In the absence of Nigeria’s “federal” government taking a decisive step and making its stand known in clear guidelines, it has continued to dither, a situation that has given room for the owners of cows being grazed all over the country to hide under the innocuous “Fulani socio-cultural organisation, Cattle Breeders Joint Association of Nigeria (CBJAN).” There is nothing remotely “socio-cultural” in the breeding and sale of cows, although there is a common affinity in this line of business; it is pursued mostly by Fulanis.
In one of those press reports the association gets out from time to time these days, the CBJAN, through its “National Coordinnator” – Kachia Hussaini – came up with the following needs for his organization, a wholly commercial group:
- speedy placement of tracking chips on livestock to prevent cattle rustling and identification,
- cattle breeding management, and
- federal and state governments to fast track plans on grazing reserves.
What Mr. Hussaini failed to mention in his speech read to members of his association is ANY reason why government at “federal” and state levels should pay for what is a way to enhance the business of Fulani herdsmen and the owners of the cows.
Those who own cows must pay for whatever costs they need: providing grazing reserves for which they can purchase land that must be demarcated and fenced, watch for their fellow herdsmen who are indeed the ones to blame for rustling and chip tech for tracing their animals.
I became aware of people stealing others’ cows (cattle rustling) when a friend, who had employed some men he had introduced to us as Fulanis to graze cows for him on his big piece of land at Akanran (outside Ibadan), went to the farm one sad morning only to find that the herdsmen had disappeared, taking ALL his cows along! They had been with him for years.
No government paid him compensation as that was rightly his personal loss. The idea of government “fastracking” installation of tracking chips on animals for security or whatever reason can only be held as delusional.
Finally, I must wonder aloud where exactly the doomed “grazing reserves” now stand because Hussaini’s speech implies it’s a done deal while Ekiti, a state to which I also belong, has already passed a bill which stipulates the only relationship it can have with herdsmen and their animals.
Nigeria’s legislative bodies must speak up on the supposedly bill that was not put through, now.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2016. 12:22 p.m. [GMT]