A journey to civilization 2


Last week, we noted that the word civilization refers to the Latin word “civitas” or city. This is why the most basic definition of the word civilization is a society made up of cities. The word civilization and civilized society is used to differentiate between societies which are culturally superior and those which turn out to be culturally inferior, referred to as “savage” or “barbarian” cultures. In their crudest sense, they are called the Hobbesian state of nature where life is short, wicked and brutal, and force is right. This then implies that civilization has some sort of urban establishment and cannot be nomadic.

Nomadic life involves the movement of a person, a family or a category of people from one place to another. There is no permanent home for a nomad. He’s basically a mobile squatter because he moves around on other people’s land. Most of the time, he travels with his family which includes small children of school age but who unfortunately cannot go to school due to the constant movements of the nomad. The nomadic shepherd grazes his cattle and sheep from place to place on foot from north to south, using forest roads for his movements to allow his flocks to graze the plants found on the lands along these roads. This system is known as open grazing.

Before the arrival of terrorism in Nigeria, open grazing was the predominant method of feeding the herds. However, with the advent of terrorism in the Nigerian situation in 2009, the equation changed. Initially, when the terrorists launched their first attacks against the Nigerian state, they were defeated by security forces in the towns and headed for the forests from where they continued to launch attacks against easy targets until ‘nowadays.

The first victims of the terrorists when they headed for the forests after being defeated in the cities by the security forces were the innocent Fulani shepherds who were the masters of the forests before the terrorism. They stole their cattle to feed their soldiers in the forests, the main one among the forests being Sambisa Forest. They indoctrinated the children of innocent Fulani shepherds into terrorism and induced them with drugs. Shepherds whose cattle have been stolen without any other means of subsistence resort to banditry, kidnappings and theft to survive. Obviously, since nomadic herding is primarily the occupation of the Fulani, it follows then that the crime resulting from the fall in displacement of forests will be perpetrated primarily by the Fulani.

Terrorists first disguised themselves as Fulani shepherds and used forest roads to spread banditry and kidnappings across the country under the pretext of open grazing. It was then that the so-called shepherds began to defend their cattle with AK 47s. It was because of this criminality, of which the free grazing served as a cover, that Nigerians of all stripes rose up against the free grazing and unanimously called for its ban and its stead, built ranches to accommodate herders’ cattle and sheep in a secure and isolated environment. Kano State and Katsina State began building ranches, while Benue State took the initiative to abolish open grazing because it was at the forefront of attacks by the killer shepherds. All of these states are in the northern part of Nigeria. Southern governors at their meeting unanimously passed the ban on open grazing with the assurance of enacting a law legalizing the ban. It was very surprising then to hear Governor Ayade of Cross Rivers State describe the action of his colleagues in banning open grazing as an attempt “to illegitimize the legitimate trade of a people.”

First, this is factually incorrect. There is no place in the communiqué of the governors of the South where they illegitimate or forbid the breeding or rearing of herds which is the legitimate occupation of the Fulani. They can’t even afford to do it because beef is the largest source of animal protein in the South to this day. What they have prohibited is the illegitimate destruction of farmers’ farmland by the herds that devour them and the associated crime, which manifests itself in open pastures.

Let’s be clear, anyone who encourages free grazing today is the Fulani’s greatest enemy. Does anyone have the slightest doubt that no nomadic Fulani family can travel from Sokoto or Maiduguri to Lagos or Calabar without encountering their waterloo in the hands of terrorists, bandits or kidnappers or thieves? cattle or hostile communities in the South who might want to take revenge on the innocent Fulani shepherds for the atrocities committed against their parents by rogue elements disguised as Fulani shepherds. Dangiwa Umar, the former governor of Kaduna State, himself a Fulani of Kebbi, put it succinctly: “You should note, however, that one of the problems which led to the recent deterioration of relations between the ranchers and farmers is the growing incidence of banditry and kidnappings. in which the rogue Fulanis, distinct from the shepherds, are widely involved. The fact that the shepherds and some of these criminals share an ethnic identity, being Fulani, makes the shepherd guilty in case of mistaken identity. It is true that the shepherd is often guilty of trespassing, but is hardly involved in banditry and kidnappings. Indeed, many shepherds are also victims of these crimes perpetrated by their relatives. We must realize and be aware of this distinction, otherwise all Fulani are in danger of negative profiling and indiscriminate retaliatory attacks.

