Hajiya Baheejah Mahmood, the National Woman Leader of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, has threatened that the Fulani Herdsmen may soon embarked on a strike.She stated this on Saturday, in a statement made available to Journalists, in Bauchi State.
The statement reads:
A Fulani is a courageous, self-reliant, fearless and shy person who can be considered an introvert. The Fulani man does not interact and mingle so much with people of other languages and cultures. He prefers to be alone or with his animals or among his kith and kin. He feels intimidated with the presence of other people who he does not know, around him. Despite these though, the Fulani man is a sociable person who likes a lot of fashion and fashionable dressing in multi-colored attire. I consider the Fulani man a very enterprising and thorough person, tending to his herd every hour of the day and going in search of grazing lands to wherever the search might take him. The typical Fulani man is very straight forward and honest but will not stop at anything to defend himself, his family and herd against any predators; human or wild animals.
A Fulani woman on the other hand is a very respectful, obedient, shy and submissive woman to her husband and family. She does all the house chores from taking care of the children, cooking, and preparing and selling the cow milk and cheese. Traditionally, the Fulani woman is a full-time housewife who is fully in charge of the home front. When the family is moving around in search of pasture for the cattle, she is responsible for the children throughout the journey.
The Fulani are mostly known to engage in cattle rearing or transhumance endeavours. Most of them are without a permanent settlement because they move from place to place in search of greener pastures and water for their cattle. In Nigeria, the Fulani move from the North towards the South during the dry season months between February to March and back towards the North at the start of the rains. They depend on the cattle for their means of livelihood.
The Fulani contribute a lot to the economy of the country and its people. They provide the country with over 90 percent of its meat requirement. The cattle provide beef; they rear chickens, guinea fowls, goat and sheep too. They contribute to the dairy (milk) production and supply of hides and skin of the country, which contributes to the GDP of the economy. The affordable meat and eggs consumed in Nigeria are largely as a result of the activities of the Fulani. During festivities of Muslims and Christians, and almost anything in-between, cattle, sheep and goats are used which are readily available as a result of the transhumance activities of the Fulani. All the products of the activities of the Fulani contribute to the nutritional enhancement of the country with provision of protein in form of meat, eggs and dairy.
The Fulanis as a people gain next to nothing from the government of the country. Because they are mostly on the move, the Fulani’s do not benefit from the provision of basic amenities such as schools, hospitals and roads. They hardly know the importance of infrastructural items such as electricity, tap or borehole water and bridges. In fact, the Fulani only “buy into” infrastructural and economic development programs that are targeted at some other population, but not those targeted specifically at them. Before a program is designed specifically targeting the Fulani, thousands may have been developed for the “regular” population. No one thinks about them and their welfare and those of their cattle, despite the huge direct and in-direct contributions they make to the employment creation drive of the government. Groups such as butchers, traders in cattle and other animals, traders in hides and skin, makers of leather shoes and bags; and yoghurt-producing companies all depend on the animal product of the Fulani. What the Fulani need is a kind of public/private partnership (PPP) arrangement with the government to boost the production of the animals and their products. For example, if the Fulani should decide not to bring their livestock to the market for one week, all Nigerians will then know and appreciate their contribution to the economy and the well-being of Nigerians.
The Fulani face a lot of challenges. Moving across the length and breadth of this country and even beyond, with their cattle, in search of greener pasture is not an easy feat as their health, safety and general well-being and that of their children and animals can all be compromised during such trips, especially with the current insecurity reigning in the country. The Fulani women and children are more vulnerable in every situation when their husbands and fathers embark on such trips in search of greener pastures, in places thousands of kilometres away. They are equally vulnerable when the whole family moves on such trips as the women have to back the infants while the older children are made to trek through treacherous terrains on foot, open to the elements. If the Fulani herdsmen decide to go on strike for one week, Nigerians will suffer.