Bauchi govt to re-establish cattle routes to end herders’/farmers’ crises
ARMSTRONG ALLAHMAGANI, Bauchi
In a bid to address the lingering and persistent crises between herders and farmers, the Bauchi State government has said that it will re-establish cattle routes which had been taken over by individuals and groups.
Speaking on Tuesday while receiving a report of the administrative Committee of inquiry setup by the state government to look into the dispute between Herders and farmers in Bauchi state, Governor Bala Mohammed stated that this had caused land use abuse and illegal allocation in all the twenty local government areas of the state.
He said that the government will establish an implementation Committee that will re-establish cattle routes and acquire lands that have been illegally taken away some stakeholders in the state.
He said that his administration will prosecute all those involved in farmers’/herders’ crises in the state to permanently address the lingering crisis to serve as a deterrent to others.
Mohammed said there are some areas that herders do not have a passage to follow with their cattles for pasture because they have been blocked and taken over by some elites in collaboration with traditional institutions, local authorities and sometimes with security agencies.
“As a Committee, you have the courage to bring out all these challenges and we are not blaming anybody, but certainly we are trying to look at the challenges with the view to resolving them. Definitely, we must do something.
“It is a shame that in this century, when our forefathers have done so much to establish the cattle routes, with beacons, coordinates and reserves, so that they can provide sustainable for us when we come back, but sadly our environmental sustainability has been destroyed and sometimes, they are just wantonly acquired without any use for the beneficiaries. So this Kleptomaniac, this attitude that is terrible must be reversed.
“This is the problem of Nigeria, especially in Northern Nigeria where we assume to have land, but we don’t have the land because they have been acquired and taken illegally. One person will take between 5,000 to 50,000 hectares of land and all the cattle routes have been taken over,” he said.
The Chairman of the committee, Surveyor Yahaya Baba, who spoke earlier while presenting the report stated that farmers and Herders conflict is a great threat to security that needs to checked.
He pointed out that the Governor’s pro-activeness in setting up the committee cannot be overemphasized.
Baba said that in some of the areas visited, hearing sessions were held where the committee received series of complains and petitions which generated more need for inspections in the areas adding that the committee received more than 1000 petitions and memoranda from critical stakeholders.
He added that the committee in some of it’s findings discovered that some local government staff with some influential citizens were involved in the sales and illegal allocation of land that are grazing reserves.
He said: “Your Excellency, I made bold to say, you are indeed the first Governor be it Military or democratically elected in the history of Bauchi state since its creation in 1976s to come up with an initiative of this nature.
“Sir, you are indeed a real peace maker who took the bull by its horn in addressing state issues.”
He appealed to the Governor to make useful use of the committee’s recommendations in order to achieve sustainable peace between farmers and herders in the state.