From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
The Niger State Government and Mariga Local Government area of the state has organized a stakeholders meeting with the Fulani herdsmen within the Bobi Grazing Reserve to ensue their maximum support to actualized government aspirations as part of efforts at developing the reserve.
The meeting which aimed at educating the herdsmen on the need for their maximum support and participation in the Modern Animal Husbandry, was presided over by the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries.
The Commissioner, Ministry for Livestock and Fisheries, Alhaji Haruna Nuhu Dukku has said that Government desired its commitment from the Herders to ensure production of high quality dairy, as failure to meet up with the required quantity will not be tolerated.
Dukku assures that basic social aminities such as health care services, education, market among others will be provided in the Reserve while youths and women in the Reserve will also be empowered with skills to better their lives.
The commissioner added that the Fulanis outside the Reserve will be profiled before being accepted into the reserve and all settlers in the reserve must have a national identity card for security purpose, pointing out that at the moment, there are about 300 security personnel both within and outside the Reserve comprising of Mobile Police and Men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
He further explains that Government has identified One Hundred youths in the Reserve who will soon be trained and equiped to compliment the conventional security agents, even as the Government has received a nod from the military for support.
Also speaking at the meeting, the Emir of Muri, Taraba State, Alhaji Tafida Abbas who is the Consultant in the development of the Reserve said Modern Animal Husbandry is the way to go in order to curb incessant Farmers/Herders crisis.
He revealed that on completion of the perimeter fencing of the 31,000 hectare Reserve, the security challenges such as cattle rustling and kidnappings will be addressed.
Earlier,, Permanent Secretary Livestock, Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Dr Jonathan Wasa maintained that the success and development of the Grazing Reserve is hinged on the level of support from the Fulani Herders within the Reserve, adding that Government is profiling the number of cattle in the Reserve to keep record.
Some residents of the reserve including Sarkin Fulani in the Reserve, Alhaji Bello Taloye in their remarks expressed concerns over the state of security at the reserve but however pledged their support and maximum corporation to the development of the Reserve.