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British anthropologist advises against ranching in Nigeria

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Roger Blench

A British Development Anthropologist, Mr Roger Blench, says ranching cannot end challenges of pastoral migration in Nigeria, because it was not successful in the past.

Blench made the assertion on Thursday in Abuja at the public presentation of a Brochure entitled “Towards a Peaceful Co-existence between Herders and Farmers in Nigeria.’’

The brochure is a publication of Misereor, Dialogue and Partnership Service (DPS) and Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN).

The anthropologist, represented by the Project Consultant and Advisor Misereor and DSP, Mr Olaniyan Cosmas, said that suggestions that ranching was solution to lingering violence between herders and farmers in Nigeria was misconceived.

“Ranches were first established in Nigeria in the 1920s, mainly with the objective of fattening cattle for the market.

“Ranches continued to be established into the 1960s, often with external aid, and they have all fallen into disuse for lack of effective management,” he explained.

According to him, ranches required undisputed land tenure, reliable infrastructure and utilities, and predictable input costs, none of which was present in Nigeria.

Blench, however, said that ranches would compete in a market where traditional suppliers of livestock products within Nigeria and from neighbouring countries had access to free pasture.

On agriculture, he said that land in Nigeria had historically not been fenced because it was abundant.

He said that farms moved frequently under slash and burn systems, and that disease kept pastoralist cattle out of most regions of the country, thereby reducing the problem of livestock incursions.

Blench, however, stated that unprecedented increase in human population in the 20th century has led to increasingly codified systems of land ownership and the movement of cattle into new ecological zones.

He said that such situation often led to conflict between farmers and pastoralists.

“The brochure considers technical options for enclosing land, including the comparison between industrial fencing and live fencing.

“Nigeria has changed and agricultural systems that were appropriate in pre-colonial times are no longer realistic,” Blench said.

According to him, there was lack of consistency between federal and state governments’ policies towards pastoralists as well as a lack of awareness of the effectiveness or otherwise of earlier policies.

“Uncontrolled and exaggerated media reporting and social media blogging promoted inter-group hatred and collapse of nomadic education system intended to provide schooling for pastoral people.

“Consolidation of many pastoralists into small areas in the Middle Belt, leading to entrenched positions, greater suspicion and ecological damage, were all issues needed to be addressed for peaceful coexistence between herders and farmers,” he said.

In his address, CSN Secretary General, Rev. Fr Ralph Madu, said that to stop the bloodshed, Federal Government should improve security, end impunity by assailants and hasten livestock sector reform.

Madu said that the government should better protect herders and farmers, prosecute attackers and carry out its National Livestock Transformation Plan.

He also recommended that state governments should roll out open grazing bans in phases.

The cleric appealed to community leaders to curb inflammatory statements and encourage compromise, while international partners should advocate for accountability and support livestock sector reform.

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Metro

FG urged to declare state of emergency on federal roads, Senate tasks

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Disturbed by the deplorable conditions of road networks across the country, the Senate on Tuesday, charged the federal government to declare a state of emergency on all federal roads.
This was as the upper legislative chamber mandated  its Committees on Petroleum (Downstream), Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, FERMA and National Planning to investigate the Petroleum Products Price Regulatory Agency, PPPRA on the non-remittance of five percent user charge pump price of petrol.
Besides, the joint committees were also asked to investigate the non remittance of international vehicle transit charge accruing to FERMA and other established state roads maintenance agency.
These resolutions followed deliberations on a motion sponsored under Orders 42 and 52 of the Senate rule by Senator Geshom Bassey (PDP Cross River South)  who lamented the deplorable state of federal roads in the country.
Presenting the motion, Senator Basset expressed concern that several thousands of lives have been lost to road accidents due to bad and un-motorable roads, while bad portion of roads are safe haven for kidnappers and armed robbers on Nigerian highways.
Supporting the motion, Senator Chukwuka Utazi (PDP Enugu North) said the state of the federal highways are highly deplorable and that urgent attention is needed especially within this budget cycle to do something drastic to address the situation.
Utazi said “and like you prayed that the PPPRA should release the fund for totally provided for FERMA to do  it’s job.
“Mr President, the raining season is just gradually coming to an end and this is the opportunity for FERMA to go and start rehabilitating our roads so that Nigerians can move freely.
“This period is also the time for harvest and in order to ensure that farmers that are in the hinterland get to the appropriate market to get adequate prices for their goods, we  have to make sure the roads are properly done.
“You also know that because we don’t have the rail lines that should be in place, most of the goods and services that we move from one place to the other are done through trucking and if you continue to do trucking, you know that the life span of any  major federal highway may not last long.
“This is a very important motion moved at the most appropriate time to get the desired attention and I’m standing here lending my support and full weigh to get that being done knowing fully well that those of us from the south east are the major complainants of the bad roads in this country and we hope that we get the desired attention from FERMA if  this motion scales through.”
In his remark, President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan said he believe that every part of the country suffers from this problem of deplorable  roads.
He expressed optimism that the  committees mandated to look into the matter will  swing into action and attend to the issue associated with this motion.
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Metro

SAD… Taraba INEC REC is dead

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The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, (REC) in Taraba State, Alhaji Baba Abba Yusuf, is dead.
INEC Secretary, Rose Oriarian-Anthony, said the REC died on Saturday night at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Borno State, where he had been on admission.
She said: “The Independent National Electoral Commission regrets to announce the death of the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Taraba State, Alhaji Baba Abba Yusuf.
“He died last (Saturday) night at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Borno State, where he was on admission for sometime.
He was buried today (Sunday) September 29 2019 at 4pm in Maiduguri.
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Transgender: Sade Adu’s daughter finally becomes a man (PHOTOS)

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Izaak and Mum

Sade’s transgender son has shared a heartfelt message of thanks to the soul singer, as he completes his transition from female to male.

Izaak Theo Adu, born Mickailia ‘Ila’ Adu, has spent the past six months in recovery after undergoing phalloplasty surgery, the reconstructive procedure typically undergone by transgender and non-binary people.

After returning home to his family, Izaak shared a sweet photo of himself hugging Sade, 60, along with a message praising the iconic singer for her unwavering support. In the Instagram post, Izaak wrote: ‘It’s been a long hard road but We did it!! We are coming home!!!! ‘Thank you for staying by my side these past 6 months Mumma. Thank you for fighting with me to complete the man I am. ‘Thank you for your encouragement when things are hard, for the love you give me. The purest heart. I love you so much. Queen of queens ♥️ #mumma #lioness #queen#iloveyou.’

Izaak is Sade’s only child from her former relationship with reggae music producer Bob Morgan.

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