At Ugwuoba, a border town between Enugu and Anambra state, over 6 hectares of land is occupied by Hausa/Fulani traders mostly dealing in cattle and goats. I do not know of anyone who has ever attacked them or asked them to stop doing business there. In my friend Izuchukwu Anslem Ositadimma village at AworIdemili a similar settlement of Hausa/Fulani cattle traders exist, in fact all over SE and in the South such settlements are in abundance.
When a SAN, and as I have heard, one of the most powerful men in the politics of the Presidential Villa equates Spare parts to nomadic herding, you would see the mindset that has enabled this crisis fester. God forbid that it would be said that it was cows that destroyed this country!
The South has no issues with cattle trading or cattle, we recognise the economic opportunity inherent in it. I have traded goats in the past and know how profitable it is. What the South has a problem with, is undocumented persons moving from one forest to the other in a manner that makes it impossible for the state to monitor and document their activities. The inability of the state to identify and monitor these forest men have bred unimaginable criminality, leaving in its wake agony and miserable deaths.
If the cattle herders can mimic the cattle traders at Ugwuoba and all parts of the south and just like the spare parts dealers in the North, acquire a documented land for their businesses, no one will worry significantly.
Let me also say, that in as much as I have always argued that the SE Governors should create an enabling environment for livestock farming in their states, it is not a must for all states to be interested in cattle farming. It is also not a must to create an alternative. The onus of creating an alternative if any, lie with the state government where these herders begin their journey from. My state might prefer to focus on other economic opportunities it has a competitive edge over, then buy beef from Sokoto.
I think Malami needs help. Malami whose child drive the most exotic automobiles is happy the child of another is roaming through the forest, a career he will take forever while that of Malami fly from one country to another. A pity this is the mindset of the Northern Oligarchy. Perhaps, this is why they do not want the almajiri system to be destroyed.
It is a shame that the only right Malami wants to protect for the Fulani is their right to roam in the forest with all of its danger and not their rights to Education and qualitative and accessible healthcare
Credit: Obi Trice Emeka