The Assistant Secretary of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Benue State chapter, Ibrahim Galma, has said that its not true that herdsmen prefer the death of human beings to that of their cows.
Galma also highlighted ways the clashes between herdsmen and their host communities could be brought to an end.
Many Nigerians have been killed in Benue State recently following ongoing clashes between Fulani herdsmen and members of communities in the state.
Galma said they carry sharp cutlasses and knives around for the sole purpose of defending their cows from dangers.
Speaking with Vanguard, Galma, a graduate of animal science, said, “I defend my herds with my very sharp knife, cutlasses and sticks and you know that the cattle also defends herself when attacked sometimes.
“That is obviously not true. How can the life of a cow be more important than the live of a human being or a child. It is not true at all.
“Though we love our cow and we would not want anything to hurt them but the life of a human being or our children cannot be compared to the life of an animal. So those saying that are not aware of what they are saying.
Asked how clashes between herdsmen and farmers could be solved, he added, “We must continue to sensitise the herder, you know that our level of education is another challenge but there is always a solution to every problem.
“Government has to invest in advocacy and sensitization to prepare the herdsmen.
“Like I said earlier, we could start with semi ranching system backed with intensive sensitization of the herdsmen, gradually we will get to full ranching which I also believe is a good model for breeding cows but we could take it one step after another until it is fully achieved.
“I have nothing against ranching as a person because it is the best way to go but let’s not do it overnight. It could be introduced gradually with aggressive campaign and sensitization.
“Ranching is the best way to go but we need the enabling environment for it to be a reality.
“The Federal government has to step in for it to work. I believe that at the end of the day the issue would be permanently addressed.”