International Society for Poverty Elimination
(Member Economic Alliance Group)
5, Moses Orimolade Avenue, Ijapo Estate, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria.
M: 08162469805 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
16 March, 2016
Alhaji Muhamadu Buhari, GCFR
President and Commander in Chief of Armed Forces
Federal Republic of Nigeria
The Director General,
Department of State Services,
The State Director,
Department of State Services,
EVOLVING PRACTICAL GRIEVANCE AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION MECHANISM FOR IMPROVING FULANI HERDSMEN / CROP FARMERS RELATIONS
The Leadership of NEHAP/ISPE/EAG (New End Hunger and Poverty/ International Society for Poverty Elimination/Economic Alliance Group) the “Organization” extends its compliments to your Excellency and the esteemed Members of the Federal Executive Council. We have been watching with keen interest all efforts by your Excellency to reposition Nigeria so that it would occupy its God-given position in the Comity of Nations. No doubt, it has not been easy, but we are assured that with more genuine prayers and more determination to work SMARTer rather than HARDer, we shall succeed and on sustainable basis, to the Glory of God and the Benefit of Humanity.
2. Your Excellency, Fulani Herdsmen unleashing Terror across all South West, South South, South East and North Central States has become a regular occurrence that should be effectively checked now, before it gets completely out of hand. This submission is the Contribution of NEHAP/ISPE/EAG to help government and security agencies find sustainable solutions to the Fulani Menace that is adversely affecting many Family Farmers and other Nigerians including some of our Members in NEHAP Initiative.
3. The Fulani Menace underline root problems of Agriculture, Security, Development, Peace, Climate Change, Culture, Governance, Accountability, Justice, Corruption, Terrorism, Slavery, Law, Order, Sanction and Enforcement that need to be correctly Diagnosed as basis for Correct Prescription, Surgery and Recovery Management, in each affected Community in Nigeria.
4. It is hard to imagine that Nigeria in the 21st Century could still encourage itinerant Cattle Herdsmen who continue to leave tales of woe in their trail. It is clear that the Rights of Cattle Herdsmen STOP where the Rights of Crop Farmers and other Nigerians START. The reality is that Cattle Herdsmen have no regard for Authority and the Rights of other Nigerians. The Police and DSS High Command at State and National Levels know this is FACT and are struggling to address the situation within their operation area, with limited success due to inadequate Political Support. This is Bad.
The Police and DSS Commanders, Officers and Men at Local, Area and Division levels in their respective Agencies appear helpless and powerless in the ENFORCEMENT of Law and Order and Sanctions while our Courts appear to Fear or Favor Fulani Herdsmen and so Justice is Delayed or Denied affected Farmers and other Nigerians. These helplessness and powerlessness is underlined by Legendary Capacity to Corrupt Law Enforcement and Judiciary Officials, of Fulani Leaders who Defend Fulani Herdsmen. This is a Scar on the Conscience of the Buhari Administration led by a Fulani Globally Recognized as Anti Corruption Czar. The Impunity of both Fulani Herdsmen and Fulani Leaders who consistently Defend the Indefensible Must STOP.
Fulani Leaders openly VOW to Pay Millions to Bribe Law Enforcement and Judiciary Officials rather than Pay Compensation to Crop Farmers. In exceptional circumstances where a level of Compensation is secured, Fulani Herdsmen go back to the Farm to Beat up the Farmer, sometimes to Death. Farmers therefore face double jeopardy – Loss of Crops and Loss of Lives, once Fulani Herdsmen embark upon serial attack on their Farms. Fulani Leaders consistently DELIVER on this VOW and Fulani Herdsmen consistently go back to the Bush/Farm to Kill any Farmer who manages to secure a level of compensation above which they were prepared to pay. The RESULT is Fulani Leaders and Fulani Herdsmen making Farmers and other Nigerians Slaves on their Land.
It is this Fear of Fulani Herdsmen going back to Farms to Kill Farmers who take a level of Compensation (far below what is due and fair) that has made Farmers Slaves to Fulani Herdsmen because they would rather lose their crops than lose their lives.
