A pressure group, Movement Against Fulani Occupation (MAFO), has kicked against the proposed establishment of grazing reserves and routes as panacea to the constant clashes between crop farmers and Fulani herdsmen.
The group which made this known in a press interaction in Makurdi, said the proposed solution would cause another major problem in itself as it would make sacred cows of the Fulani who will benefit at the expense of those whose lands will be annexed to make allocation for the reserves.
According to MAFO the world has moved from the era of moving cattle around for grazing purposes to best practices of ranching and thus the nation ought to have looked to educated the Fulani cattle farmers in current practices to further improve yield.
Speaking further the leader of the group Mr. Atom Abya described the creation of grazing reserves and routes as another way to rid the farmers of their farm land for fulani farmers to settle.
" it is rather unfortunate that the federal government will advocate for grazing routes and reserves in this era where agriculture has become advanced. Why will the Fulani herdsmen be treated specially when other farmers are not given same treatment? Whose land will be confiscated to accommodate the fulani and his cow? Is this not the same occupation we are trying to fight? He queried.
Meanwhile the group has also began a campaign to boycott beef stating that it is the proceeds from the sale of the cattle which produces beef that is used to purchase arms and bullets to attack the farming communities.
This is even as the group has called on the Federal government to increase military presence in the affected and vulnerable areas to prevent further bloodshed.
According to them the Benue communities were defenceless against the heavy firepower of the Fulani especially with the recent disarmament through the Benue Amnesty program where most of the ammunition in civilian hands were handed over to government as such they expect the government to protect them adequately from invading forces.
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