Saleh Kubah : Don’t Rebel Against Solution, Farmers – Herders Problem Needs Positive Engagement

The Oasis Reporters

March 19, 2018

Seeking Solution to farmers/herders problem

Dear Saleh Alhassan Kubah:
The Secretary General, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore

 

I read your short post on your Facebook page about your rejection of cattle ranching which you said was “forced” on pastoralists by some state governors. You stated reasons why it “can not be done immediately”.

I have known you from secondary school (CSJ Vom) and also I know that you are and engineer by profession. I also have seen recent pictures from you indicating you were in the USA for some course on peace and justice.
A combination of these are supposed to give you the burden of responsibility over people who are less privileged than you in knowledge and understanding. They should depend on you for direction to peaceful coexistence.

Sir, I doubt if your utterances are congruent with the peace and justice which you have had training on. They only aggravate the anger in feeble minds to continue in the line of hatred already drawn.

It is man’s nature to desire development in the same vein, I believe you should want a development in the “nomadic” lifestyle of the Fulani. You were nomadic before now but you took the path of settlement.
Did anyone force this on you?
NO.
You settled down in a place and you were able to study to become an Engineer, but I wonder why you wouldn’t want your kinsmen to. I really feel surprised when you, with your exposure, reject development in the cattle business which tin my opinion gives Fulani a lot more opportunities.

While what you wrote carries some element of truth, it does not sound like words that should come from a progressive leader. A leader does not complain; he proffers solutions. He pulls his followers towards development of the society. Like I would expect that you would say, “we are dialoguing with government to give some concessions to develop the ranching option”. This is progressive and would calm the agitated nerves of the less educated members of your group.

Your extremist attachment to your ethnic group is not only detrimental to yourself, but also to Nigeria as attachment country.

Let me draw your attention to World War II and the most recent massacre in Rwanda. Both were inspired by ethnic extremism. Already, the course you have chosen is that which will pitch “them against us”. This is a dangerous trend.

You must look at the Farmers/Pastoralists problem as a Nigerian problem which requires constructive engagements for a long lasting and acceptable solution. You must seek to spearhead the education of your people to accept the new ways of cattle rearing and seek support of government where necessary.

In the USA, ranching is provided as a service, meaning that you don’t have to own a piece of land to ranch. Owners of ranches lease their ranches and they provide medicines and other animal care for a fee. It is doable in Nigeria. In fact it is a business that the Fulanis can take advantage of. I know a number of my tribesmen that have cattle in the custody of Fulani. So “ranching” as a business has commenced already long ago.

I urge you to look at the issue in the positive light and your arguments should tend towards implementation of ranches instead of against it. Let people see you as a co-operative part of the solution instead of a rebel against the solution. This will give a positive energy in the direction of the solution.

For all the issues you raised against ranching in your write-up, I see a lot of opportunities to make more income for the Fulani. In addition to those opportunities there are added advantages for example ranching gives the Fulani time to stay in one place and go to school. We may have the best of doctors, engineers, lawyers etc. from those nomads. They may be a solution to some pressing issues in the world. You are depriving them of this opportunity. Remember that the Texans were also nomadic.

As a final word, Nigeria belongs to all of us and we must transform our conflicts to positive outcomes.

Written by :

Datong Dominic Gwaman
Conflict, Security and Development Expert
dgdatong@gmail.com

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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