How I Tried And Failed To Solve Nigeria’s Herdsmen-Farmer Crises – Prince Charles Offokaja

Nigeria’s herdsmen-farmer crisis  has led to so many unnecessary deaths and had a very bad effect on Nigeria’s agricultural sector. It has increased the amount of internally displaced people in Nigeria. It also poses grave risks to President Muhammadu Buhari’s efforts to diversify Nigeria’s economy, following the crash in the price of crude oil.

The answer to this as everybody, both the herdsmen, the federal and state governments, the farmers and the general public have agreed is a phasing out of cattle grazing. That is where the point of departure starts.

The herdsmen made it clear that they lack the funds to buy land for commercial ranching; the Federal Government and sections of the National Assembly started work to create grazing reserves, dedicated for cattle grazing and a Grazing Reserve Commission to be in charge of the whole thing.

But the problem arose when it was clear that under the plan, ethnic ancestral lands would be taken from people and used in these reserves. Thus, many in Southern Nigeria bitterly oppose the grazing reserve plan, seeing it as an attempt to take land from Southerners to give to a profession dominated by Northerners; seeing it in other words, as a ploy that could result in an indirect land grab.

So, this got me thinking as to what I could do to end the problem because tensions between the herdsmen and farming communities all over the country remain high.

Who I am

First, let me introduce myself. My name is Prince Charles Offokaja. I am a journalist, businessman, philanthropist, and blogger, among several other caps I wear. As a blogger I write on several blogs, including Igbodefender.com and Zikistmovement.com; and as a philanthropist, I am the founder of my own NGO, the Prince And Princess Charles Offokaja Foundation, with CAC IT number 75980.

It was as a blogger and as a philanthropist that I proposed to tackle the issue of bringing peace, unity, and harmony between Nigeria’s herdsmen and farmers, 2 of our most important communities.

The Attempt For A Solution

As part of my search for a solution, I ran across a foreign donor organization called the Global Innovation Fund (GIF). The organization funds social innovations all over the world, even to the tune of $15 million dollars.

Their website describes their services thus, ”

The Global Innovation Fund invests in social innovations that aim to improve the lives and opportunities of millions of people in the developing world.

Through our grants and risk capital, we support breakthrough solutions to global development challenges from social enterprises, for-profit firms, non-profit organisations, researchers, and government agencies.

…The fund is flexible in our funding structure: we can provide anywhere from $50,000 – $15 million and we can use any form of capital – grants, equity, debt, hybrid capital, etc.

My team and I decided to apply for a grant of $15 million (N4.5 billion) to set up and then donate a 30,000 Hectare mega ranch to the principal herdsmen association in Nigeria, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria or MACBAN. Continue reading “How I Tried And Failed To Solve Nigeria’s Herdsmen-Farmer Crises – Prince Charles Offokaja”

Eleven Northern States Offer Land For Grazing Reserves

grazing reserves

The states are Plateau, Kaduna, Kano, Gombe, Katsina, Taraba, Niger, Adamawa, Jigawa and Sokoto States.

“If we can grass up these land areas, there will be no need for cows to roam from north to south and that is what we intend to achieve.”He further explained that government will make provisions on the grazing reserves for schools for the children of herdsmen, markets for their wives, health and security facilities to be made available for them.

States in the South and some Midwest (North Central) ones have maintained that they don’t have land for grazing reserves due to the widely held perception that it will amount to taking ethnic lands from their people and giving them to the Fulani herdsmen who dominate the cattle industry.

They have instead asked the Federal Government to instead provide loans for ranch establishment for the herdsmen -pointing out its huge advantages for the business of the herdsmen.

They have also pointed to the violence that has followed grazing disputes with herdsmen in the past that led to bloodshed.

Source: Eleven States Offer Land For Grazing Reserve. – Politics – Nigeria

Grazing Reserves Will Give Fulani Unfair Advantage Over Others, May Lead To War – Anglican Church Warns

Anglican Primate in Nigeria Warns Against Creation Of Grazing Reserves For Herdsmen

Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Rev’d (Dr) Nicholas Okoh has asked the Federal Government to drop its plans to create grazing reserves for herdsmen.

Reading out the resolutions of the Diocese of Abuja Synod yesterday, the Primate warned that such decision would give unfair advantage to the Fulani over other ethnic groups and could lead to a civil war.

The prelate stressed that establishing grazing sites across the country would indirectly make them automatic indigenes of all the regions of the country.  Continue reading “Grazing Reserves Will Give Fulani Unfair Advantage Over Others, May Lead To War – Anglican Church Warns”

Kudos To Legislators From The South For Speaking Up Against Grazing Reserves Creation

Many are against grazing reserves being given to herdsmen from people's ethnic lands.
Photos of people killed in the recent attack of Uzo Uwano, Enugu by herdsmen. The people of Uzo Uwani told the herdsmen to leave their land, accusing them of rapes and destruction of their crops, and got this in return.

I must commend legislators from the Southern part of the country for finally making their voices heard publicly over the proposed cattle grazing bill that would effectively have seen the ethnic lands of other ethnic groups in Nigeria seized and given to another ethnic group! (Just imagine!)

I also wish to thank the Middle Belt stakeholders that spoke up courageously against the evil proposal that would have brought untold death upon future generations not yet born, had it not been for the courage and intelligence of the people that saw the silly, wicked bill and exposed its evil contents to well meaning Nigerians.

I must also thank Punch newspaper for this comprehensive report on the opinions of the lawmakers contained in this source article I have linked to.

Dear reader, let me share with you some of the impressions I got from the Punch article.

Grazing bill is opposed by the lawmakers because judging from the incessant killings of innocent farmers over grazing disputes, taking ancestral lands from these farmers to give to the herdsmen would only exacerbate the issue and lead to more serious bloodshed in the future.

(Nigerians owe it to future generations to prevent this kind of carnage by not allowing themselves to be hoodwinked by any sweet talk today over grazing bill. The forefathers that fought got these lands gave them to their present descendants fully. This started thousands of years ago, before the amalgamation of Nigeria.

Should their descendants now make their forefathers turn in their graves by allowing what has been given to them to hold in trust for future generations to be taken away from them unlawfully, even by an illegal law? Continue reading “Kudos To Legislators From The South For Speaking Up Against Grazing Reserves Creation”

Herdsmen have taken over 8 Local Government Areas In Benue – Governor Ortom

“As I am talking to you, about eight local government areas in the state had already  been  taken over by  the  Fulani herdsmen.”  The council areas  are; Buruku, Tarka, Guma, Gwer West, Makurdi, Katsina Ala, Kwande and  Agatu.

Those were the words of Governor Ortom of Benue State when he hosted members of the House of representatives.

Continue reading “Herdsmen have taken over 8 Local Government Areas In Benue – Governor Ortom”