WILLIAM ATTAH, GOMBE
Chairman of FIFABS CONSULTANTS, Professor Ibrahim Lawal Bashir has come down hard on post colonial Governments in Nigeria for failing to plan for the future of Fulani pastoralists.
Professor IL Bashir, a former Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria has therefore attributed the recent clashes and attacks between Fulani herdsmen and farmers to the neglect by successive Governments in planning for the future life of the Fulanis who are mostly pastoralists.
Speaking as the lead paper presenter during the First National Conference on the Dynamics of Pastoral Nomadism in Contemporary Nigeria: Problems, Policies and Prospects held at the Federal University Kashere, Gombe State, Professor Bashir stated that the era of the oil boom made successive Governments to forget the prospects of the current value of Nigeria’s herds of cattle which stands at N3.4 trillion.
He said the colonialists created cattle routes in different parts of the country which successive Governments refused to maintain, adding, “This is the reason why many important Government structures including airports have been built on cattle routes. This is apart from farmers who have over taken many cattle routes.”
He said the crisis is being heightened following the diversification of the Country’s economy from oil to Agriculture by the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to him, the problem is being compounded by ecological and economic factors where farmers and the herdsmen fight for land to farm and graze all at the same time.
He said Government must find a solution to the current crisis threatening the coexistence of the country by taking care of the needs of the Fulani Pastoralists.
“We must go back to where we started, effective ranching administration is one of the solutions. Environmental problems need to be looked at, look at so many things we have been taking for granted. We must plan and take care of the Fulani Nomads”.