1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The Fula origin also known as Fulani are a mass inhabitants widely dispersed in all of Africa, but most predominant in West Africa. The Fulani people are descendants from Middle East and North Africa. However, the history of the Fulani origin began with the Berbers of North Africa around the 8th or 11th century AD (Anter, 2015). Over a millennium ago from AD 900 - 1900, they spread to most parts of West Africa and to some areas of Central Africa (Anter, 2015). The Fulani migrants were predominantly Muslims. As the population increases, the number of converts to Islam also increased. In the opening of 18th century, there were revolts between the Fulani and the local people. Although, these uprisings began as holy wars (jihads), after their triumph they followed the basic standard of Fulani ethnic dominance in most West African States. Most of the Fulani people are nomadic in nature, herding sheep, goats and cattle across the dry grass lands of their environs and making them the main pastoral nomadic group in the world. The main Fulani sub groups in Nigeria are: Fulbe Gombe, Fulbe Adamawa, Fulbe Sokoto, Fulbe Mbororo, and Fulbe Borgu (Kasarachi, 2016). The Fulani unarguably represent a significant part of the economy of Nigeria. They are the major breeders of goats, sheep and cattle as those animals are the major source of meat and affordable source of animal proteins ate by Nigerians. The Fulani own over ninety percent of the livestock population which accounts for one-third of agricultural GDP and 3.2% of the entire GDP in Nigeria (Fabiyi & Otunuga, 2016). The Fulani herdsmen mostly move with their cattle’s from one destination to another in search of grazing land especially in the dry season. When the Fulani light-skinned herders are migrating, they are often accompanied by their dark-skinned sedentary kinsmen (urban or town Fulani), who are better educated, more dynamic as politicians, and were fanatical and versed as Muslims than the former. When the herders encounter local opposition to their encroachments, the sedentary provide the requisite political and military strategy for resistance, and when the sedentary felt the need for socio-religious cleansing (a jihad), the herdsmen provide the rank and file of the fighting forces. However, the Fulani herders in most cases settled in fertile areas to rear their cattle and when the migration continued to be dictated by economic and socio-political factors, increased trends of conflicts between the herders and their host communities (farmers) escalated. Many Nigerians lost their lives, properties/ farmlands or crops every year to Fulani herders. The conflicts between Fulani herdsmen and farmers came into existence as a result of encroachment of farmlands by the Fulani herders. Nigeria is under a severe internal and security threat as the threat has political, economic and environmental dimensions. Each of these dimensions has critically affected the stability of the nation and can be traced to many factors in which the Fulani-herdsmen appears to be major factor. Most worrisome in the present development is the pillaging, raping, killing and kidnapping by the so called Fulani herdsmen. Stories are found in the national dailies on daily basis of how these shepherds strategically attack several communities and houses, with sophisticated assault gunsAK-47. According to Okereke (2012) and Bello (2013), the conflicts in most part of Nigeria especially the Fulani herdsmen and farmers clash are largely uncalled for. Farmers can no more do their farm work peacefully due to herdsmen. These herdsmen and farmers clash have placed Christians and Muslims against themselves. Recently, studies carried out by Okereke (2012) and Kasarachi (2016) have clearly shown that, magnificent conflict erupt between herdsmen and farmers resulting to loss of lives, valuable properties and mass destruction of large expanse of arable farmlands thereby causing serious threat to food security since farmers for fear of attack could no longer go to farm and harvest their farm produce. The latest attacks by Fulani herdsmen is on the upsurge, with the most latest attacks in February 2018 happening in Benue State, Taraba State, Nassarawa State and few cases of attack in other states. In recent times, the killings recorded by Fulani herdsmen and farmers clash has rampaged most communities displacing them of their farmlands and loss of their major source of livelihood. This is getting to the apex with the herdsmen mostly having their means leaving the farmers at their mercy. Herdsmen imposed the roots of the clashes to religious differences leading to the killing of their cows while the farmers see the herdsmen as a danger to their crops and agricultural produce since the herdsmen allow their cows to eat the farmer crops. This recent wave of conflict in Nigeria as noticed by Kasarachi (2016) has hindered socioeconomic, religious and educational activities, political instability and threatened the national unity in Nigeria. These extra judiciary killings have forced thousands of people to abandon their homes and farmlands for safety. This unfolding violence have become so devastating that there is no speculation the fact that Nigeria is at a crossroad and gradually drifting to a conflict society (Okereke 2012). Equally begging for answers are the social issues of the rape of women, robbery and kidnapping with ultimate intent for ransom. Hence the study, the impact of herdsmen and farmers clashes on the socio-economic development of secondary schools in Benue state.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The menace of Fulani-Herdsmen appears to have dire implications for socio-economic development in the states attacked and Nigeria in general. In the states where the Fulani herdsmen and farmers crisis is pervasive, the property destroyed and cases of rapes slog their economic and social opulence back by several steps. Besides the destroyed properties, socio-economic life in those states is usually grounded to a halt as people could not freely go about their farming and socio-economic activities for fear of being killed. The overall implication for sustainable development is that the farming, economic and social activities seem to be fast deteriorating. Also, a substantial part of the country’s budget has been spent on the compensation of families who lost their relations to the Fulani herdsmen and farmers crisis. Also, huge amount of money is being spent on weapons and ammunition acquisition so as to equip the military to handle the situation on ground. All these seem to have affected educational development of schools in the area. These observations have attracted the attention of this researcher to investigate the impact of herdsmen and farmers clash on the socio-economic development of secondary school in Benue state. Nigeria is seriously threatened by Fulani herdsmen and farmers crisis and therefore, considered to be a main threat affecting the social and economic activities of the nation. Fulani herdsmen and farmers clashes seem to have become a major problem to the security and development of Nigeria The frequent occurrence of Fulani herdsmen and farmers crisis appears to have left adverse effects on socio-economic development of the people. Fulani herdsmen and farmers crisis no doubt have negative impact on social and economic development of secondary school in Benue state.
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine impact of herdsmen and farmers clash on the socio-economic development of secondary school in Benue state. Other specific objectives of the study include;
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: There is no significant impact of Herdsmen/farmers clash on socio-economic development of secondary school in Benue state.
H1: There is a significant impact of Herdsmen/farmers clash on socio-economic development of secondary school in Benue state.
H0: There is no significant relationship between herdsmen-farmers clash and socio-economic development of secondary school in Benue state
H1: There is a significant relationship between herdsmen-farmers clash and socio-economic development of secondary school in Benue state.
The study would be of benefit to researchers, academicians, policy makers and the government in general. The study would also be of immense benefit to students, researchers and scholars who are interested in developing further studies on the subject matter.
The study is restricted to the impact of herdsmen and farmers clash on the socio-economic development of secondary school in Benue state.
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
Fulani herdsmen: Are nomadic or semi-nomadic Fulani people whose primary occupation is raising livestock
Farmers: Means those who cultivate the land for plant produce. Most of these people are indigenous members of the community where they reside
Economic development: Is the process in which a nation is being improved in the sector of the economic, political, and social well-being of its people.
Social development: Is about improving the well-being of every individual in society so they can reach their full potential.
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