By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA – The Federal Government has said it would soon establish ranches and grazing reserves for Fulani herdsmen in the country in order to stave off further violent altercation between the pastoralist and sedentary farmers.
This was even as government exonerated local herdsmen of the strings of attacks on farming communities, blaming the violence on the influx of foreign herdsmen into Nigeria.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Engr. Babachir David Lawal disclosed this in Abuja when he received in audience, a delegation of Tabital Pulako Njode Jam Foundation, led by its Chairman, Alhaji Abdul Bali.
Director of Press in the office of the SGF, Bolaji Adebiyi in a statement said Mr Lawal “reiterated the decision of the present administration to establish ranches and grazing reserves across the country as a solution to the incessant clashes between Fulani Cattle Rearers and Local Farmers. He also noted that nomads from outside Nigeria have migrated into the country and that they are the ones perpetuating most of the crimes on the farmlands. He assured that government will do the needful to enlighten Fulani Herdsmen on how to make cattle rearing more profitable by utilizing the ranches and reap other social and political benefits that such settlements will offer”.
The Foundation was set up to look into the problem of clashes between Fulani Cattle Rearers and Farmers.
The statement noted that the foundation in its submissions, also expressed conviction that nomads from other lands are responsible for the senseless killings on the farms and urged the government to strengthen control across land borders.
“They said the foundation is ready to partner with government to bring the situation under control”.
In another development, the SGF assured the people of North-Eastern Nigeria that government agencies, responsible for the rehabilitation of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the region, do not discriminate, in the provision of relief materials to the various states.
According to him, relief items are usually distributed with a deep sense of equity and fairness, emphasizing that the severity of the hardships of the IDPs in the affected communities and states was the major consideration in the distribution exercise.
He made the clarification in his office when he received a delegation from the Lardin Gabas Elders Forum led by its Chairman, Board of Trustees, Captain Paul Tahir.
“He explained that rehabilitation efforts in the North-East, apart from the provision of foods items, tents and building materials, included the reconstruction of schools, hospitals, police stations and barracks. He confirmed that to streamline rehabilitation activities in the region, and accelerate the return of normal life to the North-Eastern States, a Presidential Committee on North-East Initiative (PCNI) will soon be inaugurated by Mr. President.
“The Lardin Gabas Elders Forum was established as a reaction to the devastation that Boko Haram insurgency visited on the North-East Region. The Forum, according to the delegation, is ready to work with the federal government to ensure that succour is brought to victims of the insurgency. The forum also advocates the return of Christian Religious Studies to school curriculum to teach youths about good moral upbringing, early”, the statement added.