-Wants Nomadic Education Commission Scrapped
Idibia Gabriel, Kaduna
Senator representing Kaduna central district, Comrade Shehu Sani, has called on Fulani people to embrace the reality of 21st century methods of cattle breeding.
He also called for the scrapping of National Commission for Nomadic Education (NCNE), for non performance.
Senator Sani, who made the call in Kaduna when executives of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), the umbrella body of Fulani cattle breeders, paid him a courtesy visit on the issues bordering Fulani’s in Kaduna, told the group that nomadic method of cattle breeding has become archaic.
“It is high time for them to embrace the reality of 21st century method of cattle breeding as breeding cattle from one community to other is becoming out dated”, he said.
According to Sani, cattle breeders in other countries of the world “are producing one million times what they are producing because those countries embraced, and adapted to, scientific methods of cattle breeding”.
The Senator added that science and technology will seriously help Fulani’s adapt themselves in the 21st century if the State and Federal Government help then by redirecting their trade of cow milking to modern methods.
Sani opined that if those that have been in the position of power in the past, had used resources and opportunity they had while in power to train and empower the Fulani with modern cattle farming methods, Nigeria would not be where it is today.
He noted that every year, federal and state governments budget billions of naira for agriculture but nothing has ever gone to the Fulani.
“What is happening with Fulani today is a problem of years of neglect and indifference by the past successive government of Nigeria.
“If the government can set up a Ministry of Niger Delta, and if President Muhammadu Buhari is considering the idea of setting up a North-East Development Commission, there is also a need to set up a National Commission for Nomads in the country which will address issues bordering on herdsmen.
“Government have set up a lot of commissions, such as oil spilling and border communities, then why not an agency for which issues that borders on Fulani, generally could be address?
“There is no doubt that the problems of the Fulani today is a problem that bedevilled the country and affects it in a number of ways, which could be ecological, environmental, political and security. It also bordered on different areas in our national lives as far as Fulani is concerned.
“If I may differ from what you have said in this meeting, I have heard a lot from killings of your members, arbitrary arrests of your members, intimidation, kidnappings and all sort of harassments which your people faced in the last few years.
“It is very unfortunates that today, you have raised issues of being victims but the perception nationally does not in any way portray you as such. It portrays you from a very bad light. The image of Fulani man today has been badly battered by a number of things.
“Fulani men and women today are perceived as Fulani herdsmen and that is very unfortunate; these are fundamental issues that touch on your dignity, integrity, reputation and image of yourselves and those of your children.
“Majority of Northerners today are Fulani or Hausa Fulani and Fulani have been in Nigeria as far as 300 years and I think you are unnecessarily blamed for the misdeed of very few of you. So I think it will be in your best interest to categorise your problems and there are issues which the government can do to address you and there are problems that you alone can address.
“If you have bad eggs within yourselves, who pick arms and raid villages and kill innocent people, then you have a duty to support security agencies to see that those bad eggs, killer herdsmen are dealt with seriously.
“It is a reality that you have been neglected, abandoned and marginalized by successive governments for the past 30 years. Many Northern people have been in power for decades and because of lack of foresight, they failed to come out with policies and programmes that could have addressed problems of the Fulani.
“The killings of your people have been rampant, Fulani will be killed and they are blamed for the killing. So, in the areas where you have been blamed, I think your association has the responsibility to address it; and for the areas which you have fallen victims, then the government has a duty to come to your aid. But I think you alone can do a lot to salvage the image, reputation of the Fulani people by reining in on those persons who portray themselves as Fulani thereby killing innocent people.
“There is lack of report about things that happen to Fulani and I will say it that there is need for your association to assist government by keeping a profile of the herdsmen”, he said.
The Senator also condemned the existing National Commission for Nomadic Education, saying it is of no use and no effect to the Fulani.
He said despite being set up during General Ibrahim Babangida’s administration to help educate the Fulani, it has become another redundant bureaucracy.
He said the need to scrap the Commission has become imperative to enable the government set up a National Commission for Nomads which he said is needed to be a rallying point for Fulani.
Sani also called on President Muhammadu Buhari, being a Fulani, to know that Fulani’s are suffering and his attention should be as much as he is interested in ending the problems of Northeast and Niger-Delta.
“It is very clear now that in Nigeria, government and the public pay attention when the states, communities, groups, association take the road of violence before government think they will sit down and dialogue with them but when they are calling for attention through peaceful way government does not pay attention”, he advocated.
Secretary to the Women Wing of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Hajiya Khadija Aradido confirmed that Fulani women are in trouble and are being neglected by their husbands and the government despite being victims when their husbands are kidnapped or killed.
Hajiya Aradido appealed to Senator Sani to, as a matter to urgency, help Fulani women to set up businesses, skill acquisition even getting educated as most of them fall victims of rape, abused and unwanted pregnancy during the hawking.
Responding to the Fulani women, Senator Sani asked them to give him some insight into what he could do to assist them, saying he does not know how to help the women because they are known for hawking cow milk and have not been known to do any other business like tailoring, hair dressing, farming or any trade.