- Benue parliamentary caucus says herdsmen must build ranches
- They say the population explosion makes grazing routes outdated
- They insist people are not ready to forfeit their farms
Members of the Benue parliamentary caucus at the House of Representatives have rejected the idea of grazing routes as a solution to the raging conflict between Fulani herdsmen and farmers.
Herdsmen and farmers in the state have clashed in recent months over cattle being grazed on farms. The latest attack occurred in Agatu local government in Benue state were hundreds of farmers were killed and more displaced by herdsmen.
The Punch reports that Mr. Orker Jev, who is the leader of the caucus, said due to the population explosion it was outdated to want to provide grazing route for cows. He noted that more land was needed for agricultural purposes.
He said: “The population explosion that we have here has not expanded the land that people are living on.
“Population has been growing, but the land remains the same; no addition.
“Grazing routes were conceivable 50 or 60 years back, but you cannot talk the same way today because we have more people and less land today. Now, where will the grazing routes be?”
He said the best solution was for cattle owners to have ranches in one location where the cattle can graze and all facilities be provided there.
“The best solution is that cattle owners should build ranches; ranch your cows so that they will not go about destroying other people’s means of livelihood,” Orker said.
He said the federal government should step up security especially in border regions.
He said: “Several resolutions were reached at meetings between Benue and neighbouring states, but the herdsmen will always deny that they know the attackers. If what they are saying is true, my thinking is that perhaps, we have foreigners in our midst.
“They are taking advantage of the porous borders to cross in and out of the country to cause damage. So, we must address the issue of our borders. For now, most of these killers may not be Nigerian Fulani and it is dangerous to have such people in your domain.”
The idea of grazing routes and ranches have been rejected by Fulani herdsmen who feel their right to movement will be infringed upon. They claim their livelihood will be affected if they are restricted to a single location.