By Bukar Bolori
Kulen Allah Cattle Rearers Association of Nigeria, (KACRAN), has advised pastoralists (cattle herders) to permanently stay in the northern part of
the country where there is availability of land instead of moving to the southern part of the country to avoid further occurrence of conflicts between northern herders and farmers and residents of southern part of the country.
The association also advised that for the success of President Muhammadu Buhari’s planned reclaiming of grazing routes, should be restricted to the North and dependent on the readiness of stakeholders support.
The Association in a statement signed on Thursday by its’ National President, Hon. Khalil Bello said: “Pastoralists are advised to permanently stay in the northern part of this country where there is availability of land instead of moving to the Southern/Western part of this country. This is to avoid further occurrence of conflict(s) between our herders and our southern brother.”
He said after a thorough study of the concept, it has come to the conclusion that “the success of the programme holistically depends on how government, traditional rulers, farmers and herders are ready, sincere and totally committed towards the programme’s success.”
He said government as a policy maker and implementer of its policies and programmes is to be fully committed to the programme’s success by providing enough budgetary allocation and immediate release of all the funds meant for the programme.
He added that there is a serious need for supervision by government to make sure that the money allocated for the programme is expended judiciously, noting that: “We say so for the fact that only God knows how many government programmes were made of which billion of naira were released and spent for their executions but the money ended in the bank accounts or houses of very few unpatriotic individuals.”
Bello said the government should also be ready to take drastic actions against anybody found wanting and sabotaging the government efforts in reclaiming the cattle routes and encroached grazing reserves.
He said: “We advise federal government to work hand to hand and relate closely with Northern governments, traditional rulers/Chiefs who are the custodians of most of the Northern States free land.”
He also advised that the Directorate of Animal and Husbandry Services of the Federal Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development be empowered and fully charged with the responsibility of proper supervision of all the projects to make sure that they are done based on the contractual agreement designed for the implementation of the programme, with the formation of standing committee that will include security agency, representative of traditional rulers, herders and farmers leaders to make sure that law offender or saboteurs are brought to book and punish accordingly.
Bello asked that state governments of Northern states who are constitutionally said to be owners of all uncultivated lands be requested to give the programme maximum support and fullest co-operation for it success, and traditional rulers who are the custodian of all free land in their domains should strongly warn subjects to stop encroaching into grazing reserves or blocking cattle routes.
He advised state governments to emulate the bold action taken by Bauchi government when clashes occurred in Misau Local Government Area which led to permanent solution of the problems and punished all those that were found to be engaged in the incident which led to the death of many people and property destruction.