Amid rising tension over herders/farmers clashes in Nigeria, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State recently proposed the stoppage of the movement of cattle from North to South, leading to an ongoing debate on whether the proposal is capable of ending the crisis.
The message resonated so much as if the governor was making such a call for the first time.
Long before the latest tension in the country over the matter, Ganduje had made a similar proposal.
He even went ahead to suggest that foreign herders be banned from entering Nigeria.
In his recent call, the governor, a Fulani, restated his earlier position that the North/South movement of cows is responsible for the rising tension associated with the activities of herdsmen.
The Kano State helmsman revealed that he has built a Rural Grazing Area, RUGA, settlement in Kano where herders are being resettled.
Meanwhile, the leader of Fulani herdsmen and Secretary of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, in Kano State Zubairu Ibrahim, told Sunday Vanguard, at the weekend, that herdsmen from many parts of the country have indicated interest to relocate to the Kano RUGA settlement.
Ibrahim said some of them are from states such as Nasarawa, Niger, Enugu and Oyo states, among others.
He said herdsmen willing to relocate to its RUGA settlement provided by the state government are welcome so long as they would abide by the law.
Ibrahim added that herdsmen from five states have already relocated to the state.
According to him, “we have some Fulani herdsmen from Kebbi, Zamfara, Kaduna, Sokoto, and Jigawa who are now in Kano. The governor has invited anyone willing to stay in the RUGA settlement to come. If they come and they are good people, nothing will stop us from receiving them.
“All they need to do is to follow the rules and regulations of government. They should go for grazing in the afternoon and not at night. Nothing can stop them from coming if they are interested.
“Since the governor of Ondo State has gone to the media to say that they (herdsmen) should vacate the area, instead of staying there they should leave. they should leave so that something bad does not happen to them and their property. They should just vacate the area for their safety.”
He commended Ganduje for fulfilling his promises and making history by resettling them in the RUGA settlement.
Fulani herdsmen have, for some time now, been in the eye of the storm over killing of residents, especially in the southern part of the country, after allegedly causing their cattle to graze recklessly in farms of farmers and, in the process, destroying valuable crops.
Mid last month, Ondo State government ordered herdsmen operating from the state’s forest reserves out of the place following kidnappings and ransom taking linked to them.
In Oyo, Yoruba activist Sunday Adeyemo, aka Sunday Igboho, led a group to give herders operating in Ibarapa area of the state one week ultimate to vacate the area.
An attack was subsequently launched on the Sarkin Fulani in the Ibarapa area, leading to the burning of some of his property and forcing him to relocate to Kwara State.
For several days last week, there were protests against herders in parts of Edo and Delta states by women against alleged criminal activities of herders.