Nigerians say “NO” to National Grazing Reserves Bill
Herdsmen depend on their cattle as their means of livelihood the same way farmers depend on crops in their farms. To feed their cattle, the herdsmen, armed with long sticks must lead the animals out early in the morning from their settlement into the bush. In the course of grazing however, the animals strayed into the cultivated farmlands and had a field day on the crops of the farmers.
This naturally resulted in clashes between the aggrieved farmers and the cattle rearers using cutlasses, bows and arrows to settle scores. In recent times, cattle rustlers armed with sophisticated weapons entered the scene, killing the herdsmen and herding the cattle away to be sold in other parts of the country. Herdsmen therefore had no choice than to abandon their traditional long sticks for AK 47 rifles with which they now have an advantage over the farmers in any of their confrontations.
In a bid to curb curb these violent clashes, a bill, sponsored by Senator Zainab Kure, representing Niger Central in the Seventh Senate was presented for consideration but was rejected by the last Senate. The Bill has however been revived in the present political dispensation and presently before the House of Representatives.
Titled; “National Grazing Reserve (Establishment) Bill 2016”, sponsored by Hon. Sadiq Ibrahim, it provides for the establishment of the National Grazing Reserve Commission which shall have power to among other things establish at least one Cattle Reserve in each state of the federation.
The Commission is also mandated to:
*Manage, control and maintain the Cattle Reserves;
*Prescribe the persons who may be licensed to use the Grazing Reserves and determine the type and number of stock permitted therein;
*Prescribe the manner in which the Grazing Reserves may be put to use;
*Fix charges for the Grazing Reserves;
*Maintain and Ensure, in co-operation with the Nigerian Police, the security of lives and property within the Reserve;
*Provide for and issue grazing permits to persons grazing within the Reserves;
*Develop infrastructure and basic amenities such as clinic, schools, etc within the Reserves;
*Demarcate the land boundaries of the Grazing Reserves;
*And prosecute persons who graze outside the Grazing Reserves and other offenders of the Regulations of the Commission.
A cross section of Nigerians were therefore interviewed to share their views on the proposed bill before the National Assembly. Majority of the respondents condemned the move by the Federal Government to establish Grazing Reserves for cattle rearers in each state of the federation arguing that it is recipe for national chaos. Cattle rearing is a business and the owners of the business should take care of their business and not being provided land belonging to other people. There were some respondents who believed however that the bill has some merits but cautioned the government to tread cautiously.
It is a dangerous ploy by the Buhari Administration to jettison the implementaation of the 2014 National Conference which recommended the scrapping of grazing routes for the establishment of ranches. It negates the principle of natural justice and therefore a recipe for violence. The move to take lands belonging to different people and hand such over to an ethnic group would be surely resisted by the people. It is a violation of subsisting Land Use Act and Traditional means of Land Holding. Ranching is the new world order and that must be embraced here and now.
I do not subscribe to the idea or plan by President Muhammadu Buhari to apportion grazing fields to fulani herdsmen in all the states which is like giving them license to kill. In the last one year since President Muhammadu Buhari came to power, the fulani herdsmen men have killed, raped and sent many innocent lives to their untimely grave. Secondly, these Fulani herdsmen are into their private businesses. It’s like saying he will apportion special fishing fields for the average Ijaw fisher man at Argungu or other parts of the northern states that their fisher men are predominantly Northerners
Rev Jeremiah Gado, President of the Evangelical Church Winning All, ECWA Such plan only takes care of a certain group of people, while no one is talking about the farmers whose land will be taken and given to the herders. The Church is not in support of grazing routes, reserve or whatever name, there are cattle in other countries, how are these countries taking care of their cattle?
Mr. Bitrus Kaze
Grazing routes, fields, reserves can be seen as robbing Peter to pay Paul. If the farmers’ lands are taken and given to Fulani herdsmen, will you also collect the cattle to give farmers? Who will pay for these lands, is it the federal, State, local government or individual cattle rearer?
