​Herdsmen associations divided over Ganduje’s offer of open grazing in Kano

Governor Ganduje had offered to accommodate the herdsmen in Kano. Photo credit: Kano state government

A report by The Nation indicates that herdsmen associations across the country are divided over the recent offer by Kano governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, for them to relocate to his state.
Governor Ganduje had on Sunday, February 4, called on herdsmen all over Nigeria to relocate to Kano state.

The governor said the state has enough land for herders to graze their cattle without any problem and added that he is willing to accommodate the herdsmen in his state .

While the spokesman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Ngelzama Usman, described the gesture as a welcome development, the Gan-Allah Fulani Development Association, rejected the offer.

Secretary General of the Gan-Allah Fulani Development Association, Alhaji Saleh Bayari, said the offer is neither feasible nor acceptable because the Fulani, like other Nigerians, have a right to live and do business in any part of the country.

He said restricting them to one corner of the country is an infringement on their right.

Herdsmen in Enugu state are also not disposed to leaving the state for Kano or any other part of the country.

Their spokesman, Alhaji Sanusi Sambo, said they are at home in Enugu because the people and government of the state are very hospitable and have created a conducive atmosphere for them to operate their businesses.

His words: “It is a welcome development because at a time when some people are chasing our members out of their states, some other governors are opening wide their hands and embracing our members.

“This is not coming from Kano state alone. Even the governor of Kogi state has also opened the door to our members. This goes to show that our members are not terrorists. Our members are peace-loving people who are going round the country doing their legitimate business.

“They move with their cows which are their only source of livelihood together with their wives and children.

“You don’t expect a pastoralist who moves about with his family and only source of livelihood to go about fomenting trouble.

“This is the narrative we want the media to be passing on. What is going on in the media is against our members, but we are happy now that the media is trying to balance the whole thing.

“We really appreciate the governor of Kano state and hope that other governors will also do the same.”

In a separate interview, Alhaji Bayari said: “We are quite appreciative of his (Ganduje’s) concern for our people, but if we all continue on that note, we will not have a country.

“We will not have a country, or a nation because it simply means that tomorrow, when you harass some Yoruba who have been living in Jos for generations, or some Igbo living in Kano or Sokoto, their state governors will just tell them to relocate.

“Then, at the end of the day, we would have as many countries as the number of tribes that we have in Nigeria and that would not augur well for us as a country.

“By following Governor Ganduje’s directive, we are going to end up polarizing the country on the basis of sentiments rather than nationalistic feelings and callings.”

Spokesman of the Miyetti Allah in Enugu state, Alhaji Sanusi Sambo, said: “As you can see many of us were born here. Many are inheriting the cattle business from their fathers.

a“We cannot just relocate to another place. Even though in Kano we may be meeting our people, it will take us long to get used to them.”