Herdsmen converge on Kano to tackle cattle theft
Worried by the persistent rustling and lack of grazing areas for their animals, Fulani herders under the auspices of Billital Maroobe Pastoralists Association of Nigeria (BILMPAN), held a two-day summit in Kano to find a solution to the problems.
Speaking at the summit, national president of BILMPAN, Alhaji Aliyu Muhammad Rimindako, described cattle rustling and encroachment of grazing areas as the major challenges faced by pastoralists in Nigeria.
“This rustling a new phenomenon to us but unfortunately it is crippling the economic condition of herders which also affects the economy of the country. This I believe is the next major security threat to the country after the Boko Haram insurgency, because it touches the means of livelihood of herdsmen and the country’s economy.
“As such, there is need for synergy between security agencies and herdsmen for better security of livestock and also government should tackle the high rate of unemployment, especially among the youth which is the major cause of rustling,” he also said.
Aliyu Rimindako noted that encroachment of grazing areas due to the rapid development of towns and cities is another area of concern for the herders and urged the National Assembly on the quick passage of the grazing areas bill into law.
He said the non-inclusion of herds men’s inputs in government policy formulation contributed for lingering crisis between farmers and herdsmen.
He added that plans are underway to reduce the movement of herdsmen across the country in search of fodder for cattle.
“We are working on a plan and adopting changes that in the next two generations to come, our grandchildren will not be moving from one place to another in the name of cattle rearing,” he said.
He further decried the noninclusion of the livestock sector in government budget, saying the sector gets zero allocation compared to what is allocated to agriculture.
“If you compare what is being allocated to farming and livestock sectors in government budget, you will discover that the livestock sector gets almost zero per cent.