Those saying nomadic cattle rearing must continue should use their children as herders – Gov Ganduje

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Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has advocated a ban on the movement of herdsmen from the North to Southern parts of Nigeria.

The governor stated that such action would douse tension and stop attacks and reprisals.

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He said all what it requires is for herders to settle in one place, adding that “those who are fighting what we are saying, I’ll like to see their children follow cows from the north to the south, trekking.”

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In an interview with Channel Television on Thursday, Ganduje highlighted security challenges affecting herders and farmers across the country, stating that there was a need to understand the lifestyle of Fulanis.

“There are nomadic Fulanis, and there are settled Fulanis. We are the settled Fulanis, but to change from nomadism to settled Fulani is not a big deal. All what it requires is for you to settle in one place. Those who are fighting what we are saying, I’ll like to see their children follow cows from the north to the south, trekking,” he said.

He also expressed sadness that the relationship between herdsmen and farmers has become parasitic, stating that it used to be a mutually-beneficial relationship.

He, however, added that this was until the farmers no longer needed the dung of the herders’ cattle due to the introduction of modern fertiliser options.

“Those days, it was a kind of symbiotic relationship between the herdsmen and the farmers. The herdsmen settled in a place and the dung of their cattle used to serve as fertiliser for the farmers,” he said.

”The farmers even invited them to come and settle for a whole season and even stay permanently. Some of them have been there for hundreds of years.

“But with the discovery of modern fertilisers, you find that the farmers do not rely on the dung of the cattle. They have fertilisers, while the herdsmen have not discovered any alternative way of feeding their cows like the modern grazing.

“So, you’ll find that the relationship between the herdsmen and farmers is no longer a symbiotic relationship, but a parasitic relationship and that is creating a lot of problems.”

Ganduje said what was needed was a consensus to determine how the herdsmen could remain in the same environment as the farmers, while being assisted to adopt modern systems of animal husbandry

“That will reduce their encroachment on people’s farms, and that will reduce the problem,” he added.

Recently, Ganduje had said the movement of cattle from the north to the south should be banned, noting that there was a need to “control the conflicts between herdsmen and farmers”.

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