A Fulani group, Kullen Allah Cattle Rearers Association of Nigeria, (KACRAN), has rejected what it termed a proposed plan to conduct population census on herders and their livestock in Nigeria as suggested by the leadership of Miyetti Allah recently.
Khalil Mohammed Bello, National President of the Association in a statement issued on Sunday and made available to DAILY POST in Damaturu, said any move aimed at promoting isolationism or exclusive counting of any tribe will be vehemently opposed and rejected.
“As stakeholders who are keenly interested in anything related to the nation’s pastoral occupation, we strongly opposed and reject in totality anything to do with isolationism or exclusive counting of any tribe in Nigeria, including herders and livestock census.
The Association noted that its position does not in any way object to people’s freedom of speech and expression of opinions in all matters of national interest, as stipulated in the constitution and the United Nation charter of 1945.
Among reasons for the objection of the proposed counting according to KACRAN is that it is for the first time in the history of Nigeria that a single tribe out of the over two hundred tribes is to be targeted for counting due to unknown reasons.
“The counting and documentation of Herders and their livestock at this time of serious unrest will make them be seen as suspicious or criminals in the eyes of other Nigerians.
“The proposed census lacks government’s financial backing (budgetary provision) and legal support that will give it merit”, Bello said.
KACRAN also expressed dismay that the proposed census will never produce accurate and acceptable figures of Nigeria’s Herders or their livestock as nearly in all the war front areas in the country, the Herders are either directly or indirectly affected by it.
“In a state like Benue which was initially among the states that have some good percentage of livestock, the outcome of the census under reference will produce almost a zero percent outcome due to the illegal introduction of anti-grazing law by the Benue State Government, which temporary forced Herders to flee the state.
Bello in the statement, advised the Federal Government and Northern State Governors to face the reality by reclaiming all the encroached grazing reserves, the narrowed or totally blocked cattle routes and revive them through adequate provision of animal posture and water points as well as a good security system to stop herders unnecessary movement to the Southern part of the country as measures to mitigate tension in the country.
We will reject proposed herders, livestock census – Fulani group, KACRAN insists