers Alert, an Abuja-based nongovernmental organisation, went on to bare his mind on the floor of the Conference, even when his statement caused a mild uproar.

He insisted that the herdsmen resorted to nomadic life because of the peculiar situation they find themselves in Nigeria.

Mr. Mom noted that if the right conditions were created for herdsmen to graze their animals without moving farther away from home, some of the crisis associated with the practice would have been averted.

Because of favourable grazing conditions and deliberate government policies, he said cattle farmers in developed countries do not move their animals around in search of grazing fields like it is done in

“Mr. Chairman, Sir,” he began, “Fulani people are not nomads. They would not move around the country if the right conditions were put in place for them to feed their animals in one place.

“Mr. Chairman, let the Federal Government of Nigeria do what it expected of it and ensure that Nigerians have what is required to live peacefully with one another and we will not be hearing of herdsmen invading a community in Benue or Plateau state.

“We have what it takes to build a strong economy and a vibrant population but we have failed to harness our rich resources and that why we are where we are today.”

As Mr. Mom went on to expatiate on why he said herdsmen are not nomads as widely claimed in the country, those who had started murmuring stopped and paid attention to him.

The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, recently attracted the wrath of many Nigerians, when he likened members of the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, to Fulani nomads.

The minister, who was speaking against the spate of defection from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the APC, had referred to the movement as nomadic.

Mr. Maku was later compelled to recant the statement and offer an apology to Fulanis and Nigerians, who were angered by the statement.

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  • Garden-City Boy

    This is a classic case of the main reason national unity continues to elude Nigeria. With the irresponsible attitude showcased by the like Rommy Mom, united nationhood remains an unfulfilled dream. The culture of lies and deception and self-serving brinkmanship which has gained doctrinal acceptance is deep-rooted. Since after the Biafra War, it got cemented in the anti-Igbo paranoia that has consumed our collective conscience. Over 3million innocent compatriots were brutally sent to early graves on the altar of lies, greed, disregard for rule of law and justice. Sane minds do not justify the need to kill as many as 3million human beings to forge whatever concept of unity. Yet, 50 years after the gory bloodbath, we are nowhere close to the dream. “Unity” has remained a desert; the issues that made us embark on genocide are still here with us, not gone. Perpetrators of the barbaric massacres are yet to be indicted for criminal impunity. Rather than punishment, they are lavishly rewarded by a state that lacks the human soul, bestowed with the highest honors in the land, labeled patriots to glamorize their crimes, and made the apex predators of society’s food chain. They are so scandalously rich that they donate N53million at a sitting, without thinking twice or looking back or batting an eye. And we all applaud. Nigeria’s genocide is a “NO-GO” area; it hurts the sacred, “non-NEGOTIABLE UNITY” of a Nigeria.
    The Nigerian state lied to the entire world about the holocaust and shielded those to be held accountable for the gory carnage. All these 50 years, the Nigerian state has been in the grim struggle to maintain the lid on our gruesome genocide history. We pretend to ourselves and to the outside world that genocide never happened. Or, if ever it did, foolhardy Igbos brought mass suicide upon themselves. We run away from bringing closure to a collective guilt; we abandon the victims and survivors of state-inflicted brutality to lick their wounds, savor the scares of their injury and trauma, and yet expect love and forgiveness and, of course, “UNITY” on a platter. And, as we reel under the agonizing throes of nature’s vengeance, we still feign ignorance of its genealogy.
    Then comes a moron, Rommy Mom, as shamelessly disingenuous as to come to a National Conference floor to spew a mendacious definition for the word “NOMADIC”. So, from now on, fulanis have ceased to be NOMADIC, now a dirty word. It is a Rommy Mom’s fiat we must accept without question to suite the little demagogic interest of his northern constituency…an interests that must override every other group interest. He was just short of insisting that trouble-making farmers should rather blame for their “NOMADIC” practices; they trespass fulani grazing paths to make their farms. What this pathetic fellow just did is re-enactment of the notorious deprecating swagger for which they are known, and, as usual, take things for granted and insult the intelligence of Conference Delegates and the noble constituencies they represent.
    The Gowon people threw tons and tons of oil money into the “NOMADIC EDUCATION” program in the North. For decades this program was run on our backs. Guess the outcome: the gratuitous barbarity of fulani cattle herders they unleash on us. And some idiot, who calls himself Rommy Mom, tells the entire nation that fulani are never “NOMADIC”, and if ever they were, it is our fault.
    The same lawless fulani migrants march their invading cattle armies across West Africa. In Ghana, for example, they made similar moves to misbehave themselves. But trust the Ghanaian intolerance to nonsense. The wild, ungrateful hoodlums were cut to size and their excesses quickly contained by government no-tolerance policy for the senseless barbarity of stateless fulani nomads. It is only here in Nigeria that they seek to impose a backward culture because we have duplicitous yam-heads who come to a National discourse to showcase their tons of lies, deceptions, dishonesty and hypocrisy.
    It is amazing that we still fail to recognize that, for as long as we bastardize honesty, truth and morality, just as this Rommy Mom did, and Southern Oil the only beneficiary of the patriotism of the insincere north (rather than for the cause of nation building), we will keep running in circles on this wild goes chase. That the Northern people are not at the Conference with the constructive spirit is not a matter of speculation. If the dialogue should regain any veneer of seriousness, Conference Delegates must insist on Rommy Mom’s recall, as well as that of the Lamido of Adamawa. Their constituencies must find their replacements to avoid the risk of a negative stereotype they bring to their people. Rommy Mom has proved himself absolutely unworthy of the role expected of him at the National Conference. He has abused and frittered away a rare privileged and opportunity to disprove the charge that awusas unpatriotic and liars.

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