This is the same evil coming in another form because we are not sure if those who will reside in the grazing fields will not rise with sophisticated weapons and attack the host communities.
Why should government contemplate this evil in the first place? Where did these Fulani herdsmen come from to settle in this state. Don’t they have ancestral home? Did they fall from heaven with no origin? Please no one should think of coming to collect my only land in the name of grazing field.
The plan would be good but all implications should be examined before implementation so that we don’t create a bigger problem while trying to solve a smaller one.
Mr Lewis Dudafa, Business man
It is a good idea considering the crisis that has accompanied these Fulani herdsmen grazing in most parts of the country. However, in the South-South or Niger Delta particularly, I do not think the people will welcome this idea of giving out their land exclusively for the Fulani herdsmen. It is like forcefully seizing their lands from them and may lead to more problems. I am of the view that if the government is planning a grazing field, it should be in the Northern part of the country where the Fulanis are more dominant, as it will lead to further crisis particularly in the Niger Delta.
Mr Joseph Saturday Audu, Civil Servant
I am in total support of this grazing field and I am surprised that the last National Assembly failed to look at the merits of this bill before striking it out. In my opinion such grazing field if implemented will go a long way in solving and preventing incessant clashes between farmers and the herdsmen because the herdsmen would be restricted and confined in a particular location which is far better than this indiscriminate roaming and grazing and the attendant problems it is currently causing the nation.
Mrs. Naomi Felix, (Civil Servant)
It is not acceptable to us in Niger Delta. We are not cattle herdsmen, so why on earth must we allocate part of our lands to strangers so to speak? This is unheard of. For ages, the Niger Delta have been crying for true federalism and resource control but have been denied even when we profess to be practicing a federal government. If it is the minority or Niger Delta that had been holding the country to ransom in the name of cattle rearing would they have urged other parts to set aside their lands for us? Let us not do things that would alienate other parts of the country. I say no to grazing fields in our states.
Mr Kennedy Okonkwo, (Driver)
I think that would not be a good idea, I am not in support of it because the herdsmen have already created so much animosity between them and the farmers, so I would advise the government to jettison such policy as it would not go down well with the people of this area. The government should think of other solutions rather than compelling other Nigerians to give out their lads to herdsmen. If I may ask how is cattle rearing contributing to our national economy?
Amina Anebi, golfer
I don’t support the creation of grazing reserve because you can’t just go to someone’s land, take it and give to the same Fulani who are killing the owners of the land. No matter the space you provide for them, there is something in them that keeps them roaming around forever.
It would amount to a waste of people’s valuable land and can spark new crisis.
Mrs Farida Dauda, Business woman
If the grazing reserve as claimed by government will bring peace, I support it. I am tired of people getting killed all the timembecause of clashes between farmers and herdsmen. All I care about is peace, for God’s sake
I am not only against the so-called grazing reserve; I even want the entire Land Use Act repealed. It is against natural justice to appropriate people’s land into government use just like that. How can a Fulani man from another place just freely wander into my ancestral land and it is forced out of my hands and given to him. Any attempt to create grazing reserve will be a recipe for endless conflicts between the owners of the land and the Fulani beneficiaries. Every piece of land is owned by someone and it is very dear to him, no matter how remote.
Usman Ibn Lapai, Public Relations Consultant
I think it is the best solution to end this endless crisis. This will settle the Fulani and keep him away from going into farmlands. If security is also provided for them at the reserves, it will check the problem of cattle rustling. I think we should all welcome it.
Mr. Andrew Fadason, Author, former Editor, Sunday New Nigeria
The idea should be modified into ranches with mixed economic activities that will involve youths from the area that own the land. It should not be taken as a panacea for the endless violence between herdsmen and farmers. All marauders must be found and be brought to book.
