By Peter Duru
The Middle Belt Movement for Justice and Peace, MBMJP, has warned that the plan by the Federal Government to rediscover grazing routes and reserves in states across the country is a recipe for crisis in the various communities since developments have overtaken the ancient map.
The group urged the Gederal Government to jettison the idea and embrace ranching which it said was the global best practice in animal husbandry.
Convener of MBMJP, Joe Bukka stated this yesterday while reacting to the media briefing by the Special Assistant to President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu who stated that ‘the President had charged the Minister of Agriculture to work with the state governments to rediscover the lost animal grazing routes and reserves as a means of ending the frequent outbreak of violence between farmers and herders.’
Bukka insisted that “the move by the federal government is not feasible because such routes and reserves no longer exist in the contemporary Nigeria, developments have taken over such areas. We had such when we were less than 60 million people in this country. So at over 200 million when our people cannot have enough land to engage in farming you want to rediscover grazing routes and reserves?
“If you want to do that you might go the extent of pulling down very important buildings and structures across the country. Moreover how many states will be willing to give their land for grazing?
“So the government should rather jettison the idea and embrace ranching which is the global best practice in animal husbandry and save our people the persistent killings occasioned by the herders/farmers conflict and stop resorting to ideas that would aggravate our situation.”