Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, on Saturday said the killings being allegedly perpetrated by herdsmen in some states of the federation attested to Nigeriaâ€™s poor leadership qualities and lack of innovation in governance.
Aregbesola said it was saddening that Nigerian herders are still adopting primitive way in animal husbandry which gave room for unfettered itinerant movement by nomadic herdsmen, rather than adopting the modern innovation that can restrict them for proper monitoring.
Contrary to widespread insinuation that the killings were associated with a certain ethnic group allegedly plotting to take over Nigeria, the governor said it was a general menace caused by inability of leadership to embrace modernity.
Aregbesola spoke at Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD) on Saturday while interacting with the management and students of the private institution.
The governor lauded ABUADâ€™s founder, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), for establishing a university with a vision and mission to churn out great future leaders and innovators, saying the university has ushered in a paradigm shift in the nationâ€™s tertiary education.
Aregbesola said Nigeria will continue to witness unending farmers-herdsmen rows if the primitive ways of cattle rearing in Nigeria are not addressed.
â€œI am not trying to justify killings or trying to say that the Fulanis should dominate Nigeria, but what I am saying is that Nigeria has failed to be technologically and innovatively advanced due to bad leadership.
â€œAs we speak now, there are no green grasses in any part of Europe and they produce cattle Africa cannot even boast of. They prepared their pasture, foliage and fodders during the six months of rainy season and kept it to feed their cattle during the dry season.
â€œThe cattle are restricted within the ranches and I believe that if some nations could be thinking like this, Nigeria has no reason not to toe the same line. We must turn this situation into huge economic opportunities for our people.
â€œIn the Southwest, some of the farmers are still using the old and primitive hoes and cutlasses for farming. This is the more reason why many of these peasant farmers canâ€™t stand straight as 60. Even many of them must have looked aged at that age and had their hands deformed and body diseased.
â€œFor Nigeria to get out of the herdsmen killings, we must adopt modern system of cattle rearing and we must stop reading ethnic sentiment to itâ€, he advised.
Aregbesola added that God had destined Nigeria to be a driver of the African race, advising that the country shouldnâ€™t just be great in name and population, but must exhibit such in economic advancement and leadership.
â€œGod did not create Nigeria for itself but for all of Africa. Time has come for Nigeria to think right and reposition itself through quality leadership at all levels to be strong enough to take leadership in this continent.
â€œIf Nigeria is strong economically and it adds its strength with that of South Africa, we will be able to bring out those resources wasting away in Rwanda, Uganda, Botswana and other African nations for better economic prospectâ€, Aregbesola pointed out.