Let’s Talk about The Herdsmen in Nigeria


What has really happened that, in recent times, news and images emanating from normal loving and peaceful pastoral farming show the negative?

On today series in Let’s Talk, we would like to hear your experience with Herdsmen in Nigeria. I don’t know what it’s like but here is a little experience from someone that knows:


I had a great time chatting with an old friend of mine who lives in Edo state and also has a farm there. We got talking about life and farming basically, that to my greatest surprise he wasn’t interested in nothing more but spoke bitterly on the problems he has been facing with Herdsmen in Edo State.

He spoke about the failure to care for the cattle coupled with the killings and kidnapping of people by the herdsmen, and how his farm was grazed by cattle, leaving a trail of destruction. They destroyed his crops and almost shot him when he tried to intervene.

So sad!

In the course of our discussion he mentioned why farmers and herdsmen in the community have in the past had their fair share of misunderstanding that required the intervention of traditional institutions and security agencies.

This made me curious as to know what other experiences people have been having or have had with Herdsmen in Nigeria and would like to know how grazing reserves work for the herdsmen in the past?

@Everybody…Let’s hear your experiences with Herdsmen. What do you think should be done to them?

Please share experience below in the comment section. Thanks.


My experience last year was horrible!
I spent so much money on my well cultivated beans farm, about 0.9ha at Karu, Nasarawa State, but harvested nothing as herdmen allow their herd into my farm and destroyed all I’d laboured for. This led me to resolve that I am not farming this year but to concentrate on my livestock farm.


Ranching and prohibition of open grazing is the best solution.


Good Afternoon Bukola,

I must confess to you this so called herdmens of a thing having been discouraging people from going into crop farming. And it is very sad our so call minister of agriculture has not said anything or put any good measure in places to check mate all these things. I pray and I know very soon things will be right


The issues of Herdmen in Nigeria it’s really sad, when people in the middle belt were crying, other Nigerians did not care, accusing them of trouble makers, today it’s almost the whole Country that are crying, was of it seems the Government are backing them.
They had killed and displaced farmers from settlements and the Government are not concerned, you drove someone from his home and he became homeless and law enforcement agencies are there watching and the law is doing nothing, but when you react, you will be the breakers of law. You should know that these Herdmen are coming from other Africans Nations and are allowed Free no checking.
Whatever evil men plan, God has His own way of intervention. Have you not heard of them boosting, they carry weàpons freely.
May God help us, as we can’t go to the farms and cultivate our crops.

Growing up we had a good and nice time with the herdsmen in our community, am from Eruwa (Ibarapa LG) in Oyo-State, we had Fulani men that occupied Certain portion of land called (Gaa) giving to them to stay, farm and care for their herds, we do sometime have some misunderstanding in terms of grazing on peoples farm but there is a mechanism put in place between the community and the Seriki, the farmer will quantify the amount of crops destroyed on the farm and it will be paid back by the herders. Today everything has being politicized, no sincerity of purpose, no love for your neighbor.
Most of all our leaders have farms and herdsmen whom they have equipped with sophisticated and dangerous weapons to kill and cause mayhem in any community, Cattle rustling also is part of the problem that needed serious security attention, also the invasion of foreign herdsmen coming into the country thru our porous borders is causing a bigger problem to each community, they cant speak fufude like their Nigerian the cant speak English or pigin (broken), there is a mixture of french so its difficult to communicate with them.
My suggestion is first and fur most identify influential persons who have herds and their location, 2. asked them to register each personnel use for farming or herders, 3. Ranches should be built to stop this senseless killings, the government should not listen to those opposing ranches because they re gaining from the problem. 4. we should change our mentality and orientation to one another we are Nigerians and should live like one, no tribe is better that others stop boasting or names calling any tribe it will not help or solve the problem caused by enemies of the state, lastly our security apparatus should be sincere to their responsibility and do the needful irrespective of who is involve in the crime.
God bless Nigeria


My farm also attack by Fulani people in Kwara state


Actually,if your farm had never been under attack you will never knew how bitter it is !
I had four hectares of land full with cassava ready to be harvested and they destroyed everything.An adjacent farm to me with 15 Hec of soya beans awaiting to be harvested was eating up and VGN tried their best to arrest them to police ,the culprit brought out ID for the CO to recieve call where #90k was paid after high salute.
My thought about this issue is that people in power had the majority of those cows hence rejecting diff.attemp to camp them. I am using this medium to salute our visionary leader Ogbeni Aregbe for his smart intervention ,osun is the most peaceful in terms of destroying farmland.God bless Nigeria,never be discouraged.

