- The federal government has been commended on its decision to create grazing reserves in ten states across the country
- A group said the creation of grazing reserves by the government will restrict the movement of pastoralists
- According to the group, those against the initiative don’t want peace, which means they are enjoying the persistent crises between the herdsmen and farmers
A socio-cultural group, Billital Moobe Pastoralists Association of Nigeria (BILMPAN), has commended the federal government on its decision to create grazing reserves in ten states across the federation.
The chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the organisation, Alhaji Ya’u Malammadori, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview in Dutse on Monday, June 25, that the move would address the recurring clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the country.
According to Malammadori, many people are losing their lives and property as a result of the reoccurring crises which is not healthy for the country.
“We believe, the initiative by President Muhammadu Buhari administration to create ranches as a pilot tests in Adamawa, Benue, Ebonyi, Edo, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Oyo, Plateau, Taraba and Zamfara, would solve the incessant crises between pastoralists and farmers
“We really welcome the idea; we appreciate the effort of the government and wish to say that this is a right step taken at the right direction at the right time. Though, this is just like a pilot scheme to take off in ten states across the federation, we want the government to live by its words and extend the gesture to other states.
“We are happy the federal government said it will spend N170 billion on the whole scheme, with N70 billion to be spent for the project in 10 states before moving to other states. But we are surprised to read that some people are against the creation of ranches by the federal government.
“This is very unfortunate, people against the initiative don’t want peace, that means they are enjoying the persistent crises between the herdsmen and farmers, or because they are beneficiaries of the crisis and don’t want it to end.
“We as pastoralists, if disease or calamity befalls our animals, nobody cares to assist us, but when farmers, traders, or people in other human endeavour faced challenges, governments or organisations do assist them.
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“So, this time around, if government is saying that it will assist by creating ranches to solve the reoccurring clashes between herdsmen and farmers, what is the problem in that?
“For instance, government do assist farmers with fertilizers and agro chemical, it also assists during flooding. Most of our land was taken from us by government for cultivation by farmers, so where do you want us to go and graze our cattle.
“We believe the creation of grazing reserves by the federal government will restrict movement of pastoralists, which could engender peace and mutual coexistence in the society.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo assured Nigerians that contrary to reports that the federal government take care of grazing reserves, herdsmen across the country will pay for spaces for the livestock.
Osinbajo said the federal government lacked powers to seize land from states for the establishment of grazing reserves as widely speculated.
He said the herdsmen would pay for the services to be rendered by the proposed ranches or grazing reserves by the government.
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