Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State says climate change is forcing foreign herders into the country while noting that the movement of cattle from one part of the nation to another is not new.
“The movement of cattle from one part of the country to another is not something new, even from some neighbouring countries,” the governor said during an interview with Channels Television. “Foreign herders, because of climate change, they are moving into Nigeria with thousands of cattle.”
The governor explained that climate change has reduced the number of cattle routes in the country, leading to herders encroaching on people’s land.
“In those days, the cattle routes were enough because the population did not grow like now; farming activities because of population, was not like this. But there is a lot of encroachment,” Ganduje, 71, explained.
“And not only encroachment, even the volume of cattle coming from West Africa to Nigeria has also increased because of the availability of grazing areas in the Middle Belt and in the southern part of the country.”
The governor said because people will not sit back and watch their land trampled on, many of the herders have bought weapons to protect themselves.
“You cannot expect people to watch, people have to react and because of that they have learnt to carry weapons in order to protect themselves,” he added.
“And some of them are using the opportunity to carry illegal weapons, selling weapons in Nigerians and some are taking the opportunity to commit various types of criminality in the country.”
Governor Ganduje who decried the influx of foreign herders – whom he said do not have any means of identification – into the country, called for the issue to be tackled.