Fulani Herdsmen; Violence or the way of Love?

Fulani herdsmen

This is a really hard topic to write about as I have conflicting feelings. There’s so much to be said and I am going to go on either side of the spectrum


“… I told my people, any Fulani herdsmen you see around you. Kill him”

I cringed when I heard a supposed “Man of God” make this statement boldly and initially I was very pissed off and while I still don’t agree with making that kind of statement because it fuels violence and further division that already exists in our nation, I understand why he is angry, I understand the brutality of what these herdsmen are doing around the country but I believe as a person in “authority” with certain type of influence you should know better than to make such statements. My husband is in support of him making those statements because he is also angry, more so angry at the fact that nothing is being done by the government, he also thinks that I would change my mind if it hits close to home. There is no dispute that the acts by these herdsmen is barbaric and downright wicked I still maintain that violence and further division is not the answer.


“Love your enemies”… “Pray for those who persecute you”

We just might have been seen as gullible when we decided to follow teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ. But nothing in his teachings encourages us to be violent (And please don’t quote Matt 11:12 out of context here). This is a hard position but not an impossible one. When we choose to pray for those who despitefully use us or pray for our enemies, it just means we know a better way and we’re being raised to be like Jesus. If we “fought” back at everything what then makes us different? Matt 5: 38-28


“What if it’s my family that is being killed?”

I understand that I made a conscious decision to follow Jesus and it comes at a cost. It is important that we count the cost before we make the decision to follow him, for me “Love your enemies” is a cost and I am okay with it or “Pray for your enemies” is also a cost and I won’t try to rationalise it by saying “When it’s killing, it is different” and I am going to be perfectly okay with taking his stand on issues without needing to “common sense” my way out of it.


So, While I condemn the government for not saying anything nor taking any action towards the acts by the herdsmen, I also do not agree with us becoming a law of our own and going on a killing spree because we really do not need to fuel any more violence and division amongst the people of the nation. However, I think instead we need to stop shying away from political appointments and be among the people that can truly effect change as against becoming barbaric ourselves, but then when you also look at the people that are in power that are still not doing anything tangible to bring about the change we need, you then begin to wonder is that really the solution? Sigh!
What is your take? Fulani herdsmen, violence or the way of Love?




  1. You already know my take on this, Christians may have to defend themselves and learn to flee for their lives. Yet I think a massive movement towards political involvement is a step in a good direction. The few Christians in politics are accidentals and not a product of a conscious movement and agenda. We need to be more intentional as a people and do what is right. After all, you won’t blame a group who are more invested in the government when they attempt to push you out .

    1. Arike says:

      The need to be more intentional is very important but then we keep shying away from politics which is sad. There’s so much to this thing sha, but if we don’t even take any action (no matter how little) we will just keep complaining and frankly, I am tired!

  2. Afolabi Tolu says:

    The way of love because the bible encourages us to pray for those that persecute us no matter the situation (Mattew 5:43-45 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust”

    1. Arike says:

      Yes oh! Tolu, I totally agree!!

  3. @ilola says:

    This is actually a very difficult topic. I agree with your husband that it is because it hasn’t hit you. In defending your opinion, you must empathise with these people. You don’t sound like you are. Do you know that during the whole Boko Haram crisis, some Christians used to go to church with guns and weapons (the ones that still had the courage to go), so that when terrorists come to the church to start using machetes and guns them, they would also have something to defend themselves. What would you expect them to do, just be looking as people walk into the church building to cut them into pieces?


    1. Arike says:

      I definitely empathise with them. Oh trust me, I was in a northern state living in ‘fear’ and sometimes not be able to go to church because of Boko Haram threats. All I am saying is we are not an eye for an eye people. We have to be wise about it, what happened then was that most of the time there were not church services that made people congregate together making us vulnerable to attack. I understand that it is different from what is happening in Kadunna which is a difficult place to be, but then I still maintain that promoting violence and hate is not the answer.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.