My idea is that the ranch should have space for agriculture and animal husbandry complete with basic amenities for both herders, farmers others with allied business and services.
Romanus Anyassor (Newspaper Distributor)
This is how a fratricidal war of unimaginable proportion starts. The Fulanis have surreptitiously declared war on innocent citizens of Nigeria. If the federal and state governments fail to adequately and conclusively deal with this emerging time bomb now, I see a situation when the affected citizens will take up arms in self defence. If this is allowed to happen, it may ultimately lead to separation of the federating units. Where were the governments and the security agencies when herdsmen rape our women and young girls, killed, maimed, destroyed farmlands, communities and churches?
I suggest that the Fulanis should be stopped from bringing their cows to Igboland.
Chidiebere O. Tasie, Businessman
We are saddened beyond description at the way President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration have maintained a deafening silence over the atrocities of Fulani herdsmen. The Agatu experience is still fresh in our memories and now, they have ventured into the South East. This shows that they are executing a well planned script to take over and Islamize the entire country. The Directorate of State Security, DSS, should find out why these Fulani herdsmen carry AK 47 rifles. It would also be instructive to find out who authorized their use of the deadly weapon.
Joe Etim (Public servant)
I don’t see why these Fulani herdsmen should go about with assault rifles. The impression the rest of us have about allowing these Fulanis to carry guns, points to the fact that there is a clandestine plot to eliminate particular tribes in Nigeria. I think this is another glaring case of Boko Haram infiltrating the Southern States and unleashing mayhem on innocent citizens. Secondly, this is also a ploy to Islamize the country.
Mr. Yinka Adeniran, a journalist
It is wrong to be talking about getting grazing reserves for them across the country. This is tantamount to preferential treatment. The world over where people rear animals, they keep and feed them in ranches and not moving them about encroaching upon property of others. Government should make a law that would confine them to their areas. Rearing cattle is a personal business just like poultry, piggery, fishery and farming. Since the government is not giving these people any preferential attention, the Fulani herdsmen too, don’t deserve it.
Mr. Peter Idowu, lawyer
In as much as I would support the proposal, its workability is very doubtful. These Fulani herdsmen are itinerant, they are not stationary in one place, how would the government confine them to a place?
Mr Ayodele Adigun, former Secretary to Oyo State Government
I wonder why the issue of grazing reserve should be a national concern. Farming or cattle rearing is a personal business and it is improper to make personal business a national business. You can imagine the government giving them lands in Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross river and many others. These lands, mind you, are owned by families. How would it sound if you get their lands and give them to a group of people. Just last Tuesday, they attacked my farm and frightened my farm attendants out of the farm. Now, they are afraid to come back. A group of people think that they can frighten us away from our lands. As they value their cattle, we also value our own businesses.
Imagine them coming to my farm with AK 47 riles. They are not robbers. What will armed robbers go to farms to do. Since it is the Federal Government that controls security, I don’t know why these people are allowed to go about with AK 47 rifles. I am sure these weapons are not registered. In the past, Fulani used to graze his animals with stick and cutlass but now, they are armed with guns. They are everywhere. They caused problem in Rivers, Anambra, Delta, Ondo, Osun, Ogun and now they are in Oyo. It will never work here. We won’t take it.”
Mrs. Deborah Olufemi Badmus
The government should not think of that. We can never support it in Oke Ogun because they have killed so many people in our area. It is very risky to give them lands.
Mr. Adeboye jobs Oluwole, computer engineer
This kind of thing should not be allowed to sail through at all. I see a problem in the nearest future. These people are very hostile and non-accommodating. Their nomadic life has robbed them of good relationship with people. They should stay in their state. If other zones agree, I am sure that people in the South-South and South East can never take it”.
Pa Alake, Businessman
Knowing the atrocities the herdsmen committed against Yoruba in Ilorin several years ago, no Yoruba man would welcome such an idea. They cannot be trusted at all. They are ruthless and violent. Nobody invites trouble to be with him. Imagine what they did and are still doing in the North where they would kill and burn down a whole town and village. Who will allow such people to come here. Never.
