A former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso, speaking in Ibadan during the reunion of the Government College Old Boys’ Association has reacted to calls about the activities of the fulani Herdsmen.
He said, “I am a Fulani man. My father was educated; I am educated. So, I don’t think if I have cattle, I will go into the forest to find food for them. Education is important. These Fulani should be educated. They should be settled and by that, they will develop the modern way of keeping livestock. Go to Britain, America or other parts of the world, you don’t see cattle roaming about. In Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Nigeria, Fulani herdsmen run around endangering their lives and cattle in the forest. It is not good for the economy, security or anybody.
“For today, I think it is important for the government to provide facilities because we require their services. Facilities like grazing areas for the cattle and other facilities to make sure that we manage the situation should be provided. In the North, we used to have all these grazing areas. We used to have cattle ranches, where they go from place to place without going into the farm. Probably because of the population now and other issues, all these places have been taken over by farmers. Therefore, it becomes very difficult for any cattle to roam or go to places without going into farms.”
Reacting to the call for the banning of the herdsmen in the South-West by farmers who have lost their relatives and crops to the herdsmen, Kwankwanso said it was important to understand the situation before taking a decision.
He said, “It is not only peculiar to the South-West. We just have to have a lot of understanding of the situation. Some of the issues being raised by the people, especially politicians, do not help anybody. If you sack the Fulani from here or you fight them, maybe it is because you are here. If you are a Yoruba man based in Kano, I don’t think you can contemplate sacking the Fulani.
“I am from Kano, but right now I am in Ibadan. Anywhere you are is your home. Today, Ibadan is my home. God forbid, if something bad happens here, it will affect me. But for today, I think it is important for the government to provide ranching facilities, such as grazing sites, because we require their services. It now calls for understanding among Nigerians. To that extent, therefore, politicians should stop over-blowing the issue.”
The Fulani herdsmen have sacked some communities in Benue State Nigeria, and have taken over some of the farmlands owned by farmers in the South West, only yesterday, Enugu women lamented the criminal activities being perpetrated by the herdsmen.