Northern Governors may have come to the point of loss of confidence in President Muhammadu Buhari over the ravaging killer Fulani herdsmen tormenting the country and the bandits laying siege in the northwest Nigeria. The northern governors, therefore, resolved on internal approach to tame the menace of the Fulani herdsmen in the country.
The northern governors, accordingly, demanded the Federal Government to provide grants for establishment of ranches in the northern states.
Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, had in a media interaction on Tuesday, noted that the rise of banditry, he identified to be linked to cattle rustling, and the recent quit notices issued across the country to Fulani herdsmen, made ranching the alternative option to restore peace in the country and “the only way to control the insecurity”. He maintained that northern governors have declared support of ranching before now.
The NGF chairman insisted that what is required is for the federal government to provide financial assistance to northern governors to establish ranches for the Fulani herdsmen and end the itinerant nomadic life.
Governor Lalong had said: “We were advising the federal government to also give grants to states that are ready with land.
“We are not saying that it is compulsory for states that are not ready. But many states in the North are ready.
“We need some grants to start so that these people will not be moving here and there. We need to also keep them in one place. It is business. So definitely, that’s the only way to control the insecurity.”
The Plateau Governor affirmed that all stakeholders, including members of cattle herders associations across the country, were on agreement with the idea of ranching. He pointed out that the establishment of tranches is being hindered by lack of fund. He decried: “But there is this lack of funds to the state, there is lack of encouragement to the state.”
He pointed out that Plateau State government had provided 74,000 hectares for ranching outlet but needs funding to develop the project.
The governor was of the view that “When you start restricting people, you must provide alternatives.”
While the northern governors are beginning to come together for collective solution to the insecurity crisis precipitated by the Fulani herdsmen and bandits, which is at the point of inter-ethnic strife or potential civil war, the ministry of agriculture had over the years undermined the establishment of ranches for the herdsmen. The agriculture ministry also failed to galvanize the Fulani herdsmen for collective or partnership efforts to establish ranching for their business.
However, while the northern governors are seeing reasons to contain the perennial insecurity, it is not totally correct that banditry has a link with cattle rustling. The northern governors must endeavour to diagnose the various brands of crime in order to apply the appropriate therapy.
The governors must avoid politics and deceptions.
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