I have been among those pushing for full and complete federalism practice in Nigeria especially when it comes resource control and exploration which will make the states more proactive in thinking of ways to generate more revenue. This will also mean paying some amount taxes to the Federal Government after the amount they have made from such explorations. Many other people have canvassed for such development but the central government might be sceptical if they will remit or reveal the real amount they made.
This isn’t a challenge seeing that the government can do oversight function of seeing their activities as they are carried out.
Federalism has its pros and cons and one of such cons is when a federating units goes to the extent of abusing her territorial powers when in other situations, such decisions might not hold sway. The menace of the Fulani herdsmen is not new but in recent times, the public and government are beginning to see that it is a real challenge that needs immediate action. The Federal Government on their part have decided to set up grazing areas for the herdsmen to rear their cattle without roaming from one part of town to another.
Some people question this move saying the 18 months duration is too long, and that these herdsmen are business people and should not be favoured with ranches or grazing areas as if they are peculiar from other businesses. Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State, Nigeria has come out to announce the ban of grazing in his state saying that a bill is being prepared to be sent to the State Assembly to be passed into law. He also added that those who desire to graze in the state should set up their own ranches for that.
As much as the governor can be controversial in his utterances and assertions, to some school of thought he might be right, seeing that these herdsmen are just like every other business that runs in the country. Also by saying they should build their ranches, it then means they will need to acquire land and develop it into what we see in the movies or something close to that, that can cater for the cattle and also give roof for them to live also.
How much do they earn that they will be able to acquire lands for such a venture or business set up? Are lands that cheap in Ekiti state for the herdsmen to easily acquire and start grazing their cattle and also save themselves the abuses from every quarter of the country? What will be the content of the bill that the governor intends to send to the State Assembly? Will it give lands to them at discounted prices or reach a payment agreement with them?
These questions that need answers and a tougher one is; is Fayose going this way because he feels that his number one critic character, President Buhari is a Fulani man and needs to be challenged for working to favour his people by the plans to develop grazing areas? Is he actually trying to favour them since the modalities for setting up these grazing areas have not been made public; whether they will pay or not or get discounts?
Hope we don’t mortgage every issue on the altar of partisanship, power, oratory,pride and manly ego.