Naysayers to climate change can’t argue with the fact that Africa’s Sahara Desert is increasingly encroaching upon traditional farmlands. Muslim Fulani Herdsmen, the largest nomadic tribe in Africa, are desperate for grazing land and water for their cattle. Farmers can’t tolerate their crops being eaten, trampled, and destroyed by wandering cattle. This conflict for survival by both parties gives rise to violence. The mainly Christian Nigerian farmers have no defense against the marauding herdsmen wielding guns and machetes. The central Christian area of Nigeria was once the main target, but with increasing desertification, more areas are targeted.
Desperate Fulani are now even more of a threat than Boko Haram insurgents. The most recent attacks on rice farmers in Benue resulted in the slaughter of many farmers. Some are considering abandoning their farms faced with irate Fulanis who indiscriminately attack. AK-47 assault rifles are readily available from the conflicts in neighboring Libya and Mali. Nigeria’s porous borders are uncontrollable. A recent anti-grazing law isn’t enforced and has failed to stop the Fulani. Even President Muhammadu Buhari, himself a Fulani, has ordered a military crackdown on the group. Scant resources have created a desperate situation for both the Fulani herdsmen and the farmers.
The nation of Nigeria is number 12 on the 2017 Open Doors World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians in the world. Window International Network partners pray for Nigeria on Day 29 by following the Praying Through the Window 9: Global Terrorism and World Religions prayer calendar.