Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano state has tasked ECOWAS to come up with enduring solution to the incessant clashes between Fulani pastoralists and farming communities in the region, especially in Nigeria.
He said: “You will find a herdsman from a West African country moving about with a herd of cattle comprising about 1, 000 which narrow cattle routes cannot contain hence the need to trespass farms in search of fodder, which often led to very dangerous disputes”.
Speaking while receiving the National executive members of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN, at the Government House in Kano, the governor stated that since the herdsmen were itinerant, the best way out of their problem was a collective sub- regional solution.
The governor argued that the herdsman must change their lifestyle by settling in one location, to facilitate education and socialization, as well as adopting value-added means of cattle breeding, stressing that studies have shown that nomadic way of living is not the best.
Governor Ganduje, who lamented that many grazing reserves have been converted to farms and other uses, announced that his administration has concluded plans to establish Fulani model villages, with basic infrastructure, to enable them settle in one place and concentrate on modern animal husbandry.
The governor, who recalled that his government also trained 72 young Fulani herders on a Train the Trainer animal insemination course in Turkey, said it would be impossible to for the trainees to teach local herders if they do not have permanent settlements.
He disclosed that plans are in the offing for the establishment of a Dairy market in the state as part of strategies to add value to the dairy value chain, while a dam and grazing reserve would be provided in Falgore forest to facilitate the establishment of a Fulani permanent base within the area.
He praised President Muhammadu Buhari, for initiating the Pastoral Resolve (PARE), a non-governmental organization focused on solving the perennial conflict between farmers and pastoralists, even before he became president, noting that his administration has demonstrated resolve to end clashes between farmers and herdsmen, which is a threat to national security.
In his speech, the National President, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN, Alhaji Muhammadu Kiruwa Ardon Zuru urged government to pay more attention to sensitizing pastoralists and farmers on the need to shun violence, as well as Nomadic education.
He commended the government of Kano state for settling the pace in providing a permanent model settlement for nomadic herdsmen and for its determined war against cattle rustling, urging other states to emulate.
Also speaking, a senior official of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Alhaji Muhammad Salihu Abubakar, restated commitment to improve the economic condition of the herdsmen, stressing the need for them to consider cattle breeding as a vocation and not a tradition.