By Sani Gazas Chinade, Damaturu
It is extremely sad and highly petiable to note that, if there is any group of people who are doing their best day and night in contributing tremendously towards the provision of nutritional food to our beloved Nigerians and in the country’s domestic incomes through payments of multiple taxes but are almost forgotten or totally side lined in terms of adequate inclusion in nearly all Government’s policies and programmes, is the nation’s Pastoralists.
According to the Honarabul Khalid Muhammad Bello the National President of Kulen Allah Cattles Rearers Association of Nigeria (KACRAN) said that, the above statement was strongly affirmed by the former Senate President Dr Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan who even promised to lead a struggle that will provide justice and fairness to Nigeria’s Herders whom he admitted that, they had been totally ignored by the previous Governments.
A part from that, we could recall that even Mr Audu Ogbe the former Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development severally stated that, the Nigeria’s pastoralists and their pastoral occupation was for over fifty years neglected by our past administrations.
In addition to this, even the immediate past Hon. Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Muhammad Muhamood Abubakar boldly and courageously disclosed during the last year’s Regional Agricultural Summit organized in Abuja by his Ministry under the colourful/successful coordination of the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dr Ernest A Umakhihe and Director Animal Husbandry Services, Dr Winnie Lai-Solarin that, the Nigeria’s pastoralists and pastoralism in general is not receiving much desired Governments’ attention, which he described as very unfortunate but must be addressed.
The Hon Minister, out of passion and humility added that, he observed painfully that, Government’s attention is always tilted towards promoting Arable farming to the detriment of Livestock and Lisheries Sectors.
While delivering his speech at the conference where delegates from Niger, Tchad, Cameroon, Benin Republics, Hajiya Umma Abubakar, Director Animal Husbandry Services Agricultural and Rural Services of the FCT, KACRAN, GAFDAN and representatives of other Pastoralists Associations were in attendance, he emphasized the need for the plight of the pastoralists to be looked into while executing government policies and programs.
KACRAN noticed sorrowfully that, the major reason for the exclusion of Pastoralists in government’s policies and programmes has to due with the fact that, Government’s attention is always on the execution of elephant projects such as constructions of roads, bridges, offices, houses, solar energy, development of arable farming etc which has nothing to do with genuine livestock development which is the bed rock for the provision of nutritional food and additional income to the country.
The most painful of all is till now, even though both the Federal executive and the legislative arms of government agreed on the marginalization of livestock sector as evidently heard from the former Senate President and former Ministers of Agriculture and Rural Development but yet no Concrete stand or measure is being taken to address the anomaly.
At this juncture, we want to express our deepest concern that, even though pastoralists are the most affected by the negative impact of total oil subsidy removal which resulted in the formation of various Committees by Mr President to come up with recommendations/suggestions on how government would intervene to ameliorating the negetive effects of the hardship brought by the removal, we are quite sure that members of the committees under reference have nothing like Herders inclusiveness in their expected suggestions to Mr President.
What KACRAN is expecting at the end of their two week assignment is coming up with elitists plans on how Government will introduce palliative to Nigerians mainly residing in the cities and urban areas or what the new minimum wage supposed to be, but as we stated earlier, nothing at all will be included for Herders immediate benefit as if we are not Nigerians.
In view of the above very long narration/ development, we members of KACRAN as Government partners in progress, passionately appeal to His Excellency President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who majority of Nigerians believed is a genuine Democrat, came with strong visions and mission to free Nigerians from the foreign and internal avoidable debts and bringing to an end the people’s suffering within the most shortage period of time, to please kindly end the exclusion of pastoralists in the Government’s policies and programmes, by making adequate budgetary provision in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Directorate of Animal Husbandry Services and Rural Development FCT which is aimed at developing livestock in Nigeria.
Also we want to remind the members of the said committies to note that pastoralists are the most negatively affected by the hardship/difficulties faced by Nigerians due to the total removal of oil subsidy because, our people are mostly residing in the bushes and remote areas who on daily basis have go to various markets to buy their daily needs which rendered them to be the most vulnerable as per as paying high cost of transportation is concern to please wholistically capture herders in their expected novel submission to our beloved/action President.
Therefore we ardently and respectfully call on our beloved and highly respected President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu to please make strong provision/arrangement through the Directorate of Animal Husbandry Services of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to be distributed monthly or quarterly by the said Directorate as palliative to Nigeria’s Herders. Because, this is the only way the nation’s Pastoralists will be amongst the beneficiaries of President Tinubu’s good administration’s gestures.