Don’t blame Fulani for farmers/herdsmen crises –Abba-Gana
By Wilfred Eya
Former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory(FCT), Muhammed Abba-Gana, has said that Nigerians should not blame the Fulani for the farmers/herders crises in the country.
He rather blamed the system which abandoned people to live in an exclusive and ancient culture for so long.
The elder statesman said the narrative surrounding the Fulani cattle herders is a classic case of blaming the victims.
One of the solutions to the farmers/herders crises, he said, is for the far Northern states to make aggressive afforestation/reforestation a priority of their administrations.
He said: “In the north there is large expanse of lands, which can be acquired, cleared and used for RUGA, and small agricultural dams can be quickly built. Boreholes can be drilled. Schools for nomadic education can be built. It’s really time to stop this ancient culture of nomadic way of life.
“As we in the North live on about 75 per cent of Nigeria’s landmass, it’s not at all reasonable to insist on using the diminishing 25 per cent of the land in the South which they are now resisting.”
He added: “Even this 25 per cent is threatened by oil exploration, oil spilling, ocean surge or rising sea levels because of climate change, and also gully erosion diminishes a lot of available land.
“Also in the Northern part as a result of misplaced priorities and absence of good governance for a long time, some of the Northern states could not stop the devastating desert encroachment in good time.
“What we have now is the consequence of abandoning people to live in an exclusive and ancient culture for so long. It’s unkind and costly to allow such culture to continue in the 21st century and become source of political instability.”
“Most of them have not even state or country of origin let alone getting any benefit, security or welfare. Even the nomadic education started long time ago, has failed because it’s impossible to have mobile schools, mobile teachers and without most of basic amenities/utilities available in normal townships and villages.”
He explained that as the population of the world continues to increase every year in most countries of the world, there is a lot of pressure on available land and fresh water sources.
“ Land is needed for housing, schools, hospitals, industries, farmlands, livestock production etc., and also water for both domestic use and agricultural crops production and livestock production and industrial and commercial use etc., It is said that land and water will be the new sources of tension and war among countries and communities”, he said.