Despite staunch criticism from Nigerians, the federal Government have gone ahead with the recovery of grazing routes across the country stating that most of the pastoralists cannot afford ranching
In response to the recent wars between farmers and fulani herdsmen all over the country, the federal government has started to take steps to recover grazing routes all over the country in spite of disapproval from Nigerians, Nigerians especially in the south have agitated against grazing routes and hoped its recovery will not see the light of the day, but the federal government has embarked on its recovery and they have stated that the routes will only be traced in non-conflict zones, In recent years there have been tension between the Fulani herdsmen and Nigerians in the south, herdsmen attacks have been very popular, and Nigerians have beckoned to the government to expel the herdsmen from their states fueling talks of a civil wars, Nigerians have advocated to the government to create ranches, southerners have complained that they are not comfortable with presence of Fulani herdsmen in the area
The acting Director, Animal Husbandry Department, FMARD, Winnie Lai-Solarin, said that although cattle ranching is a good option, most cattle herdsmen can’t afford ranching, She said, “There are some stock routes that we have across the country, and in the past, we had monuments along these stock routes, particularly the primary stock routes. And in the course of farming or other human activities along those stock routes, the monuments were altered, but we know where they are. So we are saying that some of them can be retraced. And this is particularly for areas that are not encroached upon as of now.
“The pastoralists know the routes, and on some of those routes, you will see the pieces of the monuments along them “So for those that are not encroached upon and are not in conflict zones, we will go ahead to retrace and guide the pastoralists along them. We didn’t get to where we are today in one day and so we cannot expect that every pastoralist should suddenly start ranching now. Some would still have to move but let’s keep the movement as safe as possible and in areas that are not conflict zones. That is what I am saying. We are not going to retrace stock routes where there are infrastructures that are for the public good.”
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, had announced on Thursday that the Federal Capital Territory and 22 states has been registered for the National Livestock Transformation Plan as part of measures to establish grazing reserves in their domains. He said “Twenty-two states and the Federal Capital Territory have registered with the NLTP office, out of which 10 states have created their own teams which have been trained by the federal office”
In February the federal government charted out grazing reserves across the country, but some states in the south declined to donate land to the federal government project, in a recent interview with arise TV, president Mohammadu Buhari supported the project and he instructed the minister of Justice Abubakar Malami(SAN) to overlook the project. Most states in Nigeria including Ondo, delta, Cross River, Enugu, Benue, Akwa Ibom and Oyo has said that have never been a gazette which marked out grazing routes for cattle across the country
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Agriculture, Dr Andrew Kwasari, said that before the end of the months, four states would be ready for grazing routes namely Adamawa, Nasarawa, plateau and kaduna
by : David Adeleye