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Why NEDC excluded herders from masterplan, by KACRAN

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[FILES] A ram is seen at Yan’ awaki livestock market ahead of Eid al-Adha festival in Kano, northwest Nigeria, August 28, 2017. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

The National President of Kulen Allah Cattle Rearers Association of Nigeria (KACRAN), Khalil Bello, has said that the Federal Government is responsible for the North East Development Commission (NEDC)’s exclusion of livestock development from its projects.

According to him, pastoralists are the most endangered people, who suffer heavy losses as a result of the 12-year Boko Haram terrorism.

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Bello said in Damaturu, at the weekend: “The commission myopically excluded herders’ associations from stakeholders’ drawing up of a master plan for implementation.”

He lamented that the commission didn’t mean well for the over five million herders in the six insurgency-affected states.

“Until now, we are yet to see any tangible project executed by the commission to rebuild the region,” he said, noting that members of NEDC were appointed by the Federal Government to identify people’s occupations and region’s terrains.

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Pastoral occupation, he asserted, could only be practised in forests or the most remote areas where the insurgents hide to attack communities.

While the Federal Government was drawing up the commission’s mandate, it did not include all victims of insurgency for assistance and empowerment, he added.

His words: “We want to make it clear to the commission that it is due to the importance of pastoral occupation in the region that there are several herders’ associations. How could the commission organise a stakeholders’ meeting without inviting any of the herders’ associations in the country?

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“We are herders that live in the bushes due to the sympathetic nature of our occupation of providing nutrition to the nation. But we were never included among the stakeholders that drew up the master plan for the commission.”

Lamenting that millions of their livestock were rustled by terrorists, he called on the Federal Government to direct NEDC to consider the herders for livestock development projects.

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