A factional umbrella body for herdsmen, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, has stated that it would be difficult for herdsmen to accept ranching.
Speaking in an interview with The Punch on Saturday, the Secretary-General of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Saleh Alhassan, said that asking herdsmen to stop open grazing and begin ranching was tantamount to asking farmers to begin mechanisation, without which they wouldn’t be able to do their farming activities.
“If they say herders must begin ranching today, where is the ranch? For someone to develop a ranch, they need at least three to five years for it to mature. The facts are there. Ranches cannot be created overnight but they are just playing politics,” he said.
On the issue of insecurity, Saleh said herders had been victims of rustling and kidnapping and that if insecurity was to be addressed, it was not by making it an ethnic issue,.
“It’s sad, because at the end of the day, we end up radicalising the herders,” he said. “When they are radicalised, who will benefit? The country will suffer worse insecurity. That’s why we are against this issue of eviction or ultimatum because it doesn’t work like that. There have not been proper laws at the national level to address these challenges and the National Assembly is just playing to the gallery. Let there be proper laws.”
He said if there had been an increase in the herders moving from the North to the South, it could be due to climate change, insecurity in the North-East, drought caused by environmental factors or Boko Haram.
“All these need to be properly addressed via articulated policies. Politicians should address their differences; they should leave the herders alone, they are in the bush dealing with all kinds of challenges,” he added.