…Says no peace in 10 years time unless Fulani are settled
By Ibrahim HassanWuyo
Chieftains of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN, have alleged that due to the lack of education of the Fulani children, drug dealers and other merchants of crime used the Fulani to perpetuate crime and banditry in Nigeria.
Speaking at the Headquarters of the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, in Kaduna on Thursday during the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Forum, the National Secretary of MACBAN, Alhaji Baba Othman Ngelzarma said they have come to ACF which is now the father of Fulani in Nigeria ,as the prevailing situation in the country has turned them into orphans with no homes .
He said MACBAN came to meet the ACF to narrate the plight of 30 million Fulani in present day Nigeria.
Chairman of the ACF, Chief Audu Ogbe assured MACBAN that they would look into their grievances and approach the relevant authorities.
According to Ngelzerma, “the ignorance of the herders and pastoralists is being exploited by crime merchants and drug merchants in the country, who supply the herders drugs”.
He alleged that these crime merchants collected the millions in ransom and only dropped peanuts for the foot soldiers.
He therefore warned that unless the Fulani are put together in the Grazing Reserve, the country may not have peace.
“In the next 10 to 20 years, if the problem is not resolved nobody can travel within and around Nigeria because the herders are scattered all over,” he averred.
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According to him, they also came to seek for ACF’s support to put pressure on the Federal and State Governments to immediately accommodate all the Fulani herders and pastoralists in the 400 Grazing Reserves in the north to avert imminent catastrophe.
MACBAN said that apart from the 400 Grazing Reserves in the North, there were others in the South, including Oyo, Ogun and Lagos States.
He said “If the facilities are made operational, this will put an end to the food crisis and security Challenges currently facing the nation.”
“The only solution to Nigeria’s problem is to accommodate all the Fulani Herders and Pastorialists in the Grazing Reserves with the provision of modern facilities,” he said.
ACF, he said ,must put heads together with MACBAN in ensuring an end to herders- farmers crisis and the general insecurity in Nigeria.
He said the Government should bring all the fulani pastoralists together in the grazing reserves and provide them with educational, health and other social facilities.
He said the level of insecurity in the country was linked to Kidnapping and armed banditry, which affected the economic life of the country.
“The Government should see to settling the Pastorialists in the grazing reserves and avoid the present situation where they are scattered all over the country. This is the cause of the problem we have today”.
“These Pastorialists should be provided the necessary educational, health and other facilities in the grazing reserves. When their status improves, this will boost their productive capacity and the productivity of the country. The operation of the grazing reserves should be carried out as urgent as possible”.
“Lagos State alone consumes 6,000 cows on daily basis, while 250 lorries of cows enter into Southern part of the country on daily basis”.
“But, because of the poor management of the Herders crisis, that is why we are where we are today. If we want an end to the problem, the 400 grazing reserves in the Northern States should be put to use and developed better. We have 3 in Oyo, Ogun and Lagos. If the grazing reserves are utilized, half the problems will be solved.”
He said that the fulani pastoralists have lost over 4 million cows since the crisis started in the country, stressing that the problem is not a problem of the North alone, but that of the entire Nigeria.