Gyang Bere, Jos
A coalition of Plateau ethnic groups under the umbrella of Plateau Initiative for Development and Advancement of the Natives (PIDAN) has said that the National Livestock Transformation Plan of the Federal Government will increase the population of Fulani herdsmen in the state.
The group appealed to the Plateau State Government to make available the draft of Ranching Policy in the state to various communities for their input and ensure that the policy accommodates all livestock and not only cattle.
This was contained in a communique signed by the PIDAN President, Prof. Aboi Madaki, and Secretary General Nanle Gujor after its 2019 National Council meeting held in Jos, the Plateau State capital.
The statement reads:
“Council deliberated on the National Livestock Transformation Plan of the Federal Government as it affects the State and noted that the Federal Government may have genuine concern in the intent of the plan but its design only addresses rearing of Cows to the exclusion of other livestock.
“The Plan also prescribed the establishment of ranches but in gazetted grazing reserves. The plan seeks to acquire 15000 hectares of land in the State for the implementation of the program.
“Plateau State is expected to co-fund the program indicating that the limited State fund will need to be diverted into the program.
“Pastoralists with emphasis on migrant non- resident Fulani will be the primary users of the ranches indicating there will be an increase of the Fulani populations in the State when the program is fully implemented.”
The Council rejected the RUGA (Rural Grazing Area) establishment and urged communities to report to the appropriate authorities the presence of any contractor in their domain that comes to construct anything in the name of RUGA.
The Council equally rejected the establishment of grazing reserves in any form in the middle belt state, stating that no indigene has 5000 hectares of land to give for such a programme.
It further noted with dismay the increasing incidents of kidnappings in the state, especially in Bassa, Jos North, Shendam, and Quaan Pan, which have brought untold hardship to affected communities and families.
Madaki appreciated the relative peace currently enjoyed in the state and urged citizens to work towards sustaining the peace and development of the state.