I do not support such because it is a way of giving the land of the people to the fulani herdsmen even outside their own region, if such bill is passed, it is a way of taking the land from owners and giving it to the northerners. There will always be conflict and crisis. Government should be careful not to create crisis like it happened in south Africa that caused the great trek in 1834- 1837. Government should apply caution because such bill will lead to communal war between the land ownwers and the fulanis.
I won’t support such in its entirety because the fulani have said they will expend their territories from Kano to Lagos and portharcourt. Now they have succeeded in that of Lagos. They now want to do it in other part of the country. If they want grazing reserve they should buy or lease land because it’s a pure business venture. Israel is a desert but it has been able to develop a type of grass that they plant to feed their herds other countries should follow suit. The world has moved away from nomadic cattle rearing to having ranches like in Australia.
I won’t support it if the fulani wants to expand their business, they should find grazing land in their state and create ranches, passing the bill into law will be at the detriment of other occupation like farming. The National Assembly should not pass the bill into law. The governors in the north should accommodate the herdsmen instead of spreading their tentacle towards the south and causing havoc.
I do not support it. Even in advanced countries what is in vogue is that they build ranches for their herds. It’s another attempt to rid people of the land . Since it is a private business why should Federal government uses our commonwealth to service few individuals who are herdsmen . It’s unthinkable, it should be condemned by all and sundry.
Mrs. Mary Kolawole
It is unacceptable. It’s a kind of oppression on others. Why take people’s land to satisfy others because you want satisfy the interest of few individuals in the north . Why should government even think of such. They should stay clear of our land. Ranches should be made for them in the North.
Dr. Chris Eluemunoh, Chairman of Presidents of Ohaneze in all Igbo –speaking states
Why should government create grazing fields for people doing their private businesses? What is special about Fulani people and their cows? They should create grazing fields in their areas and such a thing should not concern people who are not herdsmen. Forcing people to donate their farmlands for grazing fields will only lead to a catastrophe as clashes are bound to happen between the herdsmen and farmers. This law should never be allowed to pass. The ideal thing is that grazing fields should be created where there are cows and everybody knows where the cows are found in this country. The highest the government can do is to create ranches in the states where cows can be kept for people to go and buy and the cows should not leave those ranches to wander on people’s farms. That is how it is done in countries that even have more cows than Nigeria. We discussed this issue at the last National Conference and resolved that only ranches can be created in southern states and not grazing fields.
I don’t support the plan by the government to apportion grazing Field to fulani herdsmen in all the States of the country because it will not solve the clashes they have with farmers as they will still trespass and enter people’s farmland, particularly when they see greener pastures elsewhere. The president should solve this problem of frequent clashes between Fulani herdsmen and citizens by first of all bringing to justice all the perpetrators of violence among the herdsmen before talking about apportioning any portion of land to them for grazing “
I support the plan because it wil minimize the clashes between herdsmen and citizens. If the herdsmen are given a portion of land in all the states of the federation, they will now know their boundaries and if they trespass, they will face the wrath of the law’
Fulani Herdsmen from countries like chad, Niger and cameroun , are known to be violent, they are the ones that migrated from their countries into Nigeria and they are called Kudda. They are known to graze with weapons, but once this law is enacted, it will help to curtail them.
Elizabeth Carr, a journalist.
The plan is not a good development because it is strictly their private business and they should not be made to be confined to a particular area because they are normads that migrate from one place to the other. If you are saying that a particular portion of land should be apportioned to these herdsmen, the question is that who now takes charge of the land, particularly when they migrate.
