Professor Moses Ochonu, a US based scholar has said “open grazing is simply not a 21st century vocation”.
Ochonu was reacting to the recent clash between Fulani herdsmen and the indigenous people of Oyo State.
Professor Ochonu in a statement said research after research has proven that ranched cattle produce more meat and milk and are, all things considered, cheaper and more efficient to husband.
Ochonu who is known for being very critical about Buhari’s administration and other national issues in the country further noted that “open grazing is fraught with too much risk to everyone. It has become a huge Trojan Horse that armed militias, bandits of local and foreign origins, kidnappers, and other criminals are riding to devastate sedentary communities across the country.”
The statement read in parts:
“Some people don’t like to hear this, but open grazing of cattle is not suitable for twenty first century Nigeria.
“Open grazing is simply not a 21st century vocation. Its costs are too steep and its benefits are minimal compared to alternatives modes of cattle rearing.
“Research after research has proven that ranched cattle produce more meat and milk and are, all things considered, cheaper and more efficient to husband.
“Open grazing is fraught with too much risk to everyone. It has become a huge Trojan Horse that armed militias, bandits of local and foreign origins, kidnappers, and other criminals are riding to devastate sedentary communities across the country.
“It began in the North and the Middle Belt. It has now infested the South. The menace now threatens to completely imperil the Nigerian body politic.
“It has fractured the social fabric of Nigeria, and has undermined intergroup cohesion while exacerbating ethno-religious tensions.
“Itinerant grazing/transhumance is even harmful to the Fulani herdsmen whose profession is cattle herding. Because of their itinerant exposure, they are targeted by bandits, their own kinsmen who have become killers and rustlers, and other criminals.
“Additionally, because many criminals now masquerade as herders, and because some of the militias and bandits help or make common cause with unscrupulous herdsmen, they have attracted undeserved hostility, resentment, and even violence towards innocent herdsmen.
“The violent, armed herdsmen and their militia allies have forever damaged the relationship and trust between nomadic and semi-nomadic herdsmen and their host communities.
“Finally, the fluid demographic and ethnic makeup of Fulani herdsmen and Fulani bandits/militia makes it almost impossible for law enforcement to strategize and go after the bandits and killers while sparing the innocent herders.
“As a result, many of the bad guys get away with violence crimes while some innocent vocational herdsmen are hurt in crossfires.
“Again, it is time to abandon this atavistic, inefficient, and nation-killing profession of open, itinerant grazing.”
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