Curiously, no country, big or small, is immune to the effects of climate change. Remarkably, despite the huge applause for the monumental Paris Agreement on climate change, the nation who ought to lead to achieve the objectives set out in it will be looked at.
The effect of global warming will be huge in the future. However, this is already evident in many developing countries.
In West Africa and the sub-Sahara nations, climate change has caused a major shrinkage to lakes and rivers.
This has, as a consequence, driven migration issues and has caused many conflicts. The alarming and unprecedented armed attacks in sub-Sahara Africa has reached a boiling point.
If it is not curtailed and is allowed to brew further, this will throw the entire region into a conflict far worse than the Syrian war. It will have a cataclysmic domino-effect on the immediate neighbouring countries as well as Europe.
A lot of reasons have been alluded to these conflicts but if there will be consensus on these reasons then is a moot point. It is centred on one’s political affiliation and tribal alliance. However, one of the primary causes of the trouble is climate change.
This by itself has mutated into other issues multiplying the causes and effects. Other related factors, but no less important, are human contribution; deforestation, hydroelectric constructions and desert encroachment to mention a few.
There is no doubt that water scarcity as consequence of the drying Lake Chad is a significant cause of the problems. This has impoverished the region, triggering hunger and insecurity.
This view has been echoed by Mohamadou Karidjo, Honourable minister of defence of the republic Niger at the Conference of Party (COP21). Hugely affected ethnic people, are the Tuareg among others.
Also, escalating the problem is the Tuareg rebellion in Mali in the quest for a separate home land. According United Nation High commission for refugees about 200,000 people are displaced and over 400 people cross into Burkina Faso and other bordering countries daily.
In addition, the nomads from Libya and the environs that have streamed southwards in search greener pastures for grazing.
The main stay of the Nomads in norther Nigeria, Niger and Mali is cattle rearing.
The water shortage from the Lake region, drought and food shortage has heightened migration down south where there is lush green land. Hence the Fulani herdsmen from North are moving in large numbers than ever and grazing to the detriment of other farmers.
Though not without effects to the environment also: gully erosion, disease and replanting the southern part of the region with seed deposited through animal’s waists.
It is notable that strange grasses and plants has now been dominating these areas in the last two decades. These, in addition to the recent killings of farmers and their families in eastern Nigeria, Edo state in mid-west and other areas.
Also reports of similar incidents in Ghana and Cameroun. It is no wonder that the situation has exasperated many.
Strangely, the barbaric attack by the so called Fulani herdsmen has not been condemned nor investigated by the government. Instead, it has either been trivialised or tribalized.
While politicians and security agencies sit on the fence and pretend nothing is happening due to sentiment. No matter how one may view the activities of the herdsmen, it is naive to blame these atrocities wholly on the Fulani herdsmen without analysing the cause of the frictions. All must look at the bigger picture to ascertain the real cause of the concern, to unmask the ultimate causes and those culpable.
Since Gaddaffi was deposed, it has been established that the region is swamped with weapons looted after the fall of Libya; The Tuareg war for separate home land, Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria and the desert encroachment resulting from drying Lake Chad due to the effect of climate change.
All of which depicts the insecurity and volatile situation in the region. Therefore, to state unequivocally that one group of people is responsible for these attacks without looking at other factors is wrong. Worse still, a superficial treatment.
Fulani’s are known for their cattle rearing skills, they have done so for ages in Nigeria with little or no problem in the south in the past.
They could easily be described as men walking their herds, holding sticks on their shoulders and at times carrying Bows, Arrows and Daggers. But simply for the protection of their herds from wild Animals.
Fulani Herds men were never known to bear arms (guns). Why are AK47s being used now? The Nigeria security agents should be proactive in investigating these attacks.
It might be that these incidents are not carried out by the herds men but terrorist disguised as herdsmen. Hence It is important to distinguish between genuine herdsmen and the mischievous for the sake of peace, security and unity of Nigeria and the greater good of the region.
In other to achieve this in the region, especially in Nigeria, security agencies and politicians alike must be detribalised. In so doing, they can see beyond personal and tribal interest to foster national security.
Most importantly, both the southern and the northern legislators and governors have to speak frankly and firmly irrespective of their political affiliations.
Where many worry about their political influence and party’s loyalty they forget about the electorates whom they represent. Be conscious that you are honourable to stand for a course and dishonourable when you fail your own people and yourself.
Political positions are not meant for personal aggrandizement but opportunity to serve. It is just a temporal office that has been occupied by others before you and you will invariably be out of the office someday.
There must be united effort in legislating a permanent solution rather the ill-willed Grazing bill before the house which failed to address the concerns and causes of the problem.
The bill before the house now is cosmetic. It fails to address the problem in economic, legal or political sense. It is only sentimental and self-serving to say the least.