The haste, with which President Muhammadu Buhari is moving or planning to establish Grazing Reserves for the Fulanis, nation-wide; and as if the world is coming to an end before December 2015, smells of bad ordour.
In the Daily Trust of Wednesday, July 8, 2015 was a news report on page 12 titled “Buhari Wades into Farmers, herders clashes”.
Addressing State House Journalists later, Mr. Sunny Echono who is the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture said that the blueprint drafted when Buhari headed the Petroleum Trust Fund (who drafted the blueprint?) would be considered to resolve the clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria.
And just within a week interval i.e in the Daily Trust edition of another Wednesday, July 15, 2015; was a second news report titled: “FG inaugurates grazing reserves, textiles committees”.
The committees are cotton and textiles; grazing reserves; storage facilities and Agric extension. The report further says; “they are committee on the strategic action plan for the development of grazing reserves and stock routes nation-wide …”; na sooo?
The appalling side of this ugly plan (grazing reserves) is that for about two years now; and chiefly in most States of Northern Nigeria; the Fulani Herders have intensified the use of sophisticated weapons in killing the unarmed and unprepared farmers who never expected such militancy challenges from such Fulanis. And these Fulani herders go to the extra extent of destroying the farmers farmlands and razing down the farmers settlements. This happens mostly in States where the Fulanis are clearly non-indigenes, a good example of such nasty and nefarious incidences, is in Benue State; where I am an indigene.
However, in spite of the above facts, President Buhari may have seen nothing wrong about the Fulanis invasion and occupation of lands, like in Benue State; where this Fulani herders go as resident communities.
Instead of President Buhari to first of all, find ways to pacify the affected aggrieved tribes in the various States; and find ways to compensate the people that have been wronged by the Fulani herdsmen; Buhari has ignored the aggrieved; and Buhari’s only pre-occupation is to establish grazing reserves and cattle routes for the Fulani cattle rearers – too bad.
This type of Buhari’s leadership style or approach, reminds me of the novel titled “Animal Farm” whose author is George Orwell. Is this type of nation-wide grazing reserves plan for the Fulani herders; not an indirect way of introducing Apartheid in Nigeria?
Baba, President Buhari Sir! Frankly speaking, Nigerians don’t need “grazing reserves” nation-wide and no need for cattle or stock routes.
I am of the conviction that majority of the tribes in Nigeria FROWN against the idea of establishing grazing reserves nation-wide by the Federal Government.
I am wondering why the Federal Government should be planning to waste the nation’s scarce financial resources on cattle routes and grazing reserves nation-wide. There is no good reason for such a project again.
Cattle rearing is the private business venture of the Fulanis; and not (1 repeat not) the Federal Government’s corporate organization or parastatal, at all.
Instead of Buhari’s plan to dabble into the Fulanis private business concern, just to so unnecessarily favour them; President Buhari should think more about establishing farm settlements in each State of Nigeria.
For, the farm settlements will open the door for gainful employment of millions of young Nigerians; boost or increase the food production capacity and easily pave way for the exportation of the varieties of food that will be cultivated yearly. And this will open the wide doors for food security at the backyard of every family in Nigeria. After all, human beings can steadily survive without cow meat; but nobody can survive without food.
I remember vividly that even during the jamboree of last year (2014), officially referred to as National Conference during the reign of that lucky man from Otueke in Bayelsa State; Grazing Reserves reared its ugly face. Please, President Buhari should find out how most members of that Conference in particular; and other Nigerians in general, so negatively reacted on GRAZING RESERVES.
This write-up can be compared to a rising tide that lifts all boats. In other words, it is an effort to serve as eye-opener to all other tribes in Nigeria; as well as true citizens of Nigeria.
The wandering about with cattles by the Fulani herders; and thereby disturbing the peaceful co-existence of the indigenes in their States/lands; should not be so wrongly misinterpreted by some of the Fulani leaders; to mean that it is a Constitutional Right – wrong interpretation!!
The best way of ending or controlling this Fulani herders “Cattle HIV”, is the use of what I refer to as “Condom” that will send them back to their States ofOrigin (i.e. if they are true Nigerian Fulanis); so that their States Governments, to which they share or have the same tradition and cultural affinity; can create grazing reserves and all that, for their comfort.
In order to allow sleeping dogs to lie, the issue of grazing reserves and cattle or stock routes should STRICTLY BE OPTIONAL with the States Governments in Nigeria; and not the responsibility of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
It is not only appalling but I wonder why the Private Business Venture of the Fulani tribesmen; is indirectly, about to become the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Commercial Enterprise or Organization; even as the Federal Government; for over ten years ago, embarked on privatization or selling of her well established Companies and Corporate Organizations; for economic reasons, in order to save waste or cost etc, etc.
Yes, the plan of always using cattle (cows) as hidden agenda; and therefrom, settling into the remote villages of other tribes; and gradually causing unnecessary inconveniences, crisis/insurgency to the indigenes, on their native lands, has so openly become a terribly unhealthy situation.
This ugly trend of the Fulani herders must be stopped; if the leaders in Nigeria want to avoid a future uncontrolled crisis. I am talking about the type of crisis which, if the level of injustice and selfish desires of some Nigerian leaders is not halted; shall likely pave way for a greater movement to disintegration; that shall be more than the Biafra’s struggles or movement; as well as that of MEND etc.
The idea of grazing reserves, nation-wide is not only ARCHAIC but more so, very WORTHLESS. Such an ugly plan can never lead us to the much desired peaceful co-existence, at all.
For instance, if the Tiv people, in their native lands and in which the Fulanis are non-natives; were also well armed as the Fulanis and their hired mercenaries; who are they to have succeeded in the killings of the Tiv people; and the destruction of Tiv settlements; as well as their farm lands?
Truly, any type of animals rearing is not any good reason for planning or attempting to forcefully or indirectly take over the farm lands of any given tribe.
Also, the other very funny side of some of the Fulani leaders, is their false and improper misinterpretation of Nigeria’s Constitution; and thinking that it is a good bait, aimed at achieving their purely selfish desires.
The Federal Government of President Muhammadu Buhari is hereby advised, not to regard this article as an opposition movement to his government/style of governance.
This write-up is much more in consonance with the wise saying of Prophet Muhammad’s (SAW) Hadith; which says: “The greatest truth is to speak the truth to the face of the tyrant”. Well, you know what? Do not feel I am implying that any particular person or persons are tyrants.
I am only stating the obvious that a good leader and a balanced mind should be ready to accommodate the truth; even if that truth displeases the mind of that person.
On the whole, I am openly saying that the idea of grazing reserves, nation-wide, as President Buhari is thinking/planning; is not only ARCHAIC, it is WORTHLESS and a very unnecessary PIPE-DRAIN of Nigeria’s Scarce Funds.
MUHAMMAD O. NYIANSHIMA