Ganduje to FG: Ban foreign herders now | Dailytrust

Ganduje to FG: Ban foreign herders now

Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State has advised the federal government to ban foreign herders from coming to Nigeria to tame rising insecurity....

Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State
Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State

Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State has advised the federal government to ban foreign herders from coming to Nigeria to tame rising insecurity.

He also said it was wrong to tag all herders as criminals, adding that many Fulani are doing legitimate business of rearing animals and needed the support of various stakeholders to do it better.

Ganduje also faulted the recent comment by Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State  who said the North-West governors were working at cross purposes, hence the escalation of security challenges in the region.

Elsewhere in Bauchi, Governor Bala Mohammed said some herders were left with no option than to carry arms to protect their wealth from rampaging cattle rustlers.

He also said all forests belonged to the federal government and all citizens have the right to make use of them; and lambasted Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State for allegedly fanning the embers of hatred against the Fulani herders but paid tribute to his counterpart in Plateau, Simon Lalong, for being a peacebuilder.

What Ganduje said

Speaking on Radio France International (RFI), monitored in Kano, Ganduje said Governor El-Rufai did not understand the efforts put in place by governors in the North West to restore peace in the region.

He stated this on Thursday, at about the time when the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) said its members were ready to register with relevant authorities to differentiate them from criminals especially in the South West. According to Ganduje, “There are three categories of Fulani: there are the Fulani; there are herders, and there are foreign Fulani herders who commit crimes.

“It is often forgotten that there are foreigners among those Fulani herders but nobody is talking about them. The moment a foreign Fulani herder sneaks into Nigeria and commit a crime, he would be considered a Nigerian Fulani. Therefore, it is high time to ban them from entering Nigeria.”

He also said the time of trekking hundreds of kilometres with cattle is over. “Those herders travelling from the North to the South should be banned from doing so. Those that are saying they should not be banned from trekking to the southern part of the country for grazing should use their children to do so.

“This is a national issue. A robust bill by National Assembly is the only answer to the issue of farmer/herder conflict,” Ganduje said.

Ganduje said security agencies in the country had advised Kano, Kaduna and Bauchi States to collaborate and check security challenges in the notorious Falgore Forest in Tudun Wada and Doguwa LGAs.

“I intimated the governors of Kaduna and Bauchi and both had sent their delegations. There was the issue of funding and all of us donated money and the exercise was eventually successful.

“The way I see it, the governor (of Kaduna) did not understand security issues well because the security situation depends on the nature of a state. For instance, no matter how we strongly collaborate as governors, how can we check ethnic clashes in Kaduna?

“How can we check religious differences in Kaduna? You see, this is a problem that can only be checked by the Kaduna State government itself. Therefore, any security issue in a state depends on the efforts of the state government, the federal government, the security agencies and the people of the state.

“For instance, in Kano, we have a harmonious working relationship with security agencies and we have state-of-the-art surveillance gadgets. In Dansoshiya Forest, we are building houses to accommodate Fulani herders in a bid to stop them from grazing in the southern parts of the country.

“In Falgore Forest, there is an ongoing project of a military training camp. In the project, there is a provision for areas where Fulani herders would be accommodated.

“We have enough places to accommodate Fulani herders to prevent them from grazing in the southern part of the country. It is the only panacea to the lingering crises,” he said.

Why herdsmen bear arms

Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State has said that herdsmen carry firearms to protect themselves against cattle rustlers.

The governor said innocent herdsmen are being attacked and killed and their possessions carted away.

The governor spoke as Special Guest of Honour at the launch of the inaugural edition of the Bauchi Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ’s magazine titled ‘Correspondents’ Watch’ on Thursday.

While speaking on recent allegations against herdsmen, the governor said the cattle herders have the right to live anywhere as Nigerians, adding that the forests where they graze their cows belong to nobody.

According to Mohammed, “The west doesn’t want to accommodate other tribes but we are accommodating your tribe in Bauchi. We have Yoruba who have stayed in Bauchi for over150 years, some of them have been made permanent secretaries in Gombe, Bauchi and Borno but because the Fulani man is practising the tradition of transhumans, pastoralism, he has been exposed to cattle rustlers who carry a gun, kill him and take away his cows. He has no option than to carry AK 47 because the government and society are not protecting him. It’s the fault of the government.