Ernest, School Principal
Apportioning grazing fields to Fulani herdsmen is unacceptable because the plan is coming as an afterthought from the President after the herdsmen had wrecked havoc among residents. I feel this plan should have come earlier and not after the herdsmen have destroyed lives and properties in some parts of the country. Even if they are given grazing fields, they will still wreck havoc because they are looking for something else and not grazing lands”
Gambo Danjuma,Member Civil Liberty Organization,CLO,Governing board.
No sane man can support the plan to establish grazing reserves across the country. Ab initio, we had grazing routes where Fulani herdsmen ply to cross over from one state to another. The planned grazing reserve is an avenue of wasting taxpayers money on the Fulani. Are we going to contribute money to boost their businesses? Their business is a private business. It is as good as saying Nigeria is raising cattle for the fulani herdsmen”.
The plan will create anarchy especially in the south-east geopolitical zone where the herdsmen have found a safe haven. The herdsmen should deal with issues of deforestation and insurgency driving them away from the North-East geopolitical zone. Whose land will Federal Government take and give to private herdsmen who are doing their own business? The federal government should equally make plans of building shops for Igbo traders in all council areas nationwide. We will stand up and resist any attempt to create grazing reserves especially in the south-east geopolitical zone because it is criminal”.
States that are interested should establish ranches as is obtainable in developed climes. Businessmen pay for their shops. Why should federal government usurp people’sland to grow individual businesses. They should buy land and conduct their business in a confinement. The idea to create reserves in all council areas will plunge the country into a perpetual war. The menace of the herdsmen,killing,raping,destruction of farmland and properties will then spiral out of control. The National Assembly should throw out any bill seeking to create grazing reserves nationwide. This is a manifestation of Buhari’s agreement with the Fulani to support his electioneering campaigns in the days leading to the 2015 general election”
Onah Festus, Lecturer
The plan cannot be encouraged because herdsmen do not pay any form of tax to the Federal Government. They disguise as cattle rearers to unleash mayhem. They should operate within their domain in the North. It is just like giving land for example to Abakaliki Rice producers nationwide for free which the federal government has not talked about. Where on earth has a country contributed their land to grow private businesses of a negligible few? It is not done. Everyday,we are greeted with chilling news of herdsmen attacks,sack of their host communities. They are notorious everywhere they go. They cannot coexist with their host peacefully. Any state or council area that wants to accommodate them should be ready for war because they will overrun the people. It is sacrilegious to think of a grazing reserve in the country amidst the prevailing security situation. It will give way for further insecurity problems. Our people will resist any attempt by the Federal Government to create the grazing reserve. No day passes in this country without attacks on hapless Nigerians by the herdsmen. Moreover,it will be an infringement on peoples right of land ownership if government forcibly takes their land for individuals’ grazing reserve.
Chief Uzor Azubuike, Abia state commissioner
For me, it is a welcome development because our experience in Abia is that they destroy farm lands, rape our women, and maim people. So putting them together and guiding them will be good because we already have some problem. But I hope that they will not see the proposal as an opportunity to occupy and build an empire we see in Benue State today. It is a programme that must be carefully and properly planned so that the Fulani herdsmen can conduct themselves. I am afraid that if not properly planned and managed, they may use it as a launching pad for an empire. And if it is properly done, our people can also go into the business, it is not an exclusive trade of the Fulani. Generally, it is a good idea but it must be properly done so that there will be sanity.
Alhaji Abubakar Sadiq, secretary, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Niger state chapter
I am very much in support of the idea of grazing field just as our Association is also in support of the idea. We have lost a lot of lives and property, a lot of animals were killed, herdsmen were killed while many houses were burnt as a result of clashes between the Nomads and farmers in this country. It is our belief that with this bill, this crisis will be reduced to the barest minimum. In the global world now where ranches are established, grazing reserves being proposed by the government is similar to that because the issue of rearing animals from one point to the other is only applicable mostly in this part of the world. This idea will assist greatly not only in curtailing the crisis between Normads and farmers but it will also improve the livestock development in this country.
