By Peter Duru – Makurdi
Tiv Youth Organization TYO President General Comrade Timothy Hembaor has advised the federal government to omit the state of Benue from its plan to reintroduce herding routes into the country.
He insisted that people would only allow cattle ranching in his state as provided by the state’s 2017 Open Pasture and Ranch Establishment Ban Act and anything other than that would be resisted.
Comrade Hembaor, in a statement on Friday in Makurdi entitled “Ruga, the water resources and the grazing routes are the same genre and we are ready to oppose it with our blood” warned that the plan spells ruin for the country.
Part of the text read: “It started with RUGA, followed by the Water Resources bill and now President Buhari has promised his people in Katsina state that he has ordered the Minister of Agriculture to revive the grazing routes so that their Shepherd relatives roam all over the country.
“There is a law promulgated by the Benue State Assembly that regulates issues related to grazing and other issues related to livestock.
“And the federal government doesn’t want to realize that cattle ranching is not an exclusive preserve for cattle and the Fulani. Beyond the fact that other tribes in Nigeria also raise cows that are better than the long horns of the Fulani, Nigerians also raise other animals such as pigs, goats, sheep, and birds.
“And you won’t see the pig farmers or the poultry farmers carrying their animals across the Nigerian landscape. The reason for this is that others value their lands and their own cultural attributes. They would not migrate to other places to desecrate the land. What is it that the Fulani herdsmen will not settle on their land?
“It is worth mentioning that there are other tribes in Africa, beyond our shores, that raise livestock and other animals. The Maasai in Kenya and the Swahili in Central and East Africa. They are contained within their borders and do not carry weapons and kill their neighbors like the herdsmen in Nigeria.
“This happens because the federal government gives them tacit coverage, giving them the impression that they are above the law. It is a shame that the impunity of the Fulani is threatening the existence of Nigeria ”.