From Odeh Ogaji, Jalingo
Northern Governors’ Forum, recent call for ban of open grazing and enacting of ranching law system in the country has been described as a right step towards ensuring an end to herders and farmers clashes.
The Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Taraba State chapter, Comrade Bala Tahwan, who spoke with The Voice recently in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital said the northern governors’ decision was a bit late but still intrusive.
Tahwan who said Governor Ortom of Benue State and his counterpart in Taraba, Arc. Darius Ishaku, foresaw the great danger ahead that would emanate between farmers and herders and moved swiftly in order to avert future clashes by providing the anti- open grazing law, which received wide condemnation and misconceptions, especially from northern Nigeria axis.
He noted that some countries have been enjoying the ranching system, adding that it also engendered a good relationship with farmers and herders and indigenous communities.
Tahwan further explained benefits of ranching system and it’s contribution to livelihood of both herders and farmers as they exchange grasses and animal dung for money.
The AFAN chairman also advised critical stakeholders in agriculture, both farmers and herders in the state to desist from false rumours that government wants to cheat on them. He noted that ranching will give them great opportunities to settle in one place for development.
Tahwan called on government to create more awareness by educating herders on the benefits of ranching and support them financially, for peace to thrive in the state and beyond.
Also commenting via phone, Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Taraba State chapter, Rev. Magaji Jirapye, stressed that ranching would help surmount huge challenges of insecurity.
Rev. Jirapye, said ranching system will further boost the economy of both farmers and herders in the region and country at large.
The CAN chairman said he is in full support of the northern governors move to bring herders and farmers age long conflict to an end, in order to ensure food production and food security in the region and country. He added that any governor who did not enact ranching law is a hypocrite and after seeing wanton killings, destruction of farms by armed herdsmen.
He submitted that it is high time farmers and herders embraced one another, in order to foster peace and unity for development and to boost food production and end food insecurity in the region and the country.