Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State has on Tuesday said the persistence and incessant clashes between the herdsmen and farmers mostly hinges on encroachment on areas of land reserved for grazing by farmers and consequent encroachment on farms by breeders.
Governor Masari stated this during the flagging off ceremony of demarcation of cattle routes in nine Local Government Areas of the state to arrest the ugly trend in the country and avert the clashes in the state.
A total of 7,240 beacons is expected to be erected across 905km of stock routes both local and international which passes through the state to other neighbouring countries.
The Governor represented by the Secretary to the Government of State, Dr. Mustapha Inuwa, said the demarcation was to ensure peace and unity between herdsmen and farmers as well as changing the unhealthy relationship existing between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, thus bringing to an end the culture of bloody violence
According to him, “It must be pointed out that the original grazing routes and grazing areas in many states of the federation have been encroached upon by people, this is one of the reasons why herdsmen are destroying peoples’ farms in search of food for their animals.
“We are determined to ensure peace and unity between herdsmen and farmers. Our main focus is to change the unhealthy relationship existing between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, thus bringing to an end the culture of bloody violence.
“The ugly trend started some decades ago but most states failed to take necessary actions to stop the takeover of the grazing routes and reserves which were adequately provided even during the colonial days.
“But Katsina state government is the first to initiate and implement the programme. But this cannot be sustainable if we cannot complement the effort of state government by ensuring that no one violent the rules of the initiative.
“We appeal to stakeholders and security agencies to take the necessary measure to recover the grazing reserves and identify cattle routes from those who have encroached into them.
“We called on traditional rulers of the affected local governments to give the committee that would embark on the exercise, the needed support that will enable them to discharge their assignment effectively,” Governor Masari stated.
Earlier, the State Standing Committee Chairman on improvement of relationship between farmers and herdsmen, Alhaji Abdulaziz Lawal K/Sauri, said the essence of the exercise was to foster smooth passage of pastoralists and further prevent farmers/herdsmen clashes in the state.
“The re-demarcation and beaconing of stock routes already earmarked by the committee in first phase of the exercise will cover some selected cattle routes in nine local government areas of Baure, Ingawa, Jibia, Batsari, Safana, Danmusa, Kafur, Faskari, Zango,” Alhaji K/Sauri enumerated.