Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau has said that cattle rustling has become a thing of the past in the state.
Lalong told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that cattle rustling became rife because many people saw it as a lucrative business until it led to incessant clashes between herdsmen and farmers.
• Cue in audio Lalong on rustling 1
“You will see a Fulani man, you will see a Plateau man, you will see a Tarok man, you will see a Birom man, and you will see a Shendam man participating in cattle rustling.
“What they do is they organised themselves and they saw that as a lucrative business.
“Now when you go to steal the cows, the repercussion is that the Fulani man will come and destroy farmlands and properties and then the next thing will be crisis.
“So what we did was to try to settle first the issue of cattle rustling and I think cattle rustling is almost a thing of the past now on the Plateau.’’
Lalong said that cattle rustling was becoming a thing of the past because of a committee that was set up by the state government to ensure peaceful coexistence amongst the people of the state.
“Recently, some cows got missing around Barkin ladi and I was surprised that when they announced that those cows were missing – about 20 of them – it was a Birom chief, who organised the youths that went to look for those cows.
“They found the cows and looked for the Fulani man who owned them and gave them to him.
“So if you do that kind of thing – helping people out – there is bound to be confidence amongst the people.
“And that was because of the committee that we set up.’’
The governor said he supported the idea of establishing ranches in order to restrict the movement of cattle to selected areas.
According to him, the idea can serve as a lasting solution to the problem of herdsmen-farmer clashes.
“When I saw the concept and this was discussed at the governor’s forum I bought it and I said yes we are interested.
“So I am talking to the people and the elite are on the other side but I promise we are still going to continue doing dialogue in my state about issue of grazing reserve.
“Every state has its own peculiarity, I have seen some states argued against it, may be their own peculiarity is different.’’