IPOB And The Ban On Consumption Of Fulani Cattle In South-Eastern Nigeria

IPOB insignia

The recently and widely publicized news reports by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) that the people of the South-Eastern part of the Lugardian Legacy known as Nigeria would, with effect from April 2022, put an end to the buying and consumption of Fulani cows is, to say the least, not only a healthy development but equally a right decision in the right direction. One reason for this being that there is no better way or non-violent means by which the cattle-rearing Fulani herdsmen and their killer squad as well as their patrons in government, such as president Muhammadu Buhari, will be made to really appreciate the enormity of hardship, pains and angst they have so far inflicted in the hearts of the vast majority of the Igbo populace, especially the farmers who until the timely emergence of the Eastern Security Network (ESN) had helplessly watched their ancestral lands and agricultural produce being recklessly ruined by these nomadic marauders- often enjoying the protection, coverage and defense being offered by the federal government led by their kinsmen president Muhammadu Buhari.

But apart from the fact that this timely, strategic and well-thought-out measure is certainly bound to stimulate interest in and efforts by a lot of Igbo people to swiftly begin the process of harnessing and deploying their enterprising spirit and business acumen towards the attainment of optimal maximization in cow and meat production through the operation of consolidated ranching system, there is of course the additional advantage that doing all of this as soon as practicable will particularly offer the South-Easterners a veritable opportunity to effectively disengage the undue Fulani influence prevalent in the region, in the same vein as  it will also help in ensuring speedy diversification of their economy in such a manner apposite to the regional bloc’s ongoing economic integration discourse. Already, as providence would have it, with the increasing enactment of the anti-open grazing laws sweeping across most states in Southern part of Nigeria like inthe hurricane, there appears to be no doubt that the Igbo will definitely be blazing a trail in running a successful and modern ranching system capable of dismantling, displacing and replacing the currently archaic Fulani cattle-rearing system that apparently has done more harm than good to their various host communities. And this will also be imbued with the potential of providing enough cows and meat capable of serving the regional needs of the Igbo as well as paving the way for export to neighbouring states that may so desire. Incidentally, the recent threat by the Miytti Allah Cattle Breeders Association that they would stop at nothing in making sure that the purchase of cows by people of Southern Nigeria would be so skyrocketed as high as a million naira or more per cow in the event that the operation of these enacted anti-open grazing laws of Southern Nigeria states were not put in abeyance, further makes it imperative for the IPOB’s ban on Fulani cow consumption to be fully embraced.

What is more, the fact that Mallam Nasir EL-Rufai, the Governor of Kaduna State, has patently declared these laws painstakingly passed by states of Southern Nigeria as not just unimplementable, but also as implicitly amounting to effecting a movement without motion, also makes this policy direction of the IPOB’s ban on the consumption of Fulani cow all the more expedient. Of course, it is understandable why Mallam EL-Rufai is of this callous view and will always stand to propagate and reinforce it anytime, anywhere, for now. First being a core Fulani himself, and at times exhibiting tendencies of being one of the bigots of the tribe, it is not unexpected that he holds this point of view that clearly tilts in favour ofthe business interests of hisnomadic brethren. But whether or not this perception pans out well with the rest of the vast majority of the non-Fulani members of the Nigerian project obviously matters less to MallamEL-Rufai. Secondly, knowing full well the unwavering inclination of PresidentMuhammadu  Buhari to create or restore the so-called old colonial grazing routes for his cattle-rearing kinsmen, Mallam Nasir EL-Rufai has  no illusions about the fact that Mr. President will never allow nor support the deployment of the Nigeria police force or any of its sister agencies under his watch as Commander-in-Chief of Nigerian armed forces for the implementation of these established anti-open grazing laws of state governments of Southern Nigeria. Therefore, in the circumstance, it follows that it is not unexpected that the only most viable and expedient option by means of which the enforcement of these validly enacted laws could be given meaningful vent and essence within the ambit of the prevailing laws in the country is through the instrumentality of the IPOB’s ban on the consumption of Fulani cows which though needs to be preceded by the establishment of a consolidated alternative system of meat production and supply.

However, in the interim, in order to test-run the viability of this course of action and thus endeavorto eliminate the threat of the rising insecurity occasioned by the dastardly activities of Fulani herdsmen within the Igbo enclave, there is an urgent need for the people  of the South-Eastern region to begin now to brace up for this strategic ban and the timeline set out for the commencement of its implementation. This, essentially, remains one most practical approach to be used in defeating the antics ofPresident Muhammadu Buhari and his terrorist kinsmen- masquerading as bandits- over the unending issues of herdsmen menace in Igboland.

Onyiorah Paschal

Writes from Awka,

Anambra State, and

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