Ranching is no witch-hunt but best solution to continued herders-farmers clash

Written by silvernewsng

Prince Andy Usanga

In civilized climes or developed economies, ranches remain the only acceptable option as a form of modernity in animal husbandry. The ongoing debate on cows as citizens of Nigeria is a total aberration, nonsensical, and complete abhorrence to every thinking person.

Ranches as a corrective option have to be established and the leaders in the North especially those of Fulani extraction must see it as the truth and not a witch-hunt.

Nigeria as a country in transition and in need of social change must be aroused to the awareness of complexities of modernity as a modernizing nation. The arousal to the awareness of need for change in line with the global positive standard of complex modern ideologies and patterns of behaviour must be indexed on the desire to emulate the tested and positively proven clinical economics approach to development and societal problems solving by developed economies.

It is one thing to have a desire or an aspiration for certain goals and another thing to attain the goals for the advancement of societal aspirations. There must be a progression from the traditional stage to modernity state.

The beginning of positive transformation and integration of the Fulani – herders into the society starts with the proposal to build ranches in different states in the north serving as home states of origin of herders where cows are majorly bred.

This corrective mechanism, the building of ranches, must as a necessary complimentary prerequisite have schools built side by side with the ranches to serve as modern institutions to those young Fulani herders willing to go back to school. This must be backed up with coercive policies.

Education and enlightenment of the mind are the only way to curb the frustration, which is aggression disposition of the Fulani herders.

Again, besides the building of ranches, the Senate should as a matter of urgency pass a bill to serve as penalty bill prescribing punitive measures to the principal owners of the cows who engage the pastoralists cum herders in this business.

Before the actual enforcement commences, a time line for the coming into effect of the penalty bill or law must have been exhausted which can be one to two years effective from the date of passage of the bill into law.

Within this grace period, the ranches should have been built and ready for use.

The debate whether cows should be given right of citizenship should be seen as unthinkable, impracticable and unacceptable, lacking in momentum, humaneness, and highly demeaning.

It is highly empathic and worrisome that somebody with seeming sanity will come up with this humiliating and mind-pulsating kind of proposition as a form of bill in the highly hallowed chambers of Nigeria’s National Assembly (Senate) and convey such message to the Nigerian public and to even the international community.

This is really appalling and the highest level of insult to Nigeria and to the sensibilities of Nigerians. This goes all the way to expose the level of rot and degeneration in some public office-holders.

Security-wise, going by some recent events and in view of Nigeria’s contemporary issues of insecurity, farmers – herders clashes, continued wanton destruction of farm crops as a result of unregulated cross-national movement of cows and herders, development of ranches remains the only sure way to providing the necessary solution.

Going by the above, as the committees saddled with the study and recommendations to the senate on the way forward continue to deliberate on this proposition, we can only express our sincere appreciation to the senate president, Senator Godswill Akpabio, who could not be cowed but stood his ground. We also commend the sponsor of the bill, Senator Titus Zam, and all other supporters of the bill.

Nigerians wish you all a successful deliberation to free Nigeria from this ignominious bill proposition.

Prince Andy Usanga is a political analyst and a strong advocate of good governance.


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