Wisdom of Igbo mothers: How they routed Fulani herdsmen

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Mwanaidi Rhamdani (orange shirt) works with Maria Mtele (green shirt) in an orange-fleshed sweet potato field in Mwasonge, Tanzania. Maria is a mother of 5 and farmer in Tanzania who relies on farming for food and income. Through a local agricultural program, Maria learned about a new crop of orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, specifically bred to thrive in sub-Saharan Africa. Mwanaidi taught her about soil irrigation, crop multiplication, and how to get her crops to market. She is now a leader in her farming group and teaches others what she?s learned. Maria increased her families? income and she is using this new income to build a new, sturdy home.Fulani herdsmen met their waterloo in Ihiagwa and Nekede, both in Imo State when some women decided to stand up against the AK47 wielding herders.

The activities of Fulani herders had become so unbearable in the immediate environs surrounding Nekede, Ihiagwa and Federal University of Technology, Owerri. The herders freely moved their cattle into farms destroying as they trotted along.

The women in these two communities couldn’t stand the combat ready Fulani herdsmen. They convened a meeting and brainstormed a way forward. The women had no gun, knife or any weapon that could match that of the Fulani marauders. Then out of the blues, one genius idea dropped into their mind.

Women understand that grazing animals cannot stand the smell or hotness of chili hot pepper. The women decided to try out their genius idea. They decided they were going to spread red-hot-dried chili pepper around their farmlands and see the outcome. They tasked themselves asking every woman in the community to donate one 1 derica cup of grounded pepper each.

They assembled a huge weight of pepper, organized themselves in groups and embarked on a night crawling job. They spread the pepper across all farms in their area and waited. The next day, the marauders came as usual with their cows. But this time around, they noticed something was wrong with their cows. Within 30 minutes of invasion, their cows started lowing and running amok.

15 cows died! The Fulani Herdsmen fled and sanity returned to Ihiagwa and Nekede. Imagine what this would mean if Benue, Taraba, Enugu, Delta, Imo, Abia, Anambara and other States embark on this novel idea. Imagine what would happen if these states boycott taking on these marauders headlong.

(Source: Vanguard)

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