Abdullahi Ganduje, Governor of Kano State, Northwest Nigeria has come under criticism over his call to the Federal Government to enact a law that would ban the movement of Fulani herdsman from Northern to the Middle-belt and Southern Nigeria in order to resolve the incessant incidences of clashes between farmers and herders.
Ganduje reportedly made the call during an interview with journalists after a special lunch which the All Progressives Congress, (APC) governors had with President Muhammadu Buhari at his Daura private residence, Katsina State over the weekend.
He said having a ban on movement of herders would also address the challenge of cattle rustling.
The governor was quoted as suggesting that the government may not be able to control the conflicts between herdsmen and farmers as well as cattle rustling if it failed to put in place such law.
“My advocacy is that we should abolish the transportation or trekking of herdsmen from the northern part of Nigeria to the middle belt and to the Southern part of Nigeria,” Ganduje said.
“There should be a law that will ban, otherwise we cannot control the conflicts between herdsmen and farmers and cannot control the cattle rustling which is affecting us greatly.”
However, harsh reactions have started to trail his call for the ban of movement of herdsmen, as the Kaduna State chapter of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) said such call implies that the entity called Nigeria ‘ is coming to an end’.
“This implies the entity called the Federal Republic of Nigeria is coming to an end,” said Ibrahim Bayero, the Director of Publicity of the Kaduna State chapter of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in an interview with HumAngle.
“If all the tribes belonging to the Nigerian nation cannot move freely as guaranteed them by the constitution, then where is the federation?” Bayero queried.
He warned that such a decision if taken my lead to the disintegration of Nigeria as a country and may fragment it into four different entities.
“It may lead to the disintegration of the country and fragmenting it to four different entities,” he observed, explaining, “with the Southwest, the Southeast, the South-south and the Middle-belt telling other tribes not to come to their zones would imply sections proclaiming their separate entities.”
The Kaduna MACBAN spokesman maintained: “So long as the federation exists, you cannot ban a particular tribe from moving to other sections of the country while other tribes enjoy free movement.”
Hussaini Abdullahi Labduga, a Fulani community leader also told HumAngle that any demand for banning of Fulani from moving to other parts of the country should be extended to traders from other tribes from moving from the South to the North.
“This (call for ban) is balderdash,” maintaining, “if you ban Fulani herdsmen from moving from the North to the South, then you should ban traders from other tribes from moving from the South to the North,” Labduga said.
“Movement by the Fulani herdsmen is their legitimate right according to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” adding, “It is their way of life, their occupation and the main strength of their economy.”
The Fulani community leader maintained: “Ganduje, himself a Fulani, knows that it will not be possible to ban such movement.”
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