“Nobody owns any forests in Nigeria, it is owned by Nigeria. Under Section 23, 24 and 25 of the Constitution, every Nigerian is free to stay anywhere. Anybody can speak anyhow but we are only exercising restraint.

“If cybercrime is being practised mostly by one tribe, you don’t criminalise the whole tribe because of this. That is why you journalists need to be sensitive and exercise restraint. Avoid writing reports that will threaten the unity of this country.”

The Bauchi governor also tackled his Benue State counterpart, Samuel Ortom for his alleged poor handling of farmers/herders clashes in his state that spilt to other states.

My brother and my colleague, Ortom started all this as regards herders clashes with other tribes. That is why I must commend the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum (NGF), Solomon Lalong. He is a hero in the promotion of peace despite his diverse and minority background. He puts an end to the incessant fighting between herdsmen and other tribes in Plateau.”

Leave South West or face OPC – Gani Adams

While peace overtures were being extended in other places, the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams, on Thursday, warned those he called “criminal herdsmen” in the South West to leave the region with immediate effect.

He said the herders would be tackled by men of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) if they failed to leave.

In a statement by his spokesman, Adams said the alleged encroachment on the house of Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka was a threat to the privacy of the scholar.

Adams also scrutinised the perceived indifference of President Muhammadu Buhari about the insecurity crisis in the South West.

The Aare also advised South West governors to boost the recruitment of OPC, vigilante, and hunters in Amotekun to further strengthen the security outfit.

President not in charge- Soyinka

Amid the fireworks by leaders from different parts of the country, Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka said on Thursday that he does not believe President Muhammadu Buhari is in charge of the country.

Speaking when he featured on Arise TV, Soyinka said the president does not appreciate the enormity of the problems bedevilling Nigeria.

“I have said this before and I wish to repeat this: Buhari does not appreciate the situation. He doesn’t understand; I see no evidence that he understands how grave the situation is.

“I have said again and again that I don’t believe he is in charge, because it is not possible in my view for a head of state, a commander-in-chief of the armed forces, to say he is presiding over a nation and things get to this level, something is critically wrong within the leadership of this nation.”

Speaking on the alleged invasion on his house, Soyinka said the Nigerian Police Force lied on the claim that herdsmen and their cattle did not invade his residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

The Commissioner of Police in Ogun State, Edward Ajogun, had on Wednesday dispelled reported invasion on the residence of Soyinka, saying it was a mere case of cows straying into the compound.

The CP, who was on on-the-spot-assessment to Soyinka’s residence, told newsmen that “we have evidence of cow dung but, we did not see the cows.”

Reacting in a statement titled: ‘Mad cow and madder narratives,’ Soyinka insisted that his home was invaded by herdsmen and their cows on Tuesday.

“The police need to be very, very careful, learn to be straightforward with public information,” he said.

We’re ready for registration – Miyetti Allah

The Chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in Ekiti State, Alhaji Adamu Abache, has advised the Ekiti State Government to embark on mandatory registration of Fulani herdsmen.

Speaking on Thursday, he said: “The government should know where we live and where we do our businesses so that whoever perpetrates criminal activities can be traced, arrested and handed over to the police.”

He appealed during a security meeting organised by the Ekiti State chapter of the Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC) for all ethnic nationalities in the state.

“Fulani herdsmen living in Ekiti are for peace and we will continue to live together with our hosts in peace. Our support will always be to the government of the day for all of us to enjoy peace.  But the government should help us by providing identity cards for all members because the herdsmen are facing a lot of challenges in the forests regarding identification. The bio-data must be done through our local government heads,” he said.

The Head of Hausa Community in Ekiti, Alhaji Adamu Liman, said the issue of kidnapping had been going on for over three decades in the country but said it became more lucrative through the payment of huge ransom. Liman said that although herdsmen might not be innocent of the litany of kidnapping allegations levelled against them, “it would be wrong and premature for people to conclude that Fulani herders are solely responsible for the crime.”

The PCRC chairman in Ekiti, Mr Sunday Makinde, said that the meeting was conceptualised to fashion a way of resolving security hiccups being experienced in Ekiti in recent time.   Makinde said the challenges of herders/farmers clashes, kidnapping, banditry and rape would be tackled easily when all the diverse ethnic groups make a resolute commitment to helping the government in tackling the crises.

From Habibu U. Aminu (Kano), Hassan Ibrahim (Bauchi), Peter Moses (Abeokuta) & Faruq Shuaibu (Abuja)

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