In fairness some Police IPOs’, DCOs’ and DPOs’ want this Fulani Impunity to End but Law Enforcement High Command at State and National Levels assume that Fulani Impunity is Figment of Peoples’ Imagination as so do not DEMAND the POLITICAL SUPPORT each High Command requires to contribute its quota towards amicable resolution of Fulani Herdsmen, affected Farmers and other Nigerians conflict and in ways that promote and protect the common interest and common future of Fulani Herdsmen, Crop Farmers and other Nigerians in all affected Communities, Local Governments and States in Nigeria. The reality in Nigeria today, is that Fulani Herdsmen will serially destroy your farm and Fulani Leaders who defend them will Bribe Police to turn Complainant to Accuse, such that the Farmer is now Locked up by the Police on Fulani Instruction sometimes for weeks – even at State Command Detention Facilities with Fulani Boasting the miserable Farmer will only be released at his say so. The DSS Operatives at Local Government Level are aware of these anomalies but being short staffed, they are not able to help correct the numerous overwhelming security lapses and flaws as they would have wished and so the ogre of fear, slavery, blood, tears and debts are reoccurring decimals for Farmers and other Nigerians. This is Worse.
This submission is NEHAP/ISPE/EAG’s contribution towards removing these helplessness and powerlessness and the underlining corrupt practices and related offences, without which the pain, misery, fear, slavery, blood, tears, debts and deaths, that is the lot of increasing numbers of Farmers and other Nigerians cannot STOP. Should this be the case Fulani Menace Time Bomb, slowly ticking would certainly detonate – sooner or later and the RESULT would make Boko Haram Child’s Play.
5. The seeming inaction and indifference of the Political Leadership at Federal Government, 36 State Governments and FCT and 774 Local Governments levels, in-spite of Fulani Herdsmen worsening atrocities in the last few years, is of grave concern to Traditional Rulers, whose people including widows, bear the brunt of Fulani Herdsmen attacks – some have lost their lives and many have been reduced to penury with the destruction of their Crops in many cases running into over N5 million per farm. Yet Traditional Rulers, as Fathers of the Towns and Villages cannot muster the POLITICAL Will to raise Strong Single VOICE in Defense of their suffering people, including increasing numbers of Traditional Rulers whose farms are destroyed by Fulani Herdsmen. This is a puzzle.
6. The Nation Newspaper in its Editorial of 4 February 2016 described the suggestion that government could map out grazing reserves as “laughable”. A Key highlight of the Editorial is the Statement “The government has a pressing duty to come up with an effective Policy, Program, Project intervention, 3PI and 3PI Training as One (Italics ours) that would rein in the criminals operating as cattle rearers. Unless this is done now, it could snowball to another social conflict beyond the capacity of the security agencies”.
The Big Issue is if government does know why Fulani Herdsmen are Fighting Crop Farmers and other Nigerian, government will not know HOW to find lasting solutions to Fulani Herdsmen / Crop Farmers and other Nigerians Crisis. The correct answer to this all important How To(s) question lies in simultaneously addressing Prevention and Treatment issues and in ways that ensure “Delivery is the Strategy” and that mean “DOING and not Talking”.
It is pertinent to note that you cannot defeat real enemy you do not understand; you cannot solve root problem you do not understand and you cannot answer Big question you do not understand. Therefore without minimum certain level of understanding in each of these 3 dimensions, government will continue to dance around Fulani menace.
Your Excellency, please recognize that the Fulani Menace is cancer which left untreated could easily destroy our Country, it is a Time Bomb which allowed to detonate, would certainly make Boko Haram Child’s Play.
7. The Time is NOW for the Federal Government to take the Lead, with your Excellency as Co Chief Champion in the Great Task of finding Sustainable Solutions, fully implementing these solutions with effective monitoring and evaluation of this implementation.
These are very Technical issues that Government on its own cannot undertake without Government and concerned Stakeholders at all levels getting Technical Advice and Support from External Consultants with demonstrated minimum certain levels of Hard Competences: Learning and Skills and Soft Competences: Character, Courage, Disciplie and Mindset required to Mobilize National Collective Action for Fulani Herdsmen, Crop Farmers and other Nigerians Harmonious and Mutually Beneficial Relationship in each Community across Nigeria, where Fulani Herdsmen operate.
8. To improve Stakeholders Coordination, there is urgent need to Establish High Level Political Forum on Tackling Fulani Menace and Joint Action Committee on Fulani Herdsmen, Crop Farmers and other Nigerians Conflict Resolution.
The Political Forum and Action Committee need to be Designed and Delivered as Multi Stakeholder Platforms, MSPs’ with Professional Technical Support needed to ensure Fulani Herdsmen Pay Full Compensation to Crop Farmers; Fulani Herdsmen STOP Destroying Farmers Crops and Fulani Herdsmen Practice Modern Livestock Farming.
