A former Senator Representing Benue North East Senatorial District, Prof. Daniel Iorkegh Saror, has accused the federal government of using herdsmen as a political tool to expand Fulani settlements across Nigeria.
Prof Saror stated this in an exclusive interview with the New Telegraph newspaper.
Benue is one of the states affected by herdsmen attacks, with many of the displaced people still living in internally displaced camps.
But according to the former senator, the government at the Federal level is playing politics just to achieve an agenda, despite studies available to them about ranches.
In his words, “think it is political because the President and the Federal Government know very well, because they have all the studies available with them that, you need ranches to be able to produce and expand your livestock population.
“And the simple technology to produce a ranch is that you identify a place, fell down the big trees, plough, you harrow, you plant the grass that you want to plant and you water it and allow it to mature, allow it to seed, give it two or three years for the grass to grow fully so that the cattle will not finish it up. The technology is there. To get water to supply in the ranches, you can make small dams or sink boreholes it’s easy.
Saror, a Professor of Veterinary Medicine and former Vice Chancellor of the Ahmadu Bella University, Zaria, also accused the APC led federal government of giving the Fulani herdsmen much political powers, at the detriment of the lives of other Nigerians.
“They are using the herdsmen as a political tool. Regrettably herdsmen have become a political tool by the present APC-led government to expand Fulani settlements all over the country for what reason I don’t know.
“We had been very stable in Nigeria, there has been freedom of choice, freedom of religion and all the religions have been prospering depending on the appeal they make to people. You don’t have to go and impose ethnic a minority in a place that you are growing livestock, no.”
The former ABU Vice Chancellor also accused the Miyetti Allah, a Fulani social cultural organization, Emirs and Northern governors of Fulani extraction of using their access to government to support the expansion agenda.
“Miyetti Allah is a Fulani socio-cultural and political organisation and they have a lot of money. They have access to government at every level, both states and federal. Majority of Emirs and governors in Northern Nigeria are of Fulani extraction so they can easily support what is happening in the country; but nobody is interested in the expansionist approach they want to adopt which is unfortunate.”
He called on the government to develop lands that have been set aside for ranching purposes, in order to put an end to clashes between farmers and herdsmen in the country.