By Perry Brimah, Dr.
Long before Buhari came into power, many of us have thoroughly discussed and debated on the issue of grazing reserves as previous administrations considered its institution.
I believe strongly in protected grazing reserves and contiguous wildlife and nomadic and pastural routes across Nigeria. I do not wish for my country to become a concrete jungle. It is healthier for us that we preserve these swathes of public land that can be visited by us, that we can ride our horses via from one end of Nigeria to the other and that cattle herders can rent to graze their cattle.
Conditions for sane herders
At this point it is essential I mention some factors: firstly, public grazing reserves are an offer for the use of sane herders and not the insane terrorists who believe cows are more valuable than human beings. For those, I have strongly repeated that Arase and Buratai should do their paid jobs and the Anti-terror bill stipulation of death for all terrorists who murder, should be their destiny.
Secondly, the herders must pay rent for utilizing these reserves in addition to joining the rest of Nigerians who pay taxes. To graze your beasts in these public reserved lands, you must have a permit and rent the use. The rent paid will serve the people of the state from where lands are dedicated.
Reasonable and agreed upon compensation must be given directly to the land owners when lands are bought, not following the example of the former governor of Lagos, Tunde Fashola in concert with Aliko Dangote who according to media reports, paid Chiefs to expropriate the lands of commoners who they forcefully sacked with brutal police force .
It is important to mention that many herders involved in violence in Nigeria and otherwise, are foreigners who take advantage of the available natural resource, sometimes constitute a nuiscance and perpetuate violence then sell their cattle and take their profit out of the country, thus draining the Nigerian economy. This has to stop.
The Buhari Govt. Should Never Offer Reserves In Reward For Terror
The discussion of grazing reserves in response to terror by herders is a stab in the chest of Nigerians. These two discussions should be separated and clearly so. Rampaging terrorists are to be apprehended and killed. The security agencies should be hungry to find rampaging terrorists of whatever conflagration, and capture or kill them. No one should be allowed to be above the law and a state within a state.
Nigeria must not continue to operate on a level where to get government attention, you perpetrate acts of deadly terror. We are disgusted that President Buhari raised the reserves discussion in response to the recent massacres, promising that with them in 18 months the violence will end. This is reckless.
By so doing, the federal government has rather ridiculed the otherwise sensible land use revision and has given the people greater reasons to reject a grazing bill that he has made become largely unpalatable.
The marauding Fulani sponsored terrorists must be apprehended and killed and so must their sponsors and all connected with this chronic terror that has spilled almost as much innocent blood as Boko Haram has on our land over the years. Rentable grazing reserves for decent herders from north, south, east or west, is a separate conversation.
My Support For Grazing Reserves From Internet Archives
As mentioned above, I have thoroughly and consistently supported establishing contagious public human and beast travel routes and grazing reserves across Nigeria. This serves and protects our country and our health and future more than it does the cattle.
In a particular debate on NigeriaVillageSquare in 2012, in topic captioned, ” 12m Fulani Herdsmen Demand Land Rights In 36 States ,” I listed advantages of grazing to the ecosystem as sourced from CaliforniaBountiful.com: Grazing offers a bounty of benefits:
1. Ranchers and researchers say there are a number of very important environmental benefits from responsible grazing of public and private lands. Those benefits include:
2. Increased diversity of plant and animal species.
3. Control of invasive plant species, such as yellow starthistle.
4. Habitat restoration for threatened and endangered species.
5. Controlling erosion from water runoff for improved water quality.
6. Improving vegetation along stream banks and watershed health.
7. Reducing wildfire threat from rangeland fires.
8. Offering visually attractive vistas.
9. Preventing fragmentation of habitat from housing and commercial development and maintaining connected wildlife corridors.
10. Preserving open space in a rapidly growing state.
11. Providing food for consumers.
12. Offering recreational opportunities, such as hiking and wildlife viewing.
I mentioned in the same debate, under my “Superego” moniker, that the United States has its grazing laws that maintain contiguous nomadic/migration routes and establish a protected 26% of US lands, more than for crops, for grazing.. It is healthy and it is sensible.