Alhaji Aliyu Lawal, Journalist
I am very in support of the new policy because it will curtail the frequent Fulani Farmers clashes that have been reuccuring in parts of the country in the past years. When the new policy is implemented,the Fulanis will not have the opportunity of encroaching into other people’s farms. Instead, they will stay with their cattle and allow them to graze there and I am sure that if this is done, a Fulani man can stay there for ten to twenty years without moving to anywhere and the problem of clashes between them will be a thing of the past. I disagree that the Fulanis cannot stay in one place for long. though they are Nomadic, they can easily adopt to the new policy especially when their cattle can have proper feeding to enable them produce enough milk and have fleshy
The Fulanis have spoilt so many farm lands, giving them land is not going to solve the problem, they should go back to their state where they belong”.
I don’t support the government coming to appropriate our lands here in South West because our children must inherit the land but if it taken from us now what will our children who want to farm live on? I don’t support
The best thing to curb the invasion of Fulani herdsmen men from destroying people’s farm is to create grazing field . When they organise a grazing field for them, their herds will be able to feed without disturbing anybody. That is the best solution”.
Comrade Seyi Adeyanjo
Why is it that in the whole of southern Nigeria, the Fulani men are rampaging the whole place and there was nothing anybody can do to stop it, and not even one person has been arrested? The government should address that before talking about grazing field
If apportioning grazing field to them will solve the problem of violent clashes with farmers, let them have it.
Mrs Folashade Garuba, Business woman
It can’t work,because they are used to migrating from one place to another, that has been their lifestyle. Their people should talk to them at the community level to make them understand that they should be controlling their cows to stop them from destroying other people’s property.
Mrs Mnlumun T.
We will not give our land to Fulani herdsmen, they should go back to where they are coming from because Nigerians are tired of their troubles. If they do that it means this government wants to create colonies for Fulani herdsmen in every state.
Let the owners of the cows take them to their various states and look for how to graze their cows. How is it the business of government to provide grazing field for cows that belong to individuals which more or less is a business venture?
Mrs. Ali, Nursing mother
I cannot support such a plan, people who own the cows should bear the responsibility of getting a place for pasture and not the government. Except they want to tell us that some top government people own the cows and are equally arming the herders.
Mr George Oko
The truth is that no community in Benue state will be ready to part with its parcel of land for that purpose. Owners of herd should be able to provide pasture for their cows, it is certainly not the business of government to do so. In other countries of the world herd are confined by their owners. It is not the business of government to do such.
Government should make laws banning wild grazing as practiced in the country presently and allow owners of the cows find pasture for their herd since it is the private business of such individuals.
Yes, I’m in support, because of many reasons. Aside from the fact that the step will give them a sense of belonging,it will also reduce various clashes being witnessed all over the country between the fulani herdsmen and farmers
My take on the issue is that there should be a restricted grazing reserve since in the South West here, we are not known for Normadic business. The cattle rearers should be restricted to their areas. These cattle rearers are destroying the farm land with impunity in Yoruba communities. For me, the activities of these cattle rearers look like they have the backing of the Federal Government.
My position is that just like farming, animal husbandry is an economic venture. In other countries people who engage in animal husbandry have their private grazing land that restricted their animals to a particular area. So, the Nigeria situation should not be different, the Fulani cattle rearers are encouraged to create their own private grazing land.
I am in support of the proposed policy but it should be decentralized because of the sensitivity of the business. The incessant crises between the farmers and the cattle rearers is capable of dragging the country into another civil war. My advice for the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association is that they should sensitise their members because of the activities of those carrying dangerous weapons.
Bappa Jakusko, a Fulani
The Fulanis are rich people, and they should be encouraged to privately own grazing fields fortified with state of the art facilities as obtained in the developed economy in the interest of peace and socio economic development of the country.
