The rampaging cattle herdsmen for the umpteenth time have been denting our image and causing bloodletting with high casualty figures! Cattle grazing, which is the root cause of the mayhem, does not ordinarily attract any raising of eyebrow, but the methods deployed by the herdsmen by dastardly destroying economic crops and terminating the lives of innocent Nigerians standing on their way should be of great national concern!
The herdsmen have literally taken over from Boko Haram terrorists with impunity! Our electronic and print media platforms have been running reports of rising killings of helpless Nigerians. These daily acts of wanton destruction of lives and property by herdsmen with impunity are not acceptable and should be stopped forthwith! Here are some posers.
Does it mean that nothing can be done to dedicate some parts of the originating states for cattle grazing? Does it mean that the herdsmen live entirely in the bush/forest? Does it mean that these originating states have no state chapter of the cattle owners’ association to regulate the activities of local herdsmen?
Is it not possible there has been infiltration of cattle herdsmen from our neighbouring countries like Niger and Chad to our country to foment social crisis? What about the originating states’ budgeted agric funds, the actual percentage of the funds accessed by the herdsmen, and states’ intervention funds for animal production/rearing?
Does it mean that all the cow-owning states have no all-season running rivers that can be tapped for irrigation, growing pastures and as a source of drinking water for the cattle?
All our federating states have their respective constitutional rights and state laws to protect themselves and administer the affairs of the states.
For cattle herdsmen to march into other states from their states of origin to cause mayhem, destroy economic crops, maim and kill people is a clear violation of individual state constitutional rights as well as the fundamental human rights of the people in such states!
They have their own cattle herdsmen who graze daily too and there are no reported cases of killing local people on their way! How are we going to address this national problem? The bottom line is that the Federal Government, the originating states of the cattle herdsmen as well as our security agencies have a lot to do to stem the incessant attacks of the cattle herdsmen nationwide.
First, there is an urgent need to set up a Joint Task Force drawn from our military formations across the federation.
The primary assignment is to locate these erring cattle herdsmen and dispossess them of their weapons.
Challenge, Ibadan, Oyo state