Ranching which has been adjudged the best global practice for animal husbandry remains a conundrum to many gubernatorial and presidential aspirants in Nigeria especially those from the far North where cattle rearing is the mainstay of economy. Many of them decline to answer questions pertaining to this nagging issue.
Although from the core North, Kano State, the 2023 presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Alhaji Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso made a categorical statement on ranching on September 4th, 2022, while fielding questions from Journalists in Makurdi, the Benue State capital as whether he will embrace ranching as the best approach to end herders/farmers crisis.
Kwankwaso who was in the State to inaugurate NNPP campaign offices and to receive members who decamped from other political parties to NNPP said, he will ensure quality education and good standard of living for both farmers and herders and that singular effort will solve the long standing problem.
“We need so many things in this country and in that area in particular. What we need in this country is empowerment of each and everybody including the herders, including the farmers, including the press men and women”.
He lamented that the Government at all levels has failed in its responsibility to provide the welfare of citizens and to protect lives and property hence his intention to get things right.
“You see, government unfortunately missed opportunities in the past. There was what we called Nomadic Education with headquarters in Kaduna. They are doing nothing over the years and they are still in the budget but they don’t have one school. If all these agencies were working, by now, we wouldn’t have had these issues we are witnessing now.
“If the children of herders and farmers were going to school, you do not need to tell them to do ranching, ranching will come automatically”.
He further lamented that “even when this country is moving even though slowly, some of these herders and farmers are left behind, they benefit nothing from government. No electricity, no water, no road”.
The former Governor of Kano State therefore promised that when elected, he will recover Nigeria’s economy from indebtedness, create jobs for Nigerians, tackle corruption, empower farmers and herders with modern equipment among other developmental policies to quell insecurity in the country.
“The entire earnings now are going to service debts and I’m sure you know my history in Government. I’m somebody who doesn’t believe in borrowing money, I believe in managing wealth.
“I inherited a lot of debts from the military in 1999 as Kano State Governor but I was able to pay in four (4) years time and I did all the projects. It was the same story when I came back as Governor after 8 years. I inherited hundreds of millions of US dollars as debts and before 4 years, I was able to settle it to zero and then I did all my programmes and projects out of my income in the state. That’s why I tell anybody who cares to listen, that in this country, we have a lot of money to do programmes and projects either as a state government or federal government”, Kwankwaso revealed.
As part of his plans to improve economy, Kwankwaso who narrated his ugly experience of bad roads in Benue State said he will stabilize electricity and construct roads across the country.
“I had wanted to go to zone C and everybody was saying that what I saw on Gboko road was just a child’s play! Meaning, it was many times worse than from here to Gboko.
“So infrastructure has to be fixed and the issue of education is very important and not just education but the right education. That’s why in my last four years as Kano State Governor, we built 44 technical schools; one in each Local Government Area in Kano to train our young men and women in various trades.”
During his visit to Benue, the NNPP presidential candidate paid homage to the paramount ruler of the Tiv nation (Tor Tiv), Orchivirigh Prof. James Iorzua Ayatse, and while in the state, he met with various groups including Igbo community in Benue State and his colleagues who were members of the House of Representatives between 1992-1993.