After weeks of pointing fingers, communal clashes and wagging tongues, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, yesterday declared that the herdsmen attacking communities were not Nigerians.
The Minister of State for Agriculture, Barr. Heineken Lokpobiri, speaking at a Public Hearing held at the National Assembly, revealed that the government has settled for creation of ranches as against grazing reserves across the country as a means to solve the violence against commnities.
Unveiling the plans of the Federal Government towards ending the crises in his submissions at a joint Public Hearing organized by the the Senate Committees on Agriculture, Rural Development and National Security and Intelligence on incessant violent clashes between Herdsmen and farming communities, Senator Lokpobiri, said not less than 9 states across the federation had given 5.000 hectares of land each , to the federal government for the establishment of the ranches.
He said the ranches when created by the federal government across the country, would put to an end, the incessant clashes between the modern day herdsmen and farming communities.
According to him, the herdsmen labeled in the media as Nigerian Fulanis, are not, as none of the apprehended ones , was able to speak any of the Nigerian languages.
“Available statistics to us in government show that contrary to media report that these violent herdsmen are the conventional Nigerian Fulanis, they are not, as none of those apprehended was able to speak any of the Nigerian languages, giving strong credence to the possibility of the violent herdsmen to be another form of terrorists in the mode of Boko haram.
“The problem is not Nigerian but regional, moreso, when the Nigerian Fulani man has always been known to be a peace loving person,” he said.
e said though the country has 415 grazing reserves for the herdsmen to feed their cattle but most of the reserves being in the Northern part of the country, are grass less due to problem of desertification.
He explained further that ranches being the modern way of rearing cattle and achieving the best of productivity in animal husbandry, would make Nigeria that has just 19million cows with a population of 160 million people to measure up with Brazil which has 220 million cows with similar human population with Nigeria .