The Federal Government has been urged to urgently investigate the source of the proliferation of arms and ammunitions into the country which are allegedly being used by some herdsmen and farmers to cause mayhem.
The Kwara State Chairman of the All Fulani Elites, an umbrella body of educated Fulani’s, Alhaji Magaji Saliu Ahmed made the call in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital during an interview with newsmen in Tuesday.
He noted that government should enforce the ban on illegal possession of firearms; get to the source and the manufacturers of the weapons like AK47 before promulgating laws that would rope those in possession of the weapons.
Alhaji Ahmed further expressed concern that “despite the presence of different security operatives at Nigeria’s various boarders and an existing law banning the possession of arms and ammunition by unauthorized people, some nomads and Farmers are still making use of the weapons to carry out their nefarious deadly activities.”
The chairman who challenged security operatives to go to the Niger Delta region where he alleged is the main source of the arms proliferation in the country expressed worries on why no arrests has been made over illegal possession of firearms.
He attributed decay in the leadership in the country to the proliferation of arms which he said, the Federal government must provide an answer to and also called for a National Conference which would involve Fulani non -political associations particularly the Fulani nomads, the farmers, security operatives and other key stakeholders to sit down, dialogue and fine tune ways to find a lasting peace to issues of nomads and farmers clashes.
On the issue of establishing a colony for the nomads to rear their cattle’s, Alhaji Ahmed said the policy would only work if it would be taken up genuinely by the federal government while people’s constitutional rights and their freedom of movement would not be trampled upon.
He attributed lack of industrialization to the problem facing the country as most industries have collapsed and therefore called on the government to revamp all moribund industries for maximum production.
Alhaji Ahmed cited countries like Germany where only six percent of the population are feeding the entire country, while in Britain, about three percent are also responsible for the feeding of their population and lamented that despite the fact that many Nigerians are into farming, the government cannot feed her citizens,.
He expressed concern that there is a down ward trend in the relationship between the nomads and the crop farmers which he attributed to the issue of land crisis because both the farmers and the cattle rearer use the same resource which is land as they both need enough land for utilization and the land does not increase therefore, there is the problem of where the nomads will graze and where the farmers will produce their own crops.
The Chairman recalled that since democratic rule in 1979, the issue of nomads has not been taken as a serious issue by the federal government adding that during the colonial and post-independence era, there were ministries of animal resources that were meant to cater for the affairs of the nomads, however this ministries according to him, are no longer in existence.
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