Insecurity: Arewa group advocates safe enclaves for cattle rearing

The Arewa Economic Forum (AEF) has called for the establishment of ‘safe enclaves’ for cattle rearing in the Northern part of the country to address the menace of insecurity bedeviling the region.

The Chairman of the forum, Mallam Shehu Dandakata, made the call while addressing newsmen on Monday in Abuja.

Dandakata said the prevailing security challenges started with cattle rustling for more than 15 years before it graduated and matured to banditry.

He said that the banditry had not only affected cattle rearing negatively but had also affected agricultural production in general, adding that crop farming, animal rearing had been devastated.

“So our appeal is to the Federal Government and all well meaning Nigerians to put all hands on deck to check this issue of insecurity if we must overcome food scarcity.

“Just yesterday, the association of rice farmers said that Nigeria can only produce 57 per cent of what it requires of rice if all land is being put under cultivation.

“So you can see the kind of danger that Nigeria is in and any country that does not have food security is in the risk of breakup.

“On our own part, Arewa Economic Forum is providing other solutions that are not complete solutions, but solutions that will make things work.

“For example, we are proposing for what we call safe enclaves for cattle rearing.

“It is a known fact that the first victims of banditry are the Fulanis because this banditry started from cattle rustling, up till today,” he said.

Dandakata said that such safe enclaves would help the Fulani herders to congregate in one place in gazetted grazing reserves, where government could give them all the necessary support.

He said they could leverage on private sector and NGOs to give them what they need in those gazetted reserves  while the security agencies would give them the required security.

According to him, those locations are places that nobody can encroach upon since they were gazetted.

On the issue of food security, Dandakata said that the challenge of banditry had left thousands of hectares of land lying fallow in those commercial farms that had hitherto supported food production in across Nigeria.

According to him, more than 100,000 hectres of land are lying follow across northern Nigeria with big silos that are not put under cultivation.

He urged the Federal Government to empower the Bank of Agriculture to look for a multilateral facility to make those farms cultivable and be put back into production so that there will be food security.

According to him, Nigeria is a vast country with huge population and the issue of hunger in the country is real and small trigger can make it become violent. (NAN) 



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