If every Fulani is threatened with attacks due to the security situation in Nigeria, exacerbated by open grazing, as defined by Umar, a Peul, then this means that the essence of Governor Ayade’s alleged solidarity with grazing open, in his nebulous imagination of “defending the occupation of his Fulani brothers in Yobe state” is rightly misplaced. Ayade cannot defend a helpless Fulani family under attack in Cross Rivers State. We talk more about Nigeria. That he first defend the state of Yobe against the terrorist attacks of their own Boko Haram brothers before considering his unsolicited defense of their occupation in the state of Cross Rivers by setting out unguarded an ambiguous management strategy. open pastures which describes him as a man who wants to blow hot and cold at the same time. In one breath, he sides with his “brothers of the governors of the South” in free grazing, being a team player, in another breath, he sides with his “Yobe Fulani brothers” as a defender of their occupation. We implore our leaders to be more circumspect when they embark on selfish, truth-challenged and politically correct statements spewed out to improve their political careers at the expense of the unity and cohesion of the Nigerian people.

Apart from the conflict generated by this free grazing between farmers and shepherds, this method of breeding has quite simply become obsolete and incompatible with a civilized world. It is impossible that an old grazing road in Nigeria that crossed the forests from North to South would not pass through a very large city which has evolved from the modernization and civilization of our country. It is also impossible for a shepherd to move his cattle across the lands from north to south without committing criminal trespass on the lands of others as the forests keep shrinking. Dangiwa puts it bluntly: “It is true that the shepherd is often guilty of trespassing.” On my recent trip to London, I drove around the city and didn’t see any cattle roaming the streets. The same is true of Dubai, which is predominantly an Arab state with a majority of Muslims, who were originally nomads in the ancient, uncivilized world. This greatly contributes to the cleanliness of these towns and to the order of the traffic. It is no wonder that these two cities attract the most tourists in the world.

I returned to Nigeria to be warmly surrounded by cows and sheep in Abuja, the federal capital of Nigeria, fighting with me for a right of passage along the roads, with some herds defecating along the roads and spreading diseases such as cholera. to the population through contaminated waterways resulting from animal droppings carried by the rains in the waterways that some destitute citizens drink. According to Dangiwa Umar, “the primordial method of herding which causes the shepherd to wander in search of pasture and water intensifies the conflict”. Primordial means ancient, before civilization, before men began to live in cities and as such an uncivilized way of raising animals. We must stand up as a country to embrace ranching and abolish this ancient uncivilized system of ranching called open grazing that has caused us all to shed so much tears and blood.

Another sign of incivilization in us is the blatant incompetence and corruption of our bureaucracy and public service. We said last week that the simplest and most profound definition of civilization is that it is the quality of excellence in thought, manners and taste. Our public service is simply not excellent, or even average. While in the UK I found out that the hot water had stopped flowing in the house one morning and alerted the owner. He quickly launched an appeal to the Council, which promised to come the next day to remedy it. Before I woke up the next day, it was done. In Nigeria, people build their own boreholes, their own solar panels for electricity, their own security for protection, etc. In some cases where the government is in charge of the facilities, they have become dilapidated to such an extent that they cannot serve the population. Even the Aso clinic cannot cure the residents of Aso Rock. People living in such apartments have refrained from reporting any malfunction of their infrastructure to the relevant authorities, as those responsible for repairs will not come when asked to do so and when they do come they will force the person to pay a fee. astronomical amount. for repairing damaged things that the individual will prefer to do personally. Ineffectiveness or ineffectiveness is a sign of incivilization. While the bureaucracy abroad brings development to their countries, our own bureaucracy is breaking down our infrastructure to become moribund. We need to reshuffle our mindset and our minds. When you do your job well, you are doing it for your own benefit and that of your unborn children not for someone else, because a better society is for everyone.