From Paul Orude, Bauchi
A former governor of Bauchi State, Mallam Isa Yuguda is displeased over the profiling of Fulani herdsmen as criminals in the country.
As once the main source of revenue in the North during the colonial era, which fast-tracked development in the region including Benue State where they were chased out, the former governor said Fulani herdmen in Nigeria had been unfairly treated.
Yuguda gave his view during an interview with reporters in Bauchi, Monday, shortly after revalidating his membership of the All Progressives Congress ( APC) in the State.
He regretted that herdsmen, who have provided the country with a minimum of one million cattle to slaughter daily, have been neglected by the federal government over the years.
According to him, the colonial masters respected the herders and provided them with routes and grazing reserves for their cattle lamenting that there is nothing like that anymore.
He said billions of investment in agriculture in form of subsidies in fertilizer by the Federal Government but none has been heard of for pastoralism.
‘The neglect of the Fulanis especially the cattle herders who are presently given Nigeria a minimum of one million cattle to slaughter daily… Their treatment by the Nigerian state has been most unfair.
‘At the time when Lord Lugard conquered Northern Nigeria and set up a government in Northern Nigeria, they were the only source of revenue. They provided the revenue that jump-started development in the North including Benue State where they have been chased out now.
‘They’re pastoralists. They’re people who provide beef for the country. You can see them as an agricultural venture. There have brought billions of investment in agriculture in form of subsidies in fertiliser but have you ever heard of the federal government subsidising pastoralism?
‘What I am trying to say in essence is that the Nigerian state has not been fair to these people.
When the White man came, he respected them because they were the source of revenue. Not only that, he provided cattle routes for them but today where are the grazing reserves, but where are the cattle routes and grazing reserves now.
‘Those in power never thought of resettling these people because if they had being settled down, you will have a dairy industry, beef industry because it’s a huge economy.’
The former governor blamed the media over ethnic profiling warned: ‘Let us stopped being sentimental for goodness sake, otherwise this country will crumble.’
‘It’s crumbling in your hands and I’m afraid that you as the press are creating this problem,’ he added.
He commended Governor Mohammed for the infrastructural development in the state, saying: ‘He is doing his best; anyone that occupies a seat can only offer his best.’
South-West governors recently banned open grazing in the geopolitical zone due to the incessant criminal activities by herdsmen labelled Fulanis