The spokesperson for the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Professor Ango Abdullahi, has taken a swipe at residents of Lagos saying they were oblivious to events happening in the country.
Abdullahi made this submission in an interview he granted Vanguard where he also alleged that the contribution of herdsmen to the economy eclipsed that of Lagosians.
Accusing the media of bias in the coverage of intractable Fulani herdsmen/Farmer clashes, the former Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University said Lagos residents did not have first hand information of events in Nigeria when his interviewer in the middle of the interview, told him he lived in Lagos and asked for his view on herdsmen’s invasion of communities, farms and herd of cows occupying roads and public places.
He said, “You actually live outside the country. Those who live in Lagos don’t know what is happening in Nigeria. Lagos is the end of the world.
“Herdsmen operate in these places you mentioned because the country has denied them the traditional routes which the British created for them IN 1914 when they occupied this country because they realised that, like cars require tracks, herdsmen also require tracks they can use to graze and drink water.
“The British provided it for them and gazetted it but people have denied them these routes. So, where do you expect the animals to follow? They have to follow somewhere and the easy road is the one other people are using. We are all living in Nigeria.”
Continued: “I can tell you. Only 35% of the land in Nigeria is under cultivation. The remaining 65%, the wet land, the forests, the range are uncultivated. It only requires good policies of government to make sure that our land is efficiently utilised and you should know livestock industry contributes 6% of the country’s GDP; it contributes more than the manufacturing industry is contributing to the GDP of Nigeria. So, the economic contribution of the livestock man who is day and night in the bush is more than your own who live in Lagos.”