It is pertinent to note that well organized Modern Livestock Farming that is Integral Part of New Nigeria Agriculture Revolution could generate over N3 Trillion annually with accompanying Employment Generation, Peace and Security Dimensions.
9. One of the fundamental principles underpinning the above MSPs’ is that they will use Living Strategy. That is the implementation of Policy, Program, Project Interventions, 3PIs’ and 3PIs Training as One will be based on solving real and complex problem on the ground as is in each affected Community, Local Government and State in Nigeria.
10. Conclusion: If Agriculture Revolution is a viable alternative for revamping the Nigeria Economy that the Buhari Administration is considering; then it could be Mirage seeking to achieve New Nigeria Agriculture Revolution Vision Ambitions without first finding lasting solutions to the Fulani Menace. Secondly, the Fulani Menace raises Peace and Security concerns that need to be urgently addressed by government, if we are not to detonate a Time Bomb that make Boko Haram Child’s Play. We therefore advocate that the suggested MSPs’ be established immediately and given official recognition and all required resources to Perform including Technical Support.
We as Development Cooperation Consultants have taken a first practical step by introducing a new constructive engagement approach as evidenced by the pertinent suggestions contained in this submission, that we decide should be in the form of an open letter. We call on government to reciprocate by demonstrating sincerity in implementing Agriculture Reform Program that is an Integral Part of entire National Reform Program that increase the Prosperity, Living Standards and Welfare of Nigeria Small Holder Farmers, Nigeria Workers and Nigeria Peoples.
We are close to Nigeria Citizens, especially the Poor Farmers and Poor Workers in both Rural and Urban Communities, we are convinced that should government take favorable decision and timely action on this submission, Government will deliver to Nigeria Farmers, including Fulani Herdsmen, Nigeria Workers and Nigeria Peoples the Type of Democracy Dividends Nigerians Desire and Deserve and this will lead to improved Government Labor relations on one hand and Fulani Herdsmen, Crop Framers and other Nigerians Relations on the other hand, thus making the Buhari Administration New Nigeria Vision easily achievable with little or no disruption to service delivery through warning strikes on one hand and little or no conflict between Fulani Herdsmen, Crop Farmers and other Nigerians on the other hand.
The Organization urges Government to:-
1. Direct SGF Coordinate Political Solutions to Fulani Menace
2. Direct Joint Service Chiefs Police, DSS and Military Coordinate Security Solutions to Fulani Menace.
3. Direct HMARD Coordinate Agriculture Solutions to Fulani Menace.
4. Establish High Level Political Forum on Tackling Fulani Menace.
5. Establish Joint Action Committee on Fulani Herdsmen, Crop Farmers and other Nigerians Conflict Resolution.
6. Ensure Fulani Herdsmen Pay Full Compensation to Crop Farmer.
7. Ensure Fulani Herdsmen STOP Destroying Farmers Crops
8. Ensure Fulani Herdsmen Practice Modern Livestock Farming.
9. Ensure that well organized Modern Livestock Farming in Nigeria generating over N3 Trillion annually with accompanying Employment Generation, Peace and Security Dimensions is designed and delivered.
10. Consider involving the Council in the design and delivery of Pro Poor Economic Reform and Pro Poor Institutional Reform Programs aimed at finding Sustainable Solutions to Fulani Herdsmen, Crop Farmers and other Nigerians Conflict.
11. Consider integrating Sustainable Solutions to Fulani Herdsmen, Crop Farmers and other Nigerians Conflict with Local and State Governments Development Plans, National Development Plans Aligned and Harmonized with Global Goals – AAAA, SDG, COP21 Outcome, HLPF Retreat Outcome, UN MSP Retreat Outcome, ECOSOC Retreat Outcome, Agenda 21.
12. Operationalize MSPs with Official Government Support’ Living Strategy in Practice
13. Demonstrate commitment towards continuously improving Stakeholders Policy Cooperation, Collaboration, Coordination and Cohesion for Sustainable Development in Practice.
14. Consider our recommendation of External Consultant with required Hard Competences and Soft Competences to work effectively with Government and other Stakeholders to operationalize in practice all good ideas and pertinent suggestions set out in this submission.
Your Excellency, please accept the assurances of our highest regard and esteem, as we await your urgent intervention in National Interest.
Letter hand delivered to DSS Ondo State Office Akure on 17 March 2016, was received and signed for by 124 clo.