Muhammad Kabiru Yau, Human Rights activist
I think the effort is not necessary considering the nature of the Fulanis. It is difficult to cage them in one place in whatever guise and going by their nature you can’t restrict them to a place no matter what you do. It is difficult to change the age long tradition of these people
Comrade Saidu Bello
I really support the proposal, it is the surest way to checkmate incessant clashes. Besides, it is their fundamental right considering Fulanis’ contribution to the economic growth of our country. If you provide a grazing field you guarantee economic growth, control criminality and you ensure peace.
Engr Abubakar Maishanu
Well it’s a nice step in the right direction, but government must take into cognizance the lifestyle of the Fulanis. They are nomadic in nature and may be difficult to cage them in one place, and it would be ideal for Government to also involve the private sector but should set the ball rolling before gradual withdrawal for the private sector.
Hon. Sagir AbdulQadir Panshekara, ex chairman, Kumbotso local government area of Kano.
It’s an inalienable right of the Fulanis to be given special treatment considering their vital role in the economy. Personally, this is long over due, if farmers are given fertiliser subsidy for providing the food, what do you offer to the group that provides the meat? Their role in modern economy is such that we need to encourage them through laudable policies to tap the best out of them.
Chief Polycap Okpara
Creating a reserve for Fulani herdsman could lead to disintegration. The reserve as it is,stand out as the major, if not only source of food supply to the larger nation. Federal Government should take a cue from the U.S that has no reserve for cattle grazing, yet they produce the largest market of beef for domestic consumption and for export. In addition, any attempt to allow Fulani herdsmen to graze in the reserve, will surely lead us to long awaited disintegration of the federated Nigeria.
Doris Mcdaniels, Chairperson Ijaw Mothers Union.
Our Okrika people will not welcome a reserve in the community. My people are peculiar. If they allot grazing area in Okrika, I am sure the cattle and the Fulani herdsmen will find their exit through the sanitary soak away.
Mrs. Ubong-Abasi Chris
Grazing Site is necessary to check the attacks and unnecessary killing of defenceless farmers. I am saying this believing that they would also tolerate other ethnic nationalities and religious groups to reside in their states and do their legitimate businesses without hinderance.
Miss Imo Etukukoh-A civil servant
It is a welcome development so that these people could be monitored. It is a nice idea because like in other states, farmers in Akwa-Ibom State are complaining of degradation and destruction of their farms by cattle rearers. Grazing field will enhance control of the cows and also help to curb the lawless disposition of the herdsmen.
I am in support of the idea to provide herdsmen in the states of the federation with grazing fields. It will help to check the excesses of the cattle rearers and the destruction of people’s farms by their cows since they think their business is superior to other people’s business.
Cattle rearing is a private business and as such, those who are into it should not take the laws into their hands because other private individuals do not disturb the peace of other individuals with their businesses. If they do not know how to manage their businesses again, they should look elsewhere. If they must run their cattle business, they should provide grazing sites for their cattle or be made to face the wrath of the law when they contravene the law.
Rev. Samuel Joshua- Cleric
I agree with Governor Ajumobi of Oyo State, who has said that his state will not provide grazing sites for cattle rearers because of their belligerent and militant nature. These people go about with guns causing havoc unchallenged and the security agencies fold their arms watching them. I believe our President who has experience in warfare should be a Minister of Defence and not Petroleum so as to check militancy as perpetrated by those cattle herdsmen.
Besides, the federal government does not provide special space for farmers, so, why should special treatment or preference be given to cattle rearing farmers. That is not justifiable, I don’t support that idea. It is a biased idea.
The idea is not a good one because the business of cattle rearing should be the sole responsibility of the owners of the cattle to find grazing sites for their flocks.
Mr. Ogbonna Uche
The issue is fragile and government has to be careful about it in order not to overheat the polity because Nigerians are feeling that government is giving undue attention to the Fulani herdsmen and their flocks to the detriment of others who are in the cattle business.
