Nigeria’s ambassador to Germany, Yusuf Maitama Tuggar has criticised some state governors that asked Fulani herders to vacate forests in their states.
He said it is a wrong approach to addressing the lingering problem of herders-farmers clashes.
Governors of Ekiti and Ondo States had asked herders grazing in some forests in the states to leave for security purposes
But AmbassadorTuggar faulted that call, saying it is dead on arrival.
Tuggar, a staunch member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), made the remark on Monday at Central Primary School, Udubo, Gamawa local Government of Bauchi State, when he revalidated his membership of the APC.
The politician, who was a former governorship candidate of the Congress for Progressives Change (CPC) in 2011, said the constitution empowers all Nigerians to live anywhere, hence “we must find a permanent solution to the herders-farmers clashes rather than asking some people to leave a particular area.”
He said the solution to the herders-farmers clashes is not segregating or looking down on any ethnic group but to educate Nigerians to understand the current trends in transhuman pastoralism.
“This is something that is a result of the growth of our population. Don’t forget that we are going to be 400 million people by the year 2050, we are going to be the third largest country in the world and demographically
“So this is something we must find a more permanent solution to, the pressure and contestation to arable land and I think the solution really is education and better redefinition and approach to pastoralism and the understanding that it is transhuman and a way of life, it is a culture,” he said.
The envoy said that even in Europe, “there are herders called gipsy while in Nigeria some people keep looking down on herdsmen thinking that they are inferior, and a backward means of existence.
“You will find out that in Europe today that we keep talking about, you have gipsies and in the US we have cowboys. It is just understanding that we can subsist side by side with each other and continue to progress as a people. They themselves the herdsmen are contributing the way that farmers are contributing to our economy and our wellbeing”
On the revalidation exercise, Tuggar expressed satisfaction with the turnout saying it showed how strong APC is even though it is not in power at the state level.
“We have a PDP government but that notwithstanding the party remains the strongest party at the grassroots, local government level, ward level, unit level. It is only a matter of time that APC continues its good work that it has been doing at the federal level. No other government has implemented projects as this current administration,” he stated.
On the criticisms by the former National Chairman of the APC Comrade Adams Oshiomole who said that the current registration of members in the party was unconstitutional, Tuggar said that Oshiomole is entitled to his opinion.
“That is a matter of opinion. Let it be tested. We are law abiding country. We have separation of powers, the party also has a constitution and some of the people that are criticising the exercise are going to register. Where are they going to register?” he queried.