Tribal Concealment: A Nomenclatorial Analysis of Herdsmen Discourse in Nigeria Media

Joshua Sunday Ayantayo


The Fulani herdsmen are nomad who settled in different locations throughout
the country peacefully. The peaceful coexistence between the Fulani herdsmen
and farmers/villagers have been tampered with in the recent time due to the
constant quarrel and attack between and among the sects. The attack is
somewhat monopolised by the Fulani herdsmen. This has make it look like a
Fulani herdsmen attack on their host.Playing their oversight role in the
society, the media is reporting the conflict between the sects and arrogating the
attack to the Fulani herdsmen. Tactically, media has dropped Fulani from the
phrase “Fulani herdsmen” and conceal the tribes’ name while reporting the
conflict. There are existing works on the study of herdsmen/farmers’ conflict in
the academic but there is none that studied tribal concealment in the discourse.
This work therefore considered this a huge vacuum that needs to be filled by
studied different strategies used to conceal Fulani as a tribe in the discourse
and examine the implication of such concealments. Data are collected from two
major Nigerian newspapers, the Vanguard and Punch newspapers. The work is
content based analysis. Critical discourse analysis (CDA) is adopted as the
model and the work is analysed qualitatively. Concealment strategies like
lexical replacement, nominalization, passivisation, hedging, use of pronouns
and name dropping are identified. The work also discovered that the
concealment has social, political and academic implication.
Key words: Fulani, concealment, nomenclatorial, herdsmen discourse, media

Full Text:




Abbass, I. M. (2014). No Retreat No Surrender Conflict for Survival

between Fulani Pastoralists and farmers in Northern Nigeria.

European Scientific Journal January Edition, 8(1): 1857–

Akinyetun, T. (2016). Staff to Gun: Fulani Herdsmen in Nigeria. Asian

Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies, 4(8): 38–44.

Joshua Sunday Ayantayo|113

Al-Sharoufi, H. (2013). Critical Discourse Analysis of Political Editorials

in Some Arabic Newspapers.Retrieved from


Amer, M. (2013). Critical Discourse Analysis of War Reporting in the

International Press: The Case of the Gaza War of 2008–2009.

Palgrave Communications.

Bello, A. U. (2013). Herdsmen and Farmers Conflicts in North-Eastern

Nigeria: Causes, Repercussions and Resolutions. Academic

Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 2(5): 129–139.

Cornish, F. (1986). Anaphoric Relations in English and French: A

Discourse Perspective. London: Groom Helm Limited.

Dimelu, M.U. et al. (2017). Livelihood Issues in Herdsmen-

Farmers’ Conflict among Farming Communities in Kogi State,

Nigeria. African Journal of Agricultural Research, 12(24): 2105–

Dominic, A. A. (2017). Initiating Sustainable Cattle Industry in Nigeria:

the Saudi Arabian Experience and Implications for Nigeria

Economy. European Journal of Research and Reflection in Arts

and Humanities, Progressive Academic Publishing, UK, 5(1): 43–

Hyland, K. (1998). Hedging in Scientific Research Articles. Amsterdam:

Benjamins.Ibrahim, M. et al. (2015). An Assessment of Farmer-

Pastoralist Conflict in NigeriaUsing GIS. International Journal

of Engineering Science Invention, 4(7): 23–33.

John, E. (2014). The Fulani Herdsman in Nigeria: Questions,

Challenges, Allegations.


Jorgensen, M. & Phillips, L. (2002). Discourse Analysis as a Theory and

Method. SAGE Publications, India.

Neary-Sundquist, C. (2013). The Use of Hedges in the Speech of ESL

Learners. Estudios delingüística inglesa aplicada.

Odebunmi, A. (2011). Concealment in Consultative Encounters

inNigerian Hospitals. InternationalPragmatics Association,

Pragmatics, 21(4): 619–645.

Okoli, A. C. (2016). The Trajectories and Dynamics of Herdsmen

Militancy in Central Nigeria. Journal of Humanities and Social

Policy, 2(1): 22–30.

Okoli, A. C. & Atelhe, G. A. (2014). Nomads against Natives: A Political

Ecology of Herder/Farmer Conflicts in Nasarawa State, Nigeria.

American International Journal of Contemporary Research, 4(2):

-88.Okwor, D. (2016). The Political Economy of the Conflict

betweenThe Farmers and Fulani Herdsmen in the Contemporary

Era of Climate Change in Nigeria.Unpublished Dissertation,

Institute of Social Studies, Netherlands.

| Tribal Concealment

Ramanathan, R. & Bee, H. T (2015). Application of Critical Discourse

Analysis in Media Discourse Studies.The Southeast Asian

Journal of English Language Studies, 21(2): 57–68.

Richardson, J. E. (2007). Analysing Newspapers. An Approach from

Critical Discourse Analysis. Basingstoke [England]; New York:

Palgrave Macmillan.

Stride, G. T. & Ifeka, C. (1973). Peoples and Empires of West Africa:

West Africa in History 1000-1800; Lagos: Thomas Nelson

(Nigeria) Ltd.

Tenuche, M. S. & Ifatimehin. O. (2009). Resource Conflict among

Farmers and Fulani Herdsmen: Implications for Resource

Sustainability. African Journal of Political Science and

International Relations, 3(9): 360–364.

Tomasello, M. (2009). Social-Cognitive Basis of Language Development.

In Mey, J. (ed.). ConciseEncyclopedia of Pragmatics (2nd edition).

-962. New York: Elsevier Limited.

Van Dijk, T. A. (1993). Principles of Critical Discourse Analysis.

Discourse and Society. 4(2): 249–83.

Van Dijk, Teun (2000): New(s) Racism: A Discourse Analytical

Approach. In Simon Cottle (ed.) Ethnic Minorities and the Media.

Milton Keynes: Open University Press: 33–4.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

 [ISSN 0856-9965 (Print)]