Sa’ad Abubakar, Sultan of Sokoto, has met with the leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) over the challenges facing herders in the country.
Speaking during the meeting on Friday, in Abuja, Sultan said there is need to find workable solutions to address security and socioeconomic challenges confronting members of the association.
The monarch, who is the chairman board of trustees of the association, lamented the stereotyping of herders and how they are associated with crime.
The Sultan stated that it is not every criminality perpetrated in the country that is done by the Fulanis, while he urged herders to respect constituted authorities and shun all forms of acts capable of tarnishing their reputations.
Also, Usman Bugaje, a senior advisor to the Sultan, stated that the objective of the meeting was to ensure a genuine search for solutions to the entire problem affecting the Fulanis in the country.
“We are helping at the secretariat level to bring out the issues and see how we can look at other economic, social and even ethnic dimensions to the problems,” Bugaje said.
“And, there are timelines put to it, we have agreed that there will be timeline, we are not going to leave it open.
“Because we need to get it done within one year maximum from now if all the stakeholders are ready to cooperate.”
Baba Ngelzarma, national secretariat of MACBAN, urged the government to initiate programmes that would take idle pastoralist out of criminality and engage them in learning other skills in addition to cattle rearing.
“Even the cattle rearing are they getting money? Their cattle are not competing with the ones you have in other parts of the world that weigh 700 to 800 kilograms per cow,” Ngelzarma said.
“The milk output is also not competing with the other ones in the world where one single cow is given an output 50 litres per day.
“We still hold the outdated species of the cow that are weighing not more than 100 to 120 kilograms and given out an output of milk that is not more than three to five litres per day.
“So, a lots need to be done by government, religious leaders, traditional rulers and pastoralist associations.”