From Sani Gazas Chinade, Damaturu
Kulen Allah Cattles Rearers Association of Nigeria (KACRAN) has issued an appeal to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, urging him to address the exclusion of pastoralists in government policies and programs.
In a statement by the National President of KACRAN, Khalid Muhammad Bello, it was lamented that despite the significant contributions of pastoralists to the provision of food and domestic incomes in Nigeria, they have been largely forgotten and sidelined.
The plea follows acknowledgment from prominent figures such as former Senate President Dr. Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan, who acknowledged the neglect of herders and promised to champion their cause for justice and fairness.
Former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Audu Ogbe, also highlighted the historical negligence of pastoralists and their occupation by previous administrations for over fifty years.
During the Regional Agricultural Summit organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, former Minister Dr. Muhammad Muhamood Abubakar expressed concern over the lack of attention given to pastoralists.
He observed a persistent focus on promoting arable farming at the expense of the livestock sector, describing it as unfortunate and in need of redress.
KACRAN attributed the exclusion of pastoralists to the government’s prioritization of large-scale infrastructure projects, neglecting the development of livestock, which plays a crucial role in providing nutritional food and additional income for the country.
Despite the recognition of this marginalization by both the executive and legislative branches of government, no concrete measures have been taken to rectify the situation.
The association expressed disappointment that committees formed to address the negative impact of oil subsidy removal did not consider the inclusion of pastoralists in their recommendations.
KACRAN emphasized the significant challenges faced by herders, particularly in remote areas, who struggle with high transportation costs when purchasing daily necessities.
In their appeal to President Tinubu, KACRAN implored him to end the exclusion of pastoralists from government policies and programs. They called for adequate budgetary provisions within the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Directorate of Animal Husbandry Services and Rural Development FCT to promote livestock development in Nigeria.
Furthermore, KACRAN urged the committees to consider the plight of pastoralists, highlighting their vulnerability to the hardship brought about by the removal of oil subsidies. They requested the inclusion of herders in the committees’ recommendations, ensuring that the benefits of government interventions reach those residing in remote areas.
The association respectfully called on President Tinubu to make arrangements through the Directorate of Animal Husbandry Services to provide regular palliatives for Nigeria’s pastoralists. By doing so, they believe that pastoralists will also benefit from President Tinubu’s administration and be included among its beneficiaries.