To end the herders-farmers conflicts, the Federal Government must make a law stopping the movement of cattle from the North to the South, Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje said at the weekend.
Ganduje said: “My advocacy is that we should abolish the transportation or trekking of herdsmen from the Northern part of Nigeria to the Middle Belt and to the Southern part of Nigeria.
“There should be a law that will ban this, otherwise we cannot control the conflicts between herdsmen and farmers and cannot control cattle rustling which is affecting us greatly.”
The governor spoke against the background of incessant clashes between herders and farmers in virtually all parts of the country.
Following the latest conflict in Ondo State, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu gave herders grazing in the state’s Forest Reserves a seven-day ultimatum to vacate and register.
This led to an outcry, followed by a meeting of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) with the leadership of Miyetti Allah.
A decision was taken to end open grazing by herders across the country.
Ganduje’s position reinforced the decision of the Akure meeting.
The Kano governor, who spoke in Daura where he joined other leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the inauguration of the party’s membership revalidation, added that he had taken a further step in his state to curtain banditry and other criminal activities associated with herdsmen and farmers.
He said: “We are building a Ruga settlement in Samsosua Forest, our border with Katsina and we have succeeded in curtailing the effect of banditry in that area.
“We are building many houses, we are constructing a dam; we are establishing a Cattle Artificial insemination Centre; we are establishing a veterinary clinic and already we have started building houses for herdsmen.”
Also at the weekend, suspected herdsmen attacked farmers in Ibarapa and Oke Ogun areas of Oyo State. Two brothers suffered gun short injuries.
The herders were said to have also mounted a ‘no-cross over sign, ’warning farmers to stay off the parts of the farmlands at Kajola axis.
Some of the farmers who reside on the settlements in the axis were sent out of their farmlands by the herders who were alleged to be on reprisal for the sacking of the Seriki Fulani of Oyo State, Abdulkadir Saliu, by an activist, Sunday Adeyemo (aka Sunday Igboho), and his followers.
The Convener Igangan Development Advocates, Mr. Oladokun Oladiran, who confirmed the incidents, said the herdsmen warned farmers not to step their feet on the farmlands or risk being killed.
Oladiran said “Today (Saturday) at Kajola axis of the farm settlement that belong to people of Idere, Ayeti, Tapa side, the herders with heavy weapons were firing at farmers who tried to go their farms.
“A boy and elder his brother escaped with gunshot wounds because they were able to turn back quickly with their motorcycle when they observed the red flag mounted to indicate a no-cross zone by the herders.”