A socio-cultural group, Billital Moobe Pastoralists Association of Nigeria, (BILMPAN) has commended the Federal Government on its decision to create grazing reserves in 10 states across the federation.
The Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the organization, Alhaji Ya’u Malammadori, told the newsmen in an interview in Dutse on Monday, that the move would address the recurring clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the country.
According to Malammadori, many people are losing their lives and property as a result of the reoccurring crises which is not healthy for the country.
“We believe, the initiative by President Muhammadu Buhari administration to create ranches as a pilot tests in Adamawa, Benue, Ebonyi, Edo, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Oyo, Plateau, Taraba and Zamfara, would solve the incessant crises between pastoralists and farmers
“We really welcome the idea; we appreciate the effort of the government and wish to say that this is a right step taken at the right direction at the right time.
“Though, this is just like a pilot scheme to take off in 10 states across the federation, we want the government to live by its words and extend the gesture to other states.
“We are happy the federal government said it will spend N170 billion on the whole scheme, with N70 billion to be spent for the project in 10 states before moving to other states.
“But we are surprised to read that some people are against the creation of ranches by the federal government.
“This is very unfortunate, people against the initiative don’t want peace, that means they are enjoying the persistent crises between the herdsmen and farmers, or because they are beneficiaries of the crisis and don’t want it to end.
“We as pastoralists, if disease or calamity befalls our animals, nobody cares to assist us, but when farmers, traders, or people in other human endeavour faced challenges, governments or organisations do assist them.
“So, this time around, if government is saying that it will assist by creating ranches to solve the reoccurring clashes between herdsmen and farmers, what is the problem in that?
“For instance, government do assist farmers with fertilizers and agro chemical, it also assists during flooding.
“Most of our land was taken from us by government for cultivation by farmers, so where do you want us to go and graze our cattle.
“We believe the creation of grazing reserves by the federal government will restrict movement of pastoralists, which could engender peace and mutual coexistence in the society.”