Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State, North West Nigeria, has said that modernising the livestock sector is key to resolving the herder-farmer conflict in the country.
Governor Ganduje stated this at the opening ceremony of the National Conference on Livestock Reform and Mitigation of Associated conflicts between Herders and Farmers.
The conference themed “Sustainable Livestock Reforms and Mitigation of Associated Conflicts in Nigeria,” which was held at NAF Conference Centre and Suites, Abuja on Monday was chaired by former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, while the Kano State commissioner for Information, Comrade Muhammadu Garba serves as the secretary of the committee
Ganduje said the Rural Grazing Areas (RUGA) or ranching, which has been deliberately politicized, in the country, remains the only option that would go a long way in mitigating the existential problems.
He stressed that pastoralists would have lands to graze without cattle encroaching on people’s farmlands.
Ganduje highlighted how Kano State has gone far in the establishment of Ruga Settlement in Kano, saying already, 25 housing units out of the projected 200, situated on 4, 413 hectres of land at Dansoshiya Forest in Kiru Local Government have been completed and handed over to the herders.
He added, “Modernising the livestock sector is not only key to resolving the herder-farmer conflict, but was envisaged that this economic investment pillar will support and strengthen the development of market-driven ranches for improved livestock production through breed improvement and pasture production.
“There is therefore the need for aiding information, education and strategic communication on the development of grazing reserves to mitigate the consequences of these conflicts.
“It is also very important that we must also avoid the dangers of allowing these conflicts to harden to religious or ethnic conflicts. This is the responsibility of political, religious and all other parts of our leadership elite in Nigeria.”
He urged for the intensification of the existing collaboration with border communities to prevent the movement of small arms, and disarming armed pastoralists and bandits who go through our borders day after day.
Those who graced the occasion include the Deputy Governor and The Gubernatorial Candidate of the APC, Dr Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna , the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III; the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado; Senator Barau Jibril, former Governor of Bauchi State, Alhaji Isah Yuguda.
Others were Dr Mansur Mukhtar, Vice President, Islamic Development Bank (IsBD), Prof. E.A Iyayi, Registrar/CEO NIAS