Katsina Commences Demarcation of Cattle Routes
Francis Sardauna in Katsina
Disturbed by the lingering clashes between farmers and herdsmen across the country, the Katsina State Government has flagged off the demarcation of cattle routes in nine local government areas of the state in order to end the perennial conflict between the two groups that has led to loss of innocent lives and properties.
The routes to be re-demarcated include both local and international ones, which passes through the state to other neighbouring countries.
Speaking during the flagging off ceremony at Kukar Babangida on Tuesday, Governor Aminu Bello Masari said the conflict between cattle breeders and farmers mostly hinges on encroachment on areas of land reserved for grazing by farmers and consequent encroachment on farms by breeders.
He pointed out that until this known issues are resolved, no measure would be able to stop the ugly situation in the country, hence the decision of the state government to re-demarcate and beacon stock routes across the state in order to prevent the clashes.
“It must be pointed out that the original grazing routes and grazing areas in many states of the federation have been encroached upon by people, this is one of the reasons why herdsmen are destroying peoples’ farms in search of food for their animals.
“We are determined to ensure peace and unity between herdsmen and farmers. Our main focus is to change the unhealthy relationship existing between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, thus bringing to an end the culture of bloody violence,” he said.
Masari, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the State, Dr. Mustapha Inuwa, appealed to stakeholders and security agencies to take the necessary measures to recover the grazing reserves and identify cattle routes from those who have encroached on them.
He called traditional rulers of the affected local governments to give the committee that would embark on the exercise, the needed support that will enable them to discharge their assignment effectively.
Governor Masari stressed that the ugly trend started some decades ago but most states failed to take necessary actions to stop the takeover of the grazing routes and reserves which were adequately provided even during the colonial days.
“But Katsina State government is the first to initiate and implement the programme. But this cannot be sustainable if we cannot complement the effort of state government by ensuring that no one violates the rules of the initiative,” Masari added.
Earlier, the state Standing Committee Chairman on improvement of relationship between farmers and herdsmen, Alhaji Abdulraziz Lawal K/Sauri, said the exercise was aimed at fostering smooth passage of pastoralists and prevention of farmers/herdsmen clashes which had become a thing of the past in the state.
He disclosed that 7,240 beacons would be erected across 905km of stock routes already earmarked by the committee in the first phase of the exercise, which is expected to be completed in six weeks.
“The re-demarcation and beaconing will cover some selected cattle routes in nine local government areas of Baure, Ingawa, Jibia, Batsari, Safana, Danmusa, Kafur, Faskari, Zango,” the committee chairman added.