The umbrella body of the Fulani tribe in the country, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, has queried what it described as the alleged diversion of billions of naira meant for the establishment of cattle ranches in their domains by the state governments.
Accordingly, the Fulani sociocultural association threatened to drag no fewer than ten northern states to court over the matter.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, secretary general of the group, Alh Saleh Alhassan listed Plateau, Nasarawa, Kaduna, Katsina and Niger states as some of the beneficiaries of the funds pegged between from N5 billion and N10 billion released by the federal government so far.
Alhassan said Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore is dismayed that there were still disgruntled government officials who are taking advantage of the plight of its members to pursue ill-gotten wealth for self-aggrandisement.
According to him, the establishment of cattle ranches in the designated states would go a long way in curbing farmers/herders clashes and cattle rustling in Nigeria.
He stated: “Nasarawa State Government have collected money for ranching, Katsina State government have collected money for ranching, Kaduna state government have collected money for ranching. States like Niger are also in the line of collecting money for ranching. Plateau state has collected the money for ranching.
“We are yet to see the ranches because we don’t want the state governors to use the misery and the hardship of the pastoralist to continue to divert these funds. We really need to address this issue of farmer-herder conflict, which we believe a sustainable land use management, which is through the ranching will be a solution for the crisis.”
The association also condemned the alleged unprovoked killings of hundreds of cattle and Fulani herders by suspected members Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and Benue forest guards.
Alhassan who was accompanied by some Fulani representatives from across the country said the group has concluded plans to drag the Benue State government to court over the damages running into billions of naira inflicted on herders in the state.
Presenting a viral video on the social media showing how a trailer load of cattle were set ablaze by suspected IPOB members, he implored the government to put an end to the gruesome act, even as he warned that the continuous killing of Fulani herders will not only affect the conduct of the 2023 poll, but could worsen the security situation in the country.
He continued: “These latest attacks are carried out by IPOB because if you watch the videos which I will share with members of the press in case you don’t have it, they are proclaiming it; they are speaking Igbo language; they are proclaiming their organisation is behind it.
“They want to make sure they chase out every Fulani man in the South East and destroy their cattle. So it’s not debatable. It’s there in the the media. Then on the issue of our members being part of the insecurity, let me state it without any doubt that our members are not part of the bandits.
“Please take it for the records. We are a herders’ organisation. If you are a bandit, you don’t have herds of cows. You are a bandit who should be treated as a bandit.”
Following the request by about 22 states which had on October 27, 2021, written to the federal government to indicate interest in the National Livestock Transformation Programme, the federal government has released N1billion seed grant to Nasarawa, Plateau, Adamawa and Kaduna States for the development of pilot ranches in their domains as part of measures to halt herders/farmers clashes.
The fund was released after about 22 state governors indicated interest in developing ranches in their states.
Senior special assistant to the president on Agriculture, Andrew Kwasari, had listed states whose governors had written the federal government to include Kaduna, Benue, Taraba, Adamawa, Plateau, Zamfara, Kano, Ondo, Katsina, Bauchi, Yobe, Borno, Gombe, Nasarawa, Niger, Sokoto, Ekiti, Kogi, Ebonyi and Kwara.
“According to the timeline given then, the fund was released on November 2, 2021. A sum of N1billion was released as seed grant for the four states of Nasarawa, Plateau, Adamawa, and Kaduna through the Ministry of Finance Incorporated,” he stated.
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