- Fulani herdsmen are not buying the idea of grazing reserve
- Some of them see it as an infringement of their rights to movement
- There is suggestion that the herdsmen be educated on the importance
The nomadic practice of moving cattle from one place to the other that is common among Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria has led to violent clashes between the herdsmen and farmers but the end of these confrontations doesn’t seem to be near.
This is because the idea of providing permanent grazing reserves for herdsmen to prevent them from roaming with their cattle from the northern part of the country to the largely agrarian south is not welcomed by some herdsmen who feel their right to movement is going to be infringed.
In a report published by Daily trust, some herdsmen and milk sellers expressed displeasure at the idea of restricting their movement and claimed cattle could not survive restrictions.
A herdsman, Muhammadu Tukur said the idea of a permanent reserve will not work.
“It will not work out because we always relocate to where pasture can be found.”
Adamu Birniwa who is the secretary of the state chapter of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association said he was aware of the federal government’s plan and that there was plan to educate the herdsmen on the importance and benefit of the grazing reserve.
Halilu Alhaji Ya’u who is a herdsman condemned the idea and said it would not work.
“If what you are saying becomes reality, it will inconvenience us.”
Alhaji Muhammad Hussaini who is the chairman of the Nasarawa state Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Nigeria said it was a bad idea and an invitation for to trouble.
“We have over 35 million Fulani herdsmen in the country and stopping their movement with cattle might not be possible.”
“If you force a Fulani man not to move with his cattle, you are inviting trouble.”
Hadiza Umar who sells Fura Da Nono rejected the idea and said it might kill her business.
“If you stop moving cattle how do you feed them? Do you think you will get grasses and water from a location to feed them? Where are we going to get the milk? If you don’t get the milk from the cattle rearers in the bush, where do we get it? They are planning to kill our business. They shouldn’t tamper with our means of livelihood and find an alternative means of resolving their problems, and not create another because this move is unacceptable.”
The debate rages on...