On Thursday 11th of January, 2018, there was a mass burial held in Benue state, Nigeria for 72 local farmers who were killed by Fulani herdsmen on the 1st of January. The Fulani herdsmen are a group Nomads from Northern Nigeria. Governor Sam Ortom of Benue State, said the clash occurred due to the new anti grazing law implemented by the state. He also claimed that the herdsmen threatened to “wipe out the whole state” if the law was not repealed.
According to CNN, the cattle herders association denied the group’s involvement in the attacks. Sources claim that cattle herders are notorious for inciting deadly attacks on farmers in the middle belt region of Nigeria.
Governor Ortom claims he made several complaints to the police and the presidency about the Fulani herdsmen before the attacks but received no response. He said the inspector general of police ignored the three letters he sent. He also called for the arrest of the leaders of the MACBAN (Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria).
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, responded by sending troops to Benue state and the neighboring states to prevent future attacks, after being criticized for his silence when the incident occurred. The president himself is from the Fulani tribe, his critics are suggesting this to be the reason for his slow response.