By Ayo Akinfe
(1) I am surprised that despite the hundreds of thousands of clergymen and millions of churches and mosques littered across Nigeria, nobody has been able to see the parallels between our current situation and the case of Cain and Abel. We should be analysing this interesting biblical myth and use it as a template to find solutions to our current woes fuelled by the Buhari administration
(2) Now, according to the book of Genesis, Cain was cursed to become a wanderer after murdering his brother Abel. What I take from that is that living a nomadic lifestyle is something that should be condemned by all men and women of faith as it is as a result of a curse. It is not something to be proud of
(3) Today, we have Fulani herdsmen still roaming the plains of Nigeria as Cain did and I find it unfortunate that this does not embarrass both the people and the government. In the 21st century, we still have a large percentage of our population living a nomadic lifestyle, which for me is totally unacceptable. In 2019, nobody should have to scour the land like a scavenger or sleep out in the fields like an animal
(4) Do you know that even Cain eventually abandoned his nomadic craze. I do not know if the curse was lifted but after wandering around for a while, Cain settled in the land of Nod where he met a wife, had a family, built a city and fathered a line of descendants beginning with Enoch. As we all know, Enoch was Noah’s father but he apparently died in the flood
(5) Now there are about 15m Fulanis in Nigeria out of a global total of 40m. We account for over a third of all Fula people across our continent but alas, it is only those in Nigeria that go around wiping out villagers with AK47s. In Guinea, Senegal, Mali, Cameroon, Niger Republic, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Ghana, Benin Republic, Togo, Ivory Coast, Central African Republic, Chad, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Gambia, etc, there is no Ruga programme and the government’s do not glorify nomadism as something to be proud of
(6) About a third, or 13m Fulanis are pastoralists and their ethnic group has the largest nomadic pastoral community in the world. It is time to address this issue by getting the Fulanis to settle down in purpose-built cattle ranches around which towns can be built with all the usual facilities like schools, hospitals, police stations, etc. Nigeria simply has to take the lead in this being home to the largest number of Fulanis worldwide
(7) In Islam, the story of Cain and Abel appears in the Koran, in Surah Five, verses 27 to 31 in which a raven appeared and scratched the ground, digging up earth, so Cain could bury his brother. Apparently, Cain became remorseful after that. One would think that the nomadic descendants of Cain, the Fulanis would have learnt the lesson that killing your brethren is an evil that benefits you not. What have the Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria benefitted from all these murders of late?
(8) Despite our large number of pastoralists, Nigeria’s Fulanis are not as productive when it comes to livestock production as the Zulu, Maasai, or India’s Hindus. Surely, with being home to the largest number of pastoralists in the world, Nigeria should be the largest beef producer on earth. Can President Buhari please stop playing all these silly games brought about by his insecurity and focus on lifting production and elevating the living standards of the Fulanis
(9) Of late I hear a lot of Nigerians talk about Fulanisation but the fact remains that the Fulani masses have not benefited in any way from the irresponsible policies and nepotism of the Buhari administration. Have you not noticed that they have become progressively poorer over the last four years? Nigeria’s Fulanis need local programmes to create wealth not the domination of other ethic groups
(10) What the numerous Fulani groups should be doing now is setting themselves ambitious targets that include say improving literacy to 90%, expanding beef production to 500m tonnes, ending nomadism, eradicating child marriages, building 20 model ranches and generating $50bn from beef exports by 2030. To be honest to achieve that, they have to end this crazy distraction of being obsessed with Aso Rock and the Nigerian government. Wanting to dominate other ethnic groups is the biggest undoing of Nigeria’s Fulani!