A series of deadly clashes between predominately Christian farmers and Muslim nomadic herdsmen in southern Kaduna, Nigeria is reviving concerns about a longstanding conflict over land resources that has left thousands dead. The farmers say the herdsmen are trespassing on their land and destroying their crops by grazing their cattle. But some people believe the conflict is fueled by ethnic and religious tensions because southern Kaduna is home to a large Christian population and the herdsmen are ethnic Fulani Muslims.
The state’s Fulani governor, Nasir El Rufai, says he does not believe the killings are based on prejudices. He says the violence is “pure criminality and has nothing to do with ethnicity or religion”. The Nigerian government is being criticised for not doing enough to curb the violence. Critics claim President Muhammadu Buhari, an ethnic Fulani Muslim, is actually supporting the herdsmen.
The Stream will examine the conflict and the impact it is having on Kaduna state.