Kaduna Attack: Why Fulani Attacked Same Town Four Times In 13 Months, “Discovery Of Nickel”
The latest attack on the southern Kaduna community of Barkin Kogi under the Jema’a local government area [LGA] of Kaduna State by the killer Fulani herdsmen on the morning of February 11, 2018 which resulted to the confirmed death of four persons and injuries to unknown number of persons – may have not occurred randomly as depicted within the concerned security quarters around Kaduna State. Information available to 247ureports.com indicate the attacks on the community of Barkin Kogi is related to the discovery of natural deposits of Nickel [high purity] in the community. [‘World class’ nickel discovered in Nigeria, govt. to sign exploration deal with Australian firm]; [Nickel discovered in Kaduna, Ministry appeals to public]
As a caveat, in early to mid-2016, an Australian mining expert by the name, Hugh Morgan made a discovery of what he believed was ‘unusually high quality Nickel’ in the Dangoma community in Jema’a LGA in Southern Kaduna. According Hugh Morgan, “the discovery is unusual because the nickel is found in small balls up to 3mm in diameter of a high purity in shallow soils in what could be the surface expression of a much bigger hard-rock nickel field. The nickel balls, rumoured to grade better than 90 per cent nickel and thought to be a world first given their widespread distribution, offer the potential for early cashflow from a simple and low-cost screening operation to fund a full assessment of the find that has exploration circles buzzing.”
The community is made up of Kaninko tribe who are 100% Christians and are predominantly farmers who grow maize and ginger.
Following the discovery, the Federal Minister of Mineral Resources, Dr. Fayemi stayed tight lipped on the discovery until August 2016 when he had returned from his visit to Australia where he went to seal a mining agreement with the said Australian firm. The deal was signed in secret without the knowledge of the public – but was then confirmed publicly later.
The confirmation of the discovery of Nickel in August 30, 2016 opened the flood gates to Fulani herdsmen attacks.
The first came December 24, 2016 on Christmas Eve killing no less than 20 persons. According to the Kaninko Development Union leader, the attack took place before the watchful eyes of the Nigerian soldiers. The attack occurred in the morning and lasted for four hours. The attack concentrated on the village of Goska, also located in Jema’a LGA under the Kaninko chiefdom. No arrests were made.
On February 25, 2017, the Fulani herdsmen struck again. They burnt 100 houses and killed 21 persons. According to a survivor, Enock Barua, the attack occurred before the watchful eyes of the Nigerian soldiers. Barua stated that the attackers came in the late afternoon [5pm] and continued shooting sporadically for 4hours. No arrests were made. Another was reported in January 4, 2017 in Jema’a locality involved Fulani herdsman aggression on the local Kaninko speaking people but no deaths were reported. The village fled abandoning their homes and belongings.
On February 11, 2018, killer Fulani herdsmen struck the same community again killing four persons and injuring many more. The attack, according to an eyewitness, also occurred under the watchful eyes of the Nigerian military. The villager by the name Bala Isuwa indicated that the gun shots began around 9am and lasted for four hours. The shots were targeted at the farmers, he said. Although the police has confirmed the attack, no arrests have been made.
Instead, the Nigerian military made arrests of the local youths from the Kaninko speaking tribe – who decided to take up locally made weapons to defend their people and land from marauding killer herdsmen. Particularly since the Nigerian military had proved unable to defend the community against the killer Fulani herdsmen.
Cursory inquiry by 247ureports.com reveals that the Kaninko speaking people who are indigenous to the Jema’a LGA have been a engaged in the battle of survival against the ever increasingly aggression by the Hausa/Fulani settlers in the LGA. This was prior to the discovery of Nickel. The Kaninko speaking indigenes were said to have allowed the Fulani cattle grazers access to some grazing field for their cattle. Interestingly, the areas allowed happen to be the area, the Nickel was discovered.
To add muster to an already odorized situation, the Hausa/Fulani community installed an Emir in Kafanchan – a community belonging to Kaninko speaking people. Following the installation of the Emir, the Emir was ranked a 1st class chief while the indigenous Chief of the Kaninko people was ranked 3rd class chief. This means the Kaninko people including their Chief will become subservient to the Fulani Emir. This development has further fueled the fury between the two groups.
It is noteworthy that Jema’a LGA shares border with Nasarawa State in the same manner Benue State shares border with Nasarawa State. It lends credence to the allegations that Nasarawa State serves as staging grounds for the Fulani herdsmen to launch attacks.
Why Nickel Discovery Is A Big Deal
Nickel metal is used to provide hard-wearing decorative and engineering coatings as ‘nickel-plating’ or ‘electroless nickel coating’ or ‘electroforming’. When used with a top layer of chromium, it is popularly known as ‘chrome-plating’. When done in combination with silicon carbide it is known as composite plating.
Nickel-containing materials play a major role in our everyday lives – food preparation equipment, mobile phones, medical equipment, transport, buildings, power generation – the list is almost endless. They are selected because – compared with other materials – they offer better corrosion resistance, better toughness, better strength at high and low temperatures, and a range of special magnetic and electronic properties. Nickel is a key ingredient in many catalysts used to make chemical reactions more efficient.
Nickel use is growing at about 4% each year while use of nickel-containing stainless steel is growing at about 6%. The fastest growth today is seen in the newly and rapidly industrializing countries. Nickel-containing materials are needed to modernize infrastructure, for industry and to meet the material aspirations of their populations.