Herdsmen Crisis: ‘Politicians Proposing Ranching Scheming For 2019’

The chairman, board of trustees (BOT) of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Ango Abdullahi, says politicians advocating for the creation of cattle ranches as solution to the clashes between farmers and herdsmen, are doing so to garner votes for the 2019 elections.

Abdullahi said this on Saturday in an interview with The Sun.

The elder statesman challenged politicians in support of the proposal to make public models of ranching in their states within a year.

While describing the proposal as “deceptive”, Abdullahi said northern government had tried ranching and model grazing reserves in the past, but they failed.

“If they had forgotten their history, they should go and read their history books particularly on ranching development that was. But all these failed, some for careless reasons, some for purely unavoidable ethical reasons, they failed,” he said.

“So for them to be talking to us about ranch now, I consider it irresponsible and deceptive but I challenge them, we want to see model ranching in each state that talked about ranch now within the next 12 months.

“Certainly, they should know that this is not a solution to a problem that had been with us for hundreds of years.

He said the clashes between farmers and herders in the country is as a result of political, ethnic and religious prejudice.

“At the moment, only 35 percent of Nigeria’s territory is under cultivation. The remaining 65 percent is open range forest.

“So you cannot argue that it is shortage of land that is causing conflict between farmers and livestock owners. What is driving all this noise about herdsmen-farmers clash is political, mixed with ethnic and unfortunately in some cases, religious bigotry.

“I want to emphasise that this is dangerous. The time has come for us to stop it before it gets worse than what it is now,” he added.

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