By Lawrence Olaoye
Former governor of Bauchi state, Isa Yuguda, has cautioned that all herdsmen should not be criminalized saying some of them are good and law abiding citizens.
Yuguda, in an interaction with State House Correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa yesterday, blamed the ongoing crises of insecurity in the country on the explosion of the nation’s population.
He noted that the challenge of insecurity did not start with Buhari’s administration stating that Boko Haram started in the country from his Bauchi state when he was the state governor.
Asked to respond to the spate of insecurity in the country, the former governor said “Everybody knows that insecurity in the country did not start with the government of President Muhammadu Buhari. We were in government when this insecurity started. Most of you are aware Biko Haram started in Bauchi and by the grace of Allah, Bauchi was able to address it. Of course it has continued and Mr. President has been able to substantially defeat the insurgency in the north east.
“Nigeria is such a huge country and with population growing from 60 million in the 60s to over 200 million today, so most of these challenges you are seeing today is more about competition for land, especially as regards the so-called herdsmen. We know there are quite a number of them that are criminals but criminalizing the entire herdsmen I think is unfair because they have been peaceful people.”
He continue “Of course, there has been competition for land, if 60 million were occupying the land in the 60s and today you have over 200 million, all those cattle routes that were established by the British colonialists have all been closed down because of human habitations, and of course even the grazing reserves have been taken over by farmlands as population is growing.
“So, some of these criminals would have taken advantage of what has been happening and unleashing mayhem on our people but that is not acceptable. I believe Mr. President is also addressing that to the best of his ability.”