From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
The Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) has suggested a new approach to end incessant clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in Northern parts of the country.
A signed statement by Danladi Ndayebo, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Niger State and Chairman of the forum, Dr Babangida Aliyu , said the governors made the suggestion in Minna yesterday while reacting to the killing of about 100 persons in Unguwar Sankwai, Unguwar Gata and Chenshyi villages of Kaura Local Government Area in the southern part of Kaduna State by suspected herdsmen.
The forum called on the federal government to consider a national policy to settle nomads and provide adequate grazing reserves and cattle routes, arguing that grazing reserves have proved to be a self-sustaining solution for pastoralists across many developed and underdeveloped countries of the world.
“It is the considered opinion of the forum that a national policy be put in place to settle nomads and provide adequate reserves and cattle routes.
“The advantages of doing so include reintegrating herdsmen into the mainstream society and reducing or even eliminating herdsmen/farmers conflicts,” the statement said.
The forum recalled that in the pre-colonial times, the influx of Fulani pastoralists into various parts of Northern Nigeria in the 19th century led to establishment of grazing areas known as Hurumis (Communal grazing areas) which were preserved around townships and large villages protected by Emirate Councils.
The forum urged the federal government to adopt the comprehensive pastoral resource development programme of the defunct Northern Nigeria which established facilities like marketing channels, watering points, veterinary posts and grazing reserves in major pastoral areas of the region.
It said apart from loss of human lives, lack of proper management of grazing reserves has denied the country the required increases in livestock numbers, carcass weight and off-take levels.
It lamented that only 36 out of the nation’s 415 grazing reserves have been gazetted.