By Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano
Kano State governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje yesterday called on all Fulani herdsmen resident in other parts of the country, especially Benue and Taraba States, to relocate to Kano since the state has vast grazing land to accommodate them and their cattle.
Ganduje, who stated this while inspecting the vaccination of over one million cattle and other small animals free-of-charge at the Kadawa artificial insemination centre in Garum Malam Local Government Area of the state, as part of activities to mark the 2017/2018 livestock vaccination programme, condemned the recent killings arising from clashes between farmers and herdsmen in the country, describing it as unacceptable.
Speaking further during event tagged, “Towards Conservation of Livestock Resources and Animal Protein for Citizens of Kano,” the governor said the exercise was targeted at keeping the animals healthy and improving the economy of the state.
According to him, the over one million cattle and small animals were being vaccinated for free to rid them of diseases, adding that his administration was committed to the welfare and economic wellbeing of the Fulani herdsmen.
He further stated that as part of the government’s commitment to encourage herdsmen in the state, the Kano State Government has continued to provide facilities that will accommodate the herdsmen and their cattle so as to prevent them from travelling to other states in search of grazing lands.
Ganduje also stated that Fulani herdsmen of Kano origin do not move out of the state to other states, “because we have enough grazing land, ranches and traditional livestock routes”.
“So, they don’t have any reason to move out of the state. We take care of them and we accord them the respect and dignity they deserve.”
According to him, “I am inviting herdsmen from all parts of Nigeria to relocate to Kano because we have enough facilities to accommodate them.
“We have grazing lands in Rogo, Gaya, Kura, Tudun Wada, Ungogo and other reserved places where facilities are in place to accommodate the herdsmen and their cattle.”
The governor also revealed that his administration was already working in collaboration with the federal government and foreign agencies to convert the Falgore Game Reserve into a modern grazing land.
He said: “The Falgore Game Reserve can take care of millions of herdsmen and their cattle in Nigeria. The place has been designed to contain schools, human and animal clinics, markets, recreational centres, and other social amenities that can give the herdsmen enough comfort to take care of their animals and do their business without hindrance.
“These killings must stop. We cannot afford to continue to witness these senseless killings in the name of Fulani herdsmen and farmers’ clash over lack of grazing land while we have a place like the Falgore Game Reserve underutilised.”
He further stated that the fear of cattle rustling in Kano was over.
“Cattle rustling is now history because we fought the menace headlong. In Falgore right now, we have enough security there. Those rustlers have relocated elsewhere, while some of them who repented from their evil ways were given amnesty and rehabilitated,” he added.
Ganduje also said his administration had embarked on the registration of herdsmen and their cattle to enable government take care of them through free vaccination programmes and other incentives that will add value to their businesses.
“A cattle intervention centre has been established to address the challenges associated with the livelihoods of herdsmen within Kano. Just recently, we sponsored the training of over 61 Fulani herdsmen who were sent to Turkey to learn artificial insemination.
“They are back to Kano and I must tell you that they are doing well in the various places they have been assigned to do their jobs,” he stated.
Also speaking, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Nasir Yusuf Gawuna, who hailed the governor for addressing the problem of Fulani herdsmen/farmers’ clash, said just recently, the state government sponsored 150 youths who were at the Leventis Agricultural School.
He said the students who were trained in modern agriculture techniques for them to be self-reliant, were given N30,000 each as take off grants.