Obasanjo blames northern governors for disappearance of cattle ranches
• Lawmakers decry herdsmen attack in Kaduna
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has blamed northern governors for allowing conflicts between Fulani herdsmen and farmers to escalate due to their failure to preserve grazing lands established during the colonial era.
Obasanjo took the position at the 23rd Annual Lift Above Poverty Organisation (LAPO) Development Forum in Abuja, with the theme “Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture: Challenges and Opportunity.”
The former president noted that during the colonial era, nearly all states in the northern parts of Nigeria had grazing areas as well as cattle routes but all of them had disappeared.
He said: “In those years, it was the responsibility of the states and local governments to take care of grazing areas.”
The former president condemned the process of tabling a bill dealing with grazing reserves before the National Assembly, saying that such issues ought to be treated where the matter emanated-at the state and council levels.
“Every Nigerian is entitled to a viable economic life and if he has a problem, it is up to the government, first the local government, secondly, the state government before the federal government. But this particular one is not a federal issue.”
The founder of LAPO, Godwin Esewi Ehigiamusoe said the attainment of food security has economic and socio-political implications.
He said although in the past, many policies and programmes were put in place in a bid to diversify the economy through agriculture, the current dependence on food imports is a clear indication of failure of such polices.
Meanwhile, the senator representing Kaduna South senatorial district, Danjuma Laah has described recurring herdsmen attacks as unforgivable crime against the people of his area. He demanded immediate Federal Government intervention to end their menace.
Senator Laah, who is representing the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in the upper chamber yesterday visited Godogodo, lamenting that relevant authorities had refused to give the soldiers and police officers stationed in the town enough men and weapons to prevent the incident.
Also, member, Zango Kataf/Jaba Federal Constituency of Kaduna State in the House of Representatives, Sunday Mashall Katung yesterday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to arrest activities of killer herdsmen in his area.