“They would not move around the country if the right conditions were put in place for them to feed their animals in one place.”
A delegate to the National Conference, Rommy Mom, on Monday said that Fulani herdsmen were not nomads.
Mr. Mom, a civil rights activists and President of Lawyers Alert, an Abuja-based nongovernmental organisation, went on to bare his mind on the floor of the Conference, even when his statement caused a mild uproar.
He insisted that the herdsmen resorted to nomadic life because of the peculiar situation they find themselves in Nigeria.
Mr. Mom noted that if the right conditions were created for herdsmen to graze their animals without moving farther away from home, some of the crisis associated with the practice would have been averted.
Because of favourable grazing conditions and deliberate government policies, he said cattle farmers in developed countries do not move their animals around in search of grazing fields like it is done in Nigeria.
“Mr. Chairman, Sir,” he began, “Fulani people are not nomads. They would not move around the country if the right conditions were put in place for them to feed their animals in one place.
“Mr. Chairman, let the Federal Government of Nigeria do what it expected of it and ensure that Nigerians have what is required to live peacefully with one another and we will not be hearing of herdsmen invading a community in Benue or Plateau state.
“We have what it takes to build a strong economy and a vibrant population but we have failed to harness our rich resources and that why we are where we are today.”
As Mr. Mom went on to expatiate on why he said herdsmen are not nomads as widely claimed in the country, those who had started murmuring stopped and paid attention to him.
The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, recently attracted the wrath of many Nigerians, when he likened members of the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, to Fulani nomads.
The minister, who was speaking against the spate of defection from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the APC, had referred to the movement as nomadic.
Mr. Maku was later compelled to recant the statement and offer an apology to Fulanis and Nigerians, who were angered by the statement.
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