The Herdsman’s Narrative - THISDAYLIVE

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The Herdsman’s Narrative via thisdaylive

He was an urbane looking man of moderate build and calm demeanor. A strong personality, no doubt, with calm eyes and a totally unassuming aspect. His somber simplicity, firm but unobtrusive presence and the slightly mischievous glint in his eyes were among the first things I noticed. I was shocked to discover not only that he was an older man, but that I put his biological age close to 20 years below what it actually was. This man was over 70 years of age and I just could not make out how.

Whereas I could understand the element of impoverishment of the cattle owners, I needed him to link this with some imaginary loss of social status. He did that easily, by asking me what would be the status of an Igbo man in the traditional Igbo society who suddenly lost all the yams in his barn, including the seed yam for the next planting season.

The result is that when violations of their old rules of engagement increased in number and frequency, especially in the absence of accompanying mitigations, nerves were frayed and relationships deteriorated precipitously. That made some locals to occasionally take matters into their hands and deal with known youths who were known for thievery or molestation of people. This led to cases of outright killings in a few cases. Then came retaliations.


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