BY HUSSAINI JIRGI, Damaturu
A group, Kulen Allah Cattle Rearers Association of Nigeria (KACRAN) has blamed northern governors for the pervasive security challenges in the region.
The herdsmen asserted that the continued escalation of violence in the North was due to the failure of the state governors to develop and harness the abundant natural and human resources in their respective states.
They presented 11-point proposals for the restoration of peace and stability in northern Nigeria and called for their immediate implementation to ensure a prosperous country.
In a statement issued in Damaturu, Yobe State yesterday by KACRAN national president, Khalil Mohammed Bello, he recalled that the wave of insecurity became more alarming in Nigeria and the North in particular when armed robbery, kidnapping, armed banditry as well as terrorism started rearing their ugly heads at different points in time in the national life.
According to him, all these culminated in the present reality that is characterised by pervasive security challenges rocking the region and other parts of the country.
He lamented that, “the worst situation, is where the problems of Boko Haram, cattle rustling, human kidnapping, serious conflict between cattle rearers and farmers and religion crisis become the order of the day in almost all parts of the northern Nigeria which have now extended to southern part of the country, especially the conflict or crisis between herders and their host communities.”
The association, therefore, suggested that for peace to be restored in North and other parts of the country, the 19 northern state governors must immediately guarantee the security of nomads and their livestock, establish special schools for the nomads, preserve and develop grazing reserves.
Others issues raised by the association that could lead to lasting peace in the region are the establishment of functional veterinary centres for livestock services, funding of annual mass animal vaccination, provision and distribution of livestock feeds as well as the provision of water in nomads’ settlements.
They also called for the adoption of pastoralists’ modern livestock practices, provision of livestock feed for nomads enduring to the lean month of March to June, and creation of nomads’ settlements across the North with portable water for human and livestock consumption.
There also building the capacity of young pastoralists for modern and lucrative/profitable livestock rearing to prevent them from engaging in human kidnapping; introduction of massive empowerment programmes for the pastoralists, especially those who no longer own livestock as an alternative source of living; re-demarcation of all cattle routes that were blocked as a result of executing developmental projects to prevent herders from destroying farms.
Bello further urged the federal and state governments to make peace and dialogue with the aggrieved parties across the northern states.
He said that if the associations’ demands were met by the governors, peace and harmony would be restored in northern region and the entire country.