Senator representing Nasarawa West Senatorial district, Abdullahi Adamu has lampooned those seeing Fulani herders’ problem as Buhari’s problems, saying activities of herders should be funded from the Federal government’s treasury.
The lawmaker who governed Nasarawa State for eight years on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) before becoming a Senator for the third time on the All Progressives the (APC) maintained that if government could bail failing banks which are private enterprises of individual persons with public funds, the same thing should be applicable to cow rearing by Fulani herders.
He spoke at a media parley with Senate Press Corps in Abuja, saying the herders’ crises with farmers shouldn’t be the basis for maltreating and punishing herders because they rear cows.
He admitted that herders/farmers crisis was a national problem that needed to be addressed even if their occupation of moving cattle from one place to the other has been caught up with modernity.
According to Adamu public funds have been used by government to rescue private businesses, hence, herders should also be rescued by government.
“If private banks will be rescued; government will come with public funds to rescue failing banks because Central Bank money is public money; it’s your money; it’s my money, then why not doing that for herdsmen.”
He lamented that governors have abdicated from their responsibility of ensuring harmonious relationship between farmers and Fulani herders in their States.
Adamu insisted that governors have what it takes to ensure security since funds were allocated to all tiers of government for the purpose of peace and security, stating that the idea of resting herders/farmers crisis on the shoulder of the Federal government alone was erroneous.
He.said: “Often we see herdsmen’s problem as Buhari’s problem. It’s not entirely government’s problem. Every tier of government has a duty because the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) allocates funds to be used for all these challenges.
“The State and Local governments have their own responsibilities particularly in agriculture which is on the concurrent list in the Constitution. So you don’t rest that on the shoulder of the Federal government and I say that to the extent with which the Federal government will show the way.
“We are talking of modernisation. Yes you have to distinguish between corporate modernisation effort , government modernisation effort and individual modernisation effort.
“No matter how modern a herdsman thinks he is, he cannot build a kind of road to pass his cattles without doing harm to farmers. No matter how we want to develop, we must develop a long the line of due process.
“The question one tend to ask is we talk about modernisation and for heaven’s sake, is it the fault of herdsmen that till today in the 21st century he moves his cattles through the only route he has in the bush? While in the modern world which I have seen, there are tracks where the cattles are carried and are fed. Do we have tracks in this country and even if we have, how many?
Adamu who was apparently reacting to anti-open grazing laws being legislated across the States noted that herders shouldn’t be punished because of the nature of their occupation that requires moving cattles through bush paths.
“So you cannot punish any trade calling or any economic pursuit. You cannot rest the evil on the the poor Nigerians, it has to rest on government. Government has a duty and I repeat here that we have misdirected our political thinking and our political activism.
“We are involved in unnecessary parochialism. We have refused to differentiate genuine problems this country faces and solve the problems collectively with the direction of government and rather than doing that, we are looking for fault lines.