It takes ordinary people like my new sister, Zubaida of Adamawa State, and I, Chisom of Anambra State to rise up and resist the divisive message and policies of people bent of pinning us against one another. Our generation of Nigerians is saying: this is enough and we must act upon it.

Before our dear government bans opinion writing and blogging in Nigeria, a beautifully written piece titled “One-Sided Report on Igbos: A Fulani Woman’s Dilemma,” by Zubaida Baba Ibrahim, caught my attention and I couldn’t resist responding to it swiftly.

At a time of uncertainty, insecurity, civil unrest and injustice, one must commend those who are brave enough to speak up loudly and clearly. That was what, Zubaida, a young Fulani woman from Northern Nigeria did eloquently and courageously with her article.

As a young Igbo woman living in Nigeria, I have family and friends who lived through the civil war and several ethnic clashes across Nigeria and I join my brothers and sisters to say “Ozo Emena”.

I have also seen in real-time how destructive Fulani herdsmen can be and totally condemn it. However, I know that not all Fulani are destructive and it is an unfortunate case of a very few bad eggs.

While it is true that most herdsmen are of the Fulani nationality, and the nomadic lifestyle is an integral part of  Fulani history and culture, there is more to the Fulani than cattle rearing and trading.

The Fulani are also known for being great artists and are primarily known for their decorated gourds, textiles, hairstyles and personal adornment. Important collections of Fulani art appear at the Fowler Museum at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in USA, the Musée de Bamako in Mali, among other great museums.

There must never be a time when the majority should pay for the crimes of a few members of their group. It is unjust and uncivilised. With the menace of the Fulani herdsmen ravaging farmlands and crops of fellow Nigerians, one may be tempted to classify all Fulani as hostile and irrational people but that would be a grossly false narrative.

The Fulani have also been great Islamic and scientific scholars throughout history, like Muhammad Ibn Muhammad Al-Fulani Al-Kishwani, an early 18th century Fulani Mathematician, astronomer, mystic, and astrologer from Katsina, in present-day Northern Nigeria.

The late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, one of the best performing presidents of Nigeria was also Fulani. He championed peace, unity and innovation during his time. His policies on the economy, education, infrastructure, among others, still remain fresh in the minds of many Nigerians, which is why he was widely accepted across all the regions of the country. He only spent three years in office but those years were considered more or less some of the best in Nigeria’s democratic history. To him, it was always country first.

Personally, I too have witnessed the accommodating and respectful nature of the Fulani, having worked very closely with some of them here in Abuja, who groomed me in the arts and science of media relations and management, back in 2017.

Every region of Nigeria is endowed with great and brilliant minds from the Hausa/Fulani of the North-East and North-West, to the Igbo and Yoruba of the South-East and South-West to the over 300 ethnic groups in between. We have the human and natural resources to build a country that we all can be proud of, instead we are presently occluded by tribalism and religious differences.

There must never be a time when the majority should pay for the crimes of a few members of their group. It is unjust and uncivilised. With the menace of the Fulani herdsmen ravaging farmlands and crops of fellow Nigerians, one may be tempted to classify all Fulani as hostile and irrational people but that would be a grossly false narrative.

It is also unfortunate that the current administration seems to have done nothing to mitigate the ongoing conflict between farmers and herdsmen through a mutually benefiting solution. This has only worsened the widely held opinion in some quarters that it is a Fulani administration, rather than a Nigerian administration.


We must restructure the federation for the sake of peace and progress. It is pertinent that every person feels like a Nigerian with all privileges, as well as the responsibility of other Nigerians, irrespective of ethnicity and religion.

In recent times, due to distasteful politics at all levels, there are loud agitations for secession in the Southern part of Nigeria, in the South-East (for the Republic of Biafra) and the South-West (for Oduduwa Republic).

Perhaps one day, the European marriage of Nigeria will be annulled and we may all go our separate ways, but in the meantime, we are one country and it is in our own best interest to coexist in respect for one another and in peace.

We must restructure the federation for the sake of peace and progress. It is pertinent that every person feels like a Nigerian with all privileges, as well as the responsibility of other Nigerians, irrespective of ethnicity and religion.

It takes ordinary people like my new sister, Zubaida of Adamawa State, and I, Chisom of Anambra State to rise up and resist the divisive message and policies of people bent of pinning us against one another. Our generation of Nigerians is saying: this is enough and we must act upon it.

Like Barack Obama said, “In the face of impossible odds, people who love this country can change it.”

Chisom Omeokachie writes through chisomomeokachie@gmail.com

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