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Government has to be proactive about this situation or it will destroy any gains being made in agriculture. For example, I heard today that the former MOH Prof Adewole’s son was kidnapped when coming from his farm. It is also obvious that we have serious population issues on in Nigeria, as there is insufficient land for the former ways of animal husbandry through nomadic pastoralism and low yielding farms. Like the former VP said, the Government has to call together all groups and come to an agreement on ranching and addressing low farm yields. Also open grazing has to stop. Most of the cattle roaming belong not to the Fulani but to rich elite farmers. A decision has to be taken and agreed to by all.

Having to stay on traffic under the hot scorching sun of kaduna state, all because some set of hardsmen took their cattles through a major road there by causing a major traffic, and as usual no one would alter a word of correction, I wonder what Nigeria is turning into.

Government should have make a grazing reserve for them,so that we should have a peace of mind in our country.More to that government should make it mandatory to prohibit them from moving from one place to another.

The Herdsmen killing, kidnapping and the illegal grazing of arable crops and leafs on farmland is no new news. This menace has gone into many nations of the world.
These Herdsmen are Nigerians whose constitutional rights must be respected as long as such right is within the confine of the Nigerian constitution. The Nigerian state is built on a federal structure, one whose framework centres on constitutional division of power and frowns to any moves that boarders on secession of any component unit.

I have stayed with Fulani and Hausa people, I ate their food, I drank their water, I have suffered from their attack and the likes… Consequently, to a great extent I will say ‘i understand what makes up their strengths and weaknesses’. They are not all bad people.

Most Herdsmen are illiterate with little education or no education. To me, education is an eye opener and power to those who possesses it.

In my own estimation, what I think should be done to them is as follow:


Government should provide adequate housing area for them and their cattle.


Government should register all cattle Herdsmen in their state.


Waste produce (either from industries or small scale business) should be processed into food materials which cattle can feed upon.


Organization of lecture for Herdsmen.


A means of generating funds into government purses.

The issue of Herdsmen is now a major factor to consider in agric businesses…A friend of mine had his farm produce consumed by these cows in Ogun State and there is nothing he could about it.This is because,he does not have any money to fence the farm.

It’s a share wickedness that makes the herdsmen in the South to allow cultivated farmlands to be destroyed by the cattle.
I had travelled to the North, I saw cattle grazing on their own without herdsmen and those cows never mistakenly eaten an hair of corn or guinea corn

Theses comments are sad and it’s more saddening that is government is not doing anything about it

Good day, please I want to go into goat farming can I get any advise from you

Hello Bukola,

I am new in farming with a year and a half experience. I’ve not had any experience or encounter with the herdsmen, but I’ve read and heard of other people’s story.

This whole saga started with desertification, land degradation, overgrazing, and desert encroachment. All these became a big challenge to the herdsmen and they looked southward seeing the ever lushious grassland.

At the beginning like I read in some of the replies to this topic and my observations in places that I know they had good relationship with every community where they graze. But now there has been several reason for the hash behaviour which is currently on rampant and its threatening the peace of the people in the Middle Belt as well as the whole of the southern part of Nigeria.

What is the way out?

Holistic Management, which is a commonsense revolution to restore our environment.

The same land that has long been desertified, degraded, overgrazed, and encroached by the Sahara desert can be restored by applying this commonsense revolution. Its not by giving them grazing land in the Middle Belt or Southern parts of Nigeria that will solve the problem. We know how every tribe guide their land jealousy in this country, it will be an endless issue that the Government would not be able to solve on the long run.

First, Government needs to understand that the herdsmen are also blessed with vast land and they can acquire or be given enough land per community for grazing. With the Holistic management practice, those lands can be restored back to a flourishing grassland.

Secondly, the herdsmen needed information and education on the advantages accrued to building their grassland. The advantages are so numerous, healthy environment, healthy living, well nourished grassland and rivers that can flow almost all through the year thereby increasing economic growth in the northern part of the country just mention a few.

To cut the long story short, we have decided to take up the initiative and this revolutionary idea is working on our farm where all our animals graze on grasses and the result has been amazing couple with the fact that we have seen how it works in Zimbabwe, Kenya, South Africa communities, these are countries that experience 8 months of dryness and 3 months of rain.

In March this year, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe had only experience 200mm rain and you could see the rate at which perennial grass grow so wide in a ranch where holistic management is effectively practiced compared to areas that are heavily overgrazed. All these efforts was put in place by an institution (Savoury Global) of which we are now their hub in Nigeria.

Let me use this medium to call on as many farmers in the North who are ready for this revolution to join the hub and lets solve these challenge that is eating Nigeria communities up ones and for all.

Thank you.

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I can imagine how you must have felt…:disappointed:

The necessity to provide food of crop and animal origin, as well as raw materials for industry and export in order to meet ever-growing demands, has led to intensification of land use. The competition between farmers and herdsmen, however, has often times turned into serious hostilities and social friction in many parts of Nigeria.

Well they are everywhere in my school,the feaces from the cows make the school environment an eye sore,and they also destroy farms,it’s really terrible