BAUCHI State’s Governor Bala Mohammed has revealed that Fulani cattle herdsmen from Chad and Niger and their counterparts from other neighbouring countries will benefit from the federal government’s National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP).
Governor Mohammed said since Fulani herdsmen are nomadic, it would be inappropriate to deprive them from benefitting from the livestock plan just because they are not from Nigeria. Under a plan to address the crisis of Fulani herdsmen destroying farmland and carrying out brutal attacks, the Nigerian government has launched the NLTP that will be 80% funded by the federal government while states would provide 20% counterpart funding and the grazing land.
Bauchi State is among those that will be part of the initiative, alongside several others with large Fulani populations including Kano, Jigawa and Zamfara. Governor Mohammed pointed out that Fulanis exist in many countries across Africa and share a brotherhood which transcends boundaries.
He added: “I think there is a lot of mistrust and misconception as regards the Fulani man. The Fulani man is a global or African person as he moves from The Gambia to Senegal and his nationality is Fulani.
“As a person I may have my relations in Cameroon but they are also Fulani. I am a Fulani man from my maternal side, we will just have to take this as our own heritage, something that is African, so we cannot just close our borders and say the Fulani man is just a Nigerian.
“In most cases, the crisis is precipitated by those outside Nigeria. When there is a reprisal, it is not the Fulani man within Nigeria that causes it as it is that culture of getting revenge which is embedded in the traditional Fulani man that attracts reprisals.”
When asked if it was right to allow foreigners to benefit from Nigerian taxpayers’ money, the governor said it was proper. He added that the Fulani do not actually have one single nationality since they are nomadic in nature.
Governor Mohammed said: “We are already accommodating them. They are all Nigerians because their identity, their citizenship is Nigerian even though they have relatives from all over the world, so, presumably they are Nigerians because they move all over and have relations all over, which is why our population in Nigeria is fluid.”
When asked if there would be any form of documentation for the Fulani herdsmen coming into Nigeria from other countries, the governor said, yes, there would be. His plan, however, is likely to be opposed by non-Fulani states.