The Muslim Rights Concern’ (MURIC) has called on the Federal Government to give out funds to herders so as to buy land for ranching.
This was contained in a statement titled ‘MURIC to FG: Give bailout funds to herders to buy land for ranching’, by the Director of the organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
Recall that some state governors have banned open grazing in their states to curb the crisis between farmers and herders.
MURIC in its statement said, financial assistance should also be extended to herders, since it could be given to banks, airlines, vehicle producing companies, and petroleum importers.
The statement in part reads, “Meanwhile herders and cow owners may not be willing or they may lack the capacity to buy land for cattle grazing. As for the will, Northern traditional leaders have a role to play in persuading herders and cow owners to change their mindset and become willing to operate ranches. Concerning financial capacity, this is where FG should come in”.
“FG must be prepared to stoop in order to conquer. A huge bailout must be granted herders and cow owners to enable them buy land and set up ranches”.
Continuing, “Such a bailout is not new and the herders/farmers conundrum necessitates it. After all banks, airlines, private vehicle producing companies, petroleum importers and even farmers have received subsidies, bailouts and waivers in the past. It is now the turn of herders and cow owners and the time to do it is now”.
According to him, the herder-farmer conflicts do not have ethnic and religious connotations.
Akintola in his statement noted “For example, herders who destroy farms in Zamfara are Northerners. It is also generally assumed that they are Muslims. Zamfara hunters and vigilante men who protect the farms and chase the herders are also Northerners and Muslims as well. Bandits in Sokoto are also Northerners while the local guards organized to keep the bandits at bay are also Northerners”.
“Therefore there is no ethnic or religious factor in this ongoing herders and farmers crisis. It is neither Fulanisation nor Islamisation. It is an economic cum security problem, pure and simple.
Furthermore, “This has enabled MURIC to come to the conclusion that no religious or ethnic sentiment should be built around the herdsmen/farmers clash whether in Oyo, Ekiti or Ondo State.
“The reason Lagos has been spared to a large extent is the fact that it is not an agricultural state. The Lagos situation may also have been responsible for our earlier assumption that ethnicity and religious sentiments were at play in the herders/farmers quagmire”. MURIC stated.