Saturday, February 27, 2016


by Mom Godfrey

Conflict is one of the oldest behaviors of man. 

The Holy Bible makes it clear to us that Lucifer was thrown from heaven to earth owing to the conflict that emanated between him and his Creator. Shortly after landing on earth, he wandered into the garden of Eden and masterminded that mindless disobedience was going to cost man's eternity. The destructive instincts were passed on to the remotest seed of man, and we saw how Cain murdered his younger brother, Abel, while they were out in the field. Cain was a farmer while Abel was an animal rearer. This fact pointed some biblical historians to the fact that the conflict between them was the origin of the war between cattle rearers and land tillers.

Truly, as a farmer its not easy to tolerate animal rearers, I can boldly say this without reservation of any kind. Experience has taught me that owners of animals claim they value their animals more than humans, and whatever matters to them. This applies to the common dog owner (whom most of the times let their untreated dogs on the loose to attack people), and the careless and mindless owner, who turns around and apportions blame to the victim.

When a free range goat rearer let loose his goats and they invade his neighbor's garden, the goat owner is quick to absolve themselves of any blame when the gardner complains to them. The commonest thing the rearers of such animals say is that farms are not meant to be in towns, foolishly forgetting that animal rearing is also part of farming which is even far more inappropriate to do, especially free range in the mist of people.

Image 1. Pointing Fingers at Another Still Points Three Fingers at Yourself. 
Courtesy BingPictures.
Everyone values their means of livelihood or at least that which they took their time to do, from that little garden close to the house to the large farm they sweat to put up out there in the farmland proper.  A land tiller has every reason to jitter each time animals come close to their farms because most of the farmers have nothing elsewhere to fall back to if their farms get destroyed. I still have a clear mental picture of how my own mother was so passionate about her own farm in which she put her all, to make sure it yielded its best.

Sometimes when we are about to close for the day and she saw that some goats or sheep were wandering around waiting for us to leave so they can invade and destroy her efforts, she could hardly leave the farm at such occasions, hoping that by the time she left late at sunset the wandering animals had gone back to their stead.

Most times when a complaint come to those that rear animals in villages, they respond with careless abundance. They look at the complainers as the ones fomenting trouble where there was none. When a rash action is taken by an aggrieved crop farmer the animal rearer's action always bears down heavily on the crop farmer. All animal rearers have a similar attitude.

The fulani cattle rearers  have killed a lot of people throughout Nigeria, especially in Benue state. The killings have gone on unchecked for too long. Nothing has been done to put a stop to this madness, that is almost becoming a norm in our communities!

If the cattle rearers live by rearing cattles, crop farmers also need to live by their crops. There should be no interference of any kind. We must learn to respect each other's vocation to give peace a chance. Period. 


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