The Menace of Fulani Herdsmen Attack and Its Effects on the Socio-Economic Development of Nigeria

By Edieya Davidson, Samuel Zibiri SAN & Co, Nigeria.


Aerial View from Victoria Island, Nigeria

Abstract

This article looks into Fulani herdsmen attack and its effects on the socio-economic and national development in Nigeria. The activities of this group has caused loss of lives, properties and created the sense of fear and insecurity among the Nigerian populace.

Insecurity exerts a heavy toll on national economies. It is inevitable that the economic impact of the activities of herdsmen would be more felt in unsophisticated mono-cultural low-income economies than they would be felt in highly advanced, diversified industrial economies. Therefore, the continued rise in the attack by Fulani herdsmen in the country, if not quickly checked, may result in greater investor apathy for the country and resulting in low inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and would make institutional investors look for other stable economies to invest their money. On the state of the country, when people feel insecure, their appetite to invest, to buy or rent from the product of investment reduces; and that is why all over the world, any country that radiates an environment of insecurity naturally repels investment initiatives from both the international community and its own local investors.

Hence, the activities of herdsmen is a threat to the economic, political and social security of a nation and a major factor associated with underdevelopment; because it discourages both local and foreign investments, reduces the quality of life, destroys human and social capital, damages relationship between citizens and the states, thus undermining democracy, rule of law and the ability of the country to promote development.


1. Introduction


This article looks into Fulani herdsmen attack and its effects on the socio-economic and national development in Nigeria. The activities of this group has caused loss of lives, properties and created the sense of fear and insecurity among the Nigerian populace.


Insecurity exerts a heavy toll on national economies. It is inevitable that the economic impact of the activities of herdsmen would be more felt in unsophisticated mono-cultural low-income economies than they would be felt in highly advanced, diversified industrial economies. Therefore, the continued rise in the attack by Fulani herdsmen in the country, if not quickly checked, may result in greater investor apathy for the country and resulting in low inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and would make institutional investors look for other stable economies to invest their money. On the state of the country, when people feel insecure, their appetite to invest, to buy or rent from the product of investment reduces; and that is why all over the world, any country that radiates an environment of insecurity naturally repels investment initiatives from both the international community and its own local investors.


Hence, the activities of herdsmen is a threat to the economic, political and social security of a nation and a major factor associated with underdevelopment; because it discourages both local and foreign investments, reduces the quality of life, destroys human and social capital, damages relationship between citizens and the states, thus undermining democracy, rule of law and the ability of the country to promote development.


Historically the Fulani are traditionally a nomadic, pastoralist, trading people, herding cattle, goats and sheep across the vast dry hinterlands of their domain. The Fulani were the first group of people in West Africa to convert to Islam through jihads, or holy wars, and were able to take over much of West Africa and establish themselves not only as a religious group but also as a political and economic force1 . The current struggle between the Fulani and other peoples of Nigeria represents the end result of years of conflict between the Fulani and others in the area and results from many social, economic, and environmental factors that have long affected the Fulani.(2)


2. Conceptual Terms

2.1 Security

The Black’s law dictionary (3) defines security as ‘the state of being secure, especially from danger or attack’. Security has also been seen ‘as the totality of actions and measures as well as legislative and operational procedures taken to ensure peace, stability and the overall well-being of a nation and its people (4) . Security refers to a feeling of safety from harm or danger and the defense, protection and preservation of core values. In short, security has to do with survival and human existence. With the end of the cold war, the concept of security has been scrutinized and expanded to include human security instead of its traditional military pre-occupation as it used to be previously. Accordingly, human security is seen as peoples’ safety from threats and protection from sudden hurtful disruptions in patterns of daily life(5) .


Threat

Threat is anything that constitutes danger to the security, survival and peace of a state as an entity and everything within the territorial domain of the country. Threat refers to anything that undermines or has the potentiality of undermining the ability of the state to function, optionally towards promoting the well-being of the people. Threat can be viewed from two perspectives, internal and external. Internal threat is anything that disrupts the social economic and political equilibrium of the state, such as political thuggery, bad governance, ethnicity, armed robbery, extreme poverty, youth restiveness, religious extremism, hostage taking and terrorism(6) Within the context of the present circumstance in the country, the Fulani herdsmen attacks adequately depict a threat situation which if not quickly checked will have grave effect on the Nigeria socio economic development.


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Suggested Citation:

Davidson, Edieya, The Menace of Fulani Herdsmen Attack and Its Effects on the Socio-Economic Development of Nigeria (October 27, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3476374 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3476374

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