By Peter Duru – Makurdi
The President General, Tiv Youth Organization, TYO, Comrade Timothy Hembaor has advised the federal government to leave out Benue state from its plan to reintroduce grazing routes in the country.
He insisted that the people would only allow the ranching of cattle in their state as provided by the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017 of the state and anything short of that would be resisted.
Comrade Hembaor in a statement Friday in Makurdi titled ‘Ruga, Water Resources and Grazing Routes are same Genre and we are ready to oppose it with our blood’ cautioned that the plan spells doom for the country.
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Part of the text read, “It started with RUGA, followed by the Water Resources bill and now, President Buhari has promised his people from Katsina state that he has directed the Minister of Agriculture to resurrect the grazing routes so that his herder kinsmen would perambulate all over the country.
“There is a law enacted by the Benue State Assembly regulating matters related to grazing and other issues attendant to the issues of livestock.
“And the federal government does not want to realise that livestock farming is not the exclusive preserve of cattle and the Fulani. Beyond the fact that other tribes in Nigeria also rear cows that are better than the long horns of the Fulani, other animals like pigs, goats, sheep, and birds are also farmed by Nigerians.
“And you will not see pig farmers, nor poultry farmers carrying their animals across the landscape of Nigeria. The reason for this is that others value their lands and the cultural attributes that are peculiar to them. They would not migrate to other places to desecrate the land. What is it that Fulani herdsmen will not settle in their land?
“It is worth mentioning that there are other tribes in Africa, beyond our shores that raise cattle and other livestock. The Masai in Kenya and the Swahili in Central and Eastern Africa. They are contained within their borders and they do not carry guns and kill their neighbours like the herders in Nigeria.
“This happens because the federal government gives tacit cover to them, giving them the impression that they are above the law. It is a shame that Fulani impunity is threatening the existence of Nigeria.”