Outsiders would wonder why there is so much noise in Nigeria regarding cattle grazing. They may say: “Come on, stop monkeying around, this is the 21st Century AD and cattle should be reared on farms or ranches!” What they do not understand is that in Nigeria, cattle roaming about and grazing everywhere represents Fulani power.
To put it in context, Fulani are immigrants and settlers in Nigeria. Their own ancestral land is somewhere in Futa Jallon, west-central Guinea. Having arrived in the area that was to become Nigeria in the first decade of the 19th Century, they began a Jihad and conquered the core North which today is called the Sharia-Caliphate Bloc. Unknown to the indigenous peoples until relatively recently, the Fulani are being guided by their dead Patriarch Usman Dan Fodio who told them that their Koran would be dipped right up to the sea, the Atlantic coastline of southern Nigeria. To keep that vision alive, in 1960, just twelve days after Nigeria got its independence from Britain, Bello a Fulani and Premier of the Northern Region announced the Caliphate Agenda, being that the new Nation called Nigeria would be an Estate of the Fulani who would be “ruthless” in hanging onto power and where the South would be conquered territory, and its peoples never be able to control their lives and lands.
It is within this Caliphate Agenda that the cattle grazing matter is situated. So, although it may look to an outsider as a silly cattle grazing issue, it is seriously about who gets to CONTROL the land. Will it be the indigenous peoples who will control their own lands? Or, will it be the immigrant Fulani who will impose their power and control the ancestral lands of other peoples?
Like in any other place on earth, farmers in Nigeria acquire their land either by inheriting it, buying it, or leasing it. While the farmer is quietly working his Agribusiness, Fulani herdsmen trespass onto his land, steal the crops they want, set their cattle to eat whatever is on the farm, and do any other form of criminal damage they want to such as arson, plus, rape of any females present, including children. These serious crimes are what the Fulani and their “Judas Goat” encouragers persist in untruthfully calling herdsmen-farmer “clashes”. Moreover, the Fulani herdsmen can also be accompanied by their armed Militia, and there are numerous reports of how they invade rural villages all across the New South (Middle Belt, Yoruba and Lower Niger Blocs) to slaughter the indigenous peoples, for Fulani land grabbing.
It is in an attempt to stop the marauding Fulani that on 11th May 2021 State Governors from the Yoruba and Lower Niger Blocs met in Asaba City to collectively decide to ban open grazing of cattle in their States. Some of these Governors have since that time signed an anti-open grazing Bill, but they must do more. For, the imposed and illegitimate 1999 Constitution that Nigeria operates actually prevents the anti-open grazing Law from being enforced! That is because, the make-believe Constitution stops State Governors from arming their people to protect themselves against fully armed, AK47-carrying Jihadist Fulani masquerading as “herdsmen”. Fortunately, an International Law solution is available that Governors can use to protect and save their people and their land. It is this: the NINAS Movement declared a Constitutional Force Majeure (CFM) on 16th December 2020 that started the process of Decommissioning that illegitimate 1999 Constitution foisted on Nigerians, which had been Repudiated by the indigenous peoples. The CFM raised a Union Dispute and made Nigeria a Disputed Project. This is an essential FACT to retain and ACT upon! It means that the Union ended with the Proclamation of the CFM, and the illicit Central Government is playing deadly games with the lives of exhausted and suffering indigenous peoples by to date not having started arrangements for a time-bound Transitional Government.
The killings are increasing. It is now all the more necessary for State Governors to rise to their responsibilities. They owe no allegiance whatsoever to the 1999 Constitution as it is only a pile of words, written by who knows who, and given the false title of “Constitution”. Decency demands that they side with their people! The NINAS Movement is there to support them, and to ensure they follow the ORDERLY PROCESS and Guidelines laid down by United Nations instruments and International Law. To repeat it plainly so that everyone can understand: The Proclaimed CFM empowers State Governors to DEFEND and PROTECT their people from any armed invaders, and the NINAS Movement enables them to carry it out, thereby making the anti-grazing law ENFORCEABLE.
Nigeria has entered a new era. It has been slow in coming. But it is here! Indigenous peoples, especially young people, are asking questions, and they are finding out that their number one enemy is the 1999 Constitution, a fraud, and an imposition used against them, and that it is being used to bring about the Caliphate Agenda of Jihad for land grab. What is more, Central Government already under investigation, might not be the only ones facing the International Criminal Court (ICC). State Administrators could too. State Governors have a DUTY to protect their people. Passing an anti-grazing Bill knowing that they cannot enforce it because of the sham 1999 Constitution is not acceptable. Their people are being slaughtered, and their lands being grabbed. Now that Nigeria is a Disputed Project, State Governors can no longer hide their inactivity by saying that the 1999 Constitution prevented them. They must rest assured that if now they do nothing while their people are killed, when a CFM has been proclaimed, plus the NINAS Movement empowers them to do the right thing by standing with their people, their criminal negligence will need to be explained at the ICC, because such “crimes against humanity” will be punished.
What has become clear is that any time the indigenous peoples of the New South try to control their resources and their lands, and even try to save their farms and their very lives from armed Fulani invaders – the current Fulani-majority regime or their “Judas Goat”, will quickly hold up that imposed illegitimate 1999 Constitution as to why what the people need is forbidden. The instrument of oppression and genocide is that document. The increasing cry of “Fulani go home!” (to Futa Jallon), will get louder because indigenous peoples will certainly rise to defend themselves and their lands, and will not accept that 1999 Constitution any longer. It is obvious that for peace and justice, the illegitimate 1999 Constitution must be totally abandoned. That calls for general elections in 2023 to be suspended and transitioning arrangements be quickly put in place.
Ndidi Uwechue is a British citizen with Igbo heritage from the Lower Niger Bloc. She is a retired Metropolitan (London) Police Officer, she is a signatory to the Constitutional Force Majeure, and she writes from Abuja.