From Esther Akaa, Lafia
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has disclosed that the state government was implementing a big ranching project in Damau Grazing Reserve in Kubau Local Government Area of the state which will make about 1,500 herdsmen sedentary.
Governor El-Rufai made the disclosure on Tuesday at an expanded meeting of the State Security Council, held at the Council Chambers of Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna.
According to him, the best way to solve the farmer-herder crisis, cattle rustling and banditry was for nomadic herdsmen to live more sedentary lives, in order for them to be more productive, educate their children and access quality healthcare services.
He stated that the project when completed would enable herders to raise their cattle in a facility with pastures, a school and a primary health centre as well as commercial partners ready to buy milk from them.
The governor reiterated his administration’s stance not to negotiate with bandits, saying that his job as the governor of the state was to enforce laws and help in the prosecution of violators for the overall good of the state.
“We will not engage with bandits or kidnappers. Private citizens like clerics and clergy men can do so in their individual capacities, to preach to them and ask them to repent. We also want them to repent but it is not our job to ask them to do so,’’ the governor said.
Gov El-Rufai however, called for the decentralisation of the police force, maintaining that Nigeria was the only federal state that operates and fund a unitary police force but not controlled by state governments.
He commended the security agents for their efforts in keeping the state and its residents safe, in spite of the security challenges bedevilling the state.
The security meeting was attended by members of the state executive council, security agencies, traditional rulers, religious leaders, professional associations, trade unions and civil society groups.