A member of the Abia State Advisory Council and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Suleiman Ukandu has blamed the killings in some parts of the country on the failure of the APC-led government to adopt proactive measures in ending the herdsmen/farmers clashes.
Speaking to journalists on Thursday at a press conference in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, Ukandu advised government to go back to the drawing board and ascertain the remote and immediate causes of the clashes.
The former local government chairman kicked against the proposed cattle colony by the federal government, pointing out that cattle rearing was purely a private business not a government venture.
He said: “Why should the APC-led government allow herdsmen/farmers clashes to deteriorate, by not going to the root of this matter. For APC not to find ways to nip this crisis in the bud, they are unleashing war on Nigerians.
“In the first place, what is government business in cattle rearing? Does government have business in cattle rearing? Cattle rearing is a complete private business. It is an economic adventure. It has nothing to do with government.
“See, we should look into the 2014 confab and what they have recommended on this issues. We should look at the issue of grazing reserves for these herdsmen. I don’t see anybody talking about cattle colony. Because you should ask yourself what is cattle colony? Are you creating colony for who? Is it for cows or Fulanis rearing the cows.
“And who is even going to give land for you to colonize them?
“This issue rose as a result of climate change. The dryness in the chad basin, the eastern winds has created a lot of problems in most of the sahara areas. It has affected grazing and water for the livestocks. That informs the influx of these herdsmen towards this tropical areas.
“So, if government is alive to its responsibility, if they had been proactive, they should know the dryness occasioned by Chad basin in recent time, and the eastern wind and the happenings in the sahara areas, they should have found a way of mitigating towards this direction. You see, everything is politicized in Nigeria. No more persuasion. Everything is by force.
“And cattle rearing is a private business. It does not have anything to do with government involvement. Fulani herdsmen also at that time, I don’t see them being violent, even when cattles destroy a farmland, they compensate the owners.
“But this particular type of herdsmen in this contemporary situation, I have not understood this particular spirit going on now in Nigeria, called herdsmen/farmers’ clash.
“We should begin to look at the remoteness, the immediate cause of what is happening in Nigeria. Is it actually herdsmen clash? What are its connotations? What are the political involvement?
“Because we have been living together with Fulani people for a long time in this our area. They have been rearing their cattles. It is not a new thing. The volume and momentum the herdsmen issues with farmers is generating this moment, it leaves everybody in doubt.
“We should go back to the drawing board to look at the cause of the problem and what will be the consequences,” he added.