Abdullahi Adamu, a former governor of Nasarawa and senator currently representing Nasarawa west, says governments at all levels must protect herders.
Following the increase in farmer-herder clashes across the country, governors of the southern region have agreed to ban open grazing.
Speaking on Monday at a media briefing in Abuja, Adamu said every Nigerian has a right to free movement and to pursue any legitimate business.
The senator said even if all the governors in the north agree with their counterparts in the south on banning open grazing, it does not change the fact that herders have rights.
“The duty to protect the herdsman and the farmer rests squarely on the table of the national government, the state government, and the local government,” he said.
“The question is, has the government done what it ought to do to protect the people in that category or in that trade? The answer is no.
You cannot blame the person who is desperate and looking for a means of livelihood. However, this does not excuse anybody in the course of exercising his right, to harm another person’s right.
“A farmer has the right to farm. If you take your cattle to his farm and cause damage, he has a right to claim and he can claim in the court of law. It doesn’t matter. If all the northern governors echo the same thing that the southern governors did, it doesn’t change it. The government owes these herdsmen a duty to protect their calling.
Yes, there is modernization, but it is not the fault of the herdsman that he still grazes the same way he has been doing. We have misdirected our political modernization activity by refusing to tackle the main issue.
If you can protect a spare parts dealer, why can’t you protect herdsmen?
If the government and CBN can protect failing banks, why can’t you protect herdsmen?”