Awunah Pius Terwase
Cattle rearing is a private business of individuals and an occupation for the Fulani ethnic family. It is a lucrative business in Nigeria that brings in money and is now causing horrendous number of deaths through deliberate annihilation of families.
Because of the cattle rearing business, many women have been raped and impregnated, hundreds of people have been killed, many people have been maimed, hundreds of houses in farming communities have been burnt, thousands of people are in the refugees’ camps in Benue and other states of the federation, farmers are no longer going to their farms to work, famine now looms, people are no longer sleeping with their two eyes closed. Killer herdsmen have caused a litany of problems.
Claiming it new move as a solution to the murderous campaign of the herdsmen, the federal government has announced plans to spend N179 billion to build ranches in Benue, Nassarawa, Adamawa, Plateau, Kaduna, Ebonyi, Edo, Oyo, Taraba and Zamfara. But a school of thought believes that this would only facilitate the killings, raping of more women, burning of more houses and forcing more people to flee to refugee camps.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in the recent past said that killer Fulani herdsmen were actually ex-warriors from Libya. By that claim, he meant that
they were members of a militia, trained and armed by the late Muammar Gadhafi of Libya, to come to Nigeria and other countries in Africa to terrorise nations and kill for him as part of his grand agenda to become the emperor of Africa.
Now, the president wants to spend N179 billion to build ranches for the same hitmen or the killer militia.
What the Buhari administration has proposed to do is unfortunate and absolutely condemnable. It is capable of setting the country on fire as people in the proposed 10 states begin to resist the establishment of the ranches.
This could lead to armed conflict of unimaginable proportions in the worst case scenario.
In the least case, it is necessary to draw the attention of the government to the fact that if the plan to establish the ranches is not cancelled, one day Nigerians may wake up and find no land to build their houses, to farm and to use for other things necessary for their survival. It is not late at this point for the federal government to abort this evil and dangerous proposal.
► Awunah Pius Terwase wrote from Mpape, Abuja.