Mr. Femi Oluwalomola, cattle farmer
The idea of a creating a grazing field for Fulani herdsmen is an an insult on other Nigerians. Anyone who owns flock should be responsible for their upkeep.
The issue of apportioning a grazing field for Fulani herdsmen will reduce if not eliminate the present spate of cattle rearers/farmers feud across all states of the Federation.
Chiemeka Akwarandu, Public Affairs commentator
Nigerian government should embrace modern system of agriculture like it is done in many African countries like Morocco, Egypt and Kenya. The nomadic system should be abolished given the present security challenges in the country. Secondly, our traditional institution should set up local security to compliment the efforts of the police and other security agencies.
Dr. (Mrs.) Nma Olebara, a woman leader and retired educationist.
The menace of these herdsmen has become something else but government seems to be comfortable with their atrocities. Why would the army, the police and other security agencies appear to be doing little when these herdsmen kill and destroy property, but we see photographs on the social media where the law enforcement agencies are killing IPOB members who are harmless and only staging a protest. Do we talk of the massive genocide in Nasarawa, the Agatu Holocaust, the Jos devastation and the massacres of South Easterners and the devastation of their farmlands. Do we talk of over fifty lives, churches, schools and property that were lost in Enugu State or over two thousands displaced in their own homelands? Don’t we have a commander in chief who can order military action against these insurgents as he did to Boko Haram and promised to do to pipeline vandals? Or do we now value cows and crude oil more than human being? Is human life no longer sacred and blood not precious and costly anymore in Nigeria? What is bad is bad, must we keep silent because of those involved? Let’s do unto others as we would expect them do unto us. Enough is enough!
Professor Chinedu Asinu Anosike, Brand consultant.
It is high time the Igbos came together as one united entity to match the Fulani militia, which Nigerian carelessly call herdsmen, force for force.
Boko Haram has truly penetrated the nooks and crannies of Igboland in the guise of herdsmen and we are folding our hands watching helplessly until we are held hostage in our dear fatherland. We need to deal with the situation decisively now or never.
Okenze Ndukwe, a community leader
It is time the ghosts of the famous Bakassi Boys are resurrected. Igbos need to wake up the strong men of Aguleri and Umuleri. Igbos must rouse the community self help spirit, which Ndigbo are famous for. Let each and every community gear up and protect themselves at all costs against these marauders.
It is time for action. Go to sleep and your people will be annihilated. Stay awake and keep your community alive.
A traditional ruler speaks:
A royal father, who did not want his name in print, not only condemned the attack but also described it as “a porgrom in the making”.
Are these Fulanis above the law? In all their damnable rampages, we would like to know how many of them were ever arrested and prosecuted. We cannot be running a country with different destinies for different citizens. The madness must stop please.
Chief Obinna Ibole, a community leader
I think the mistake is from our system that has not till now, made effort to domesticate cow rearing.
Added to the above, one may begin to wonder who owns these cows that roam our farms. Is it these hungry-looking herdsmen that follow the cows about? Definitely no!
It therefore means that there are some unseen owners that fully back these herdsmen in anything and everything they do. Most likely, it is these unseen masters that empower and arm the herdsmen.
It is most appalling, how these armed herdsmen massacre, rape, threaten and destroy communities even as it seems that there are no more strong-willed youths in these communities to defend their home against intruders and marauders. One may have to blame the security organization for not acting speedily to avert such avoidable calamities.
I think it is now time for all the communities in the South East and South South to be security conscious and get prepared to assemble parallel vigilante groups, similar to the Civilian Joint Task Force that assisted the military in the North East to combat Boko Haram in the North, because chances are that these deadly persons are terrorists under the guise of herdsmen. It is instructive to remind us all that the moment they are able to overrun any local government area, they will pitch their camp and shift focus from Sambisa Forest to any other settlement in the south.
The Southern Governors need to close ranks and rise above political party platforms and come together to avert possible invasion of the south, as being speculated now.