Fed Govt must ban herdsmen, cattle movement from North to South – Ganduje

By AdvocateNews on 01/02/2021

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…Afenifere, Middle Belt, Igbo unions support Kano governor

Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje at the weekend said the only way to prevent herders-farmers clash in Nigeria was to abolish the movement of herdsmen and cattle from North to the South.

He spoke in an interview with newsmen in Daura, Katsina State on Saturday.

He said his advocacy was that Nigeria should abolish the transportation or trekking of herdsmen from the northern part of Nigeria to the middle belt and to the southern part of the country.

According to him, there should be a law that would ban the movement of herdsmen and their cattle from the north to the south.

Ganduje said until this was done, the conflicts between herdsmen and farmers would continue.

He also said cattle rustling would continue until the ban was put in place in the country.

In his words: “My advocacy is that we should abolish the transportation or trekking of herdsmen from the Northern part of Nigeria to the Middle Belt and to the Southern part of Nigeria.

“There should be a law that will ban, otherwise we cannot control the conflicts between herdsmen and farmers and cannot control the cattle rustling which is affecting us greatly.”

Ganduje added that “We are building a Ruga settlement in Samsosua Forest, our border with Katsina and we have succeeded in curtailing the effect of banditry in that area.

“So, we are building many houses, we are constructing a dam; we are establishing a cattle artificial insemination centre; we are establishing veterinary clinic and already we have started building houses for herdsmen.”

Meanwhile, Nigerians have hailed the call by Ganduje, for the Federal Government to ban the movement of cattle from the North to South.

Former presidential candidate, Dr Yunusa Tanko and Chairman of the Arewa Youth Consultative Assembly, Mallam Yerima Shettima, hailed governor Ganduje’s suggestion as a welcome idea, stressing that the frequent clashes between the cattle herders and farmers not only portrays the North in a bad light, but also threatening the peaceful coexistence of the country.

They both called on cattle owners and their herders to embrace modern ranching as the best option of grazing their cattle.

Tanko said: “The idea of cattle straying into farms and destroying people’s crops is not acceptable, that has brought for us in the North wrongly or rightly, a level of unacceptable accolade from our brothers in the South. The North has enough land mass that can take care of the cattle if only we can build ranches and take care of the cattle. Most of the cattle are owned by the elite, not the herders you see on the road. If the elite have invested that much in the cattle business, they should be able to build ranches for their cattle.”

For Shettima, the continued movement of herders and destruction of farmlands and crops has continued to threaten the peace of the country.

“The fact of the matter is that we can’t continue over and over to gloss over the surface of an injury without addressing the source of the injury. If there is to be a solution, let us go back to modern ranches, the world is a global village, we can rear cattle without causing harm to anybody or encroaching into anybody’s territory and without these attacks and counter-attacks. I agree with governor Ganduje that such law should be passed, so that we put an end to the incessant farmers and herders clashes.”

Spokesman of Pan Yoruba Cultural Organisation, Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, said that cattle rearing is private business and any herder who wants to rear cattle in any southern state must obey the laws governing that state.

“If Ganduje thinks that not bringing cows to the South would unsettle us, he is making a mistake. They are not giving the cows free of charge, they are doing business and he should know that many people in the South are already raising cows. They should not think that because they are bringing their cows, they should be killing our people; we are beyond that,” Odumakin said.

In his own reaction, President of the Middle Belt Forum, Dr. Bitrus Pogu, said: “The statement that Ganduje made is neither here nor there, and when the policy of ranching, which we have been suggesting as the best practice of animal husbandry around the world, is implemented, the movement would not be there.

“When you find people armed in their numbers coming to sack communities, then after that, cattle rearers will come and occupy the land. So it goes beyond the narrative they have been deceiving us with. The killers have to be flushed out of the country.

“What the governor said is based on sentiments rather than solution. He is trying to divide the country by that statement. He is saying Fulani should be in the north; which part of the north?” Pogu asked.

For the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF), the call by governor Ganduje has vindicated its persistent push for states in the South East to make laws on anti-open grazing of cattle.

ADF’s spokesman, Abia Onyike, yesterday, declared that continued open grazing of cattle is a recipe for crisis in Nigeria.

“The Federal Government should listen to governor Ganduje’s advice to reduce the growing tension generated by Fulani herdsmen in southern Nigeria. If the tension is not checked, a civil war may become inevitable in Nigeria,” ADF warned.

Association of South East Town Unions (ASETU) said governor Ganduje’s call for nomadic herding was somewhat belated though commendable.

National President of ASETU, Chief Emeka Diwe, said that “It is a “good morning” at afternoon.”
“But the shame, however, is that the South East governors who we have severally written on this matter have remained adamant. What the Fulani herdsmen have done to our farmers in the bushes is second only to the genocide of the civil war. Yet our governors are silent. This is an act of betrayal!” 

Posted 01/02/2021 06:57:50 AM


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