Member representing Makurdi/Guma Federal Constituency,Hon Dickson Tarkighir has said that, most herdsmen who kill people and destroy property are not from Nigeria but far away Mali.
Tarkighir (APC, Benue) told journalists in Abuja that the infiltration of foreign herdsmen into Nigeria was largely responsible for the series of attacks recently witnessed in many parts of Benue State.
The lawmaker, said they were living peacefully with the local Fulani men not until foreigners began to troop in from Mali, who he said appear to be violent as they brandish all sorts of weapons.
He said the foreign Fulani got access to the country through our porous borders as a result of the failure of government to secure them.
“I visited my constituency recently, and I discovered that some arrests were made. Most of those arrested are not even Nigerians. They come from far away Mali. Most of them were chased away from their country, but because Nigerian borders are porous, they found their way back, Tarkighir said.
“It’s all as a result of government’s inability to secure our borders over the years. Cattle rearing is big business, as such anybody wishing to venture into it should acquire a piece of land for that purpose. That way, we’ll have peace,” he said.
The lawmaker, who is the sponsor of the yet-to-be debated bill on cattle ranches, which is before the House, said ranches would create thousands of jobs in the country as many people would be engaged directly and indirectly, including those who would make hay for cattle, hence the government should adopt the system.
He said the idea of grazing reserves at this time would not resolve the herdsmen/farmers’ clashes because constitutionally, states are the custodians of their lands and not the federal government, stressing that for that to be achieved, the constitution needs to be amended.