West African countries tackle cattle migration

Ibrahim Ishaq, Bauchi state

ECOWAS member states are strategizing to address incidences of violent socio- cultural interactions and cross border organised crimes as a result of pastoralists’ transhumance or cattle migration.

As part of this stretegy, a sensitization programme on the implication of transhumance on sub regional and national security and development has been organised in Bauchi for pastoralists and farmers across the north east sub region.

In her address, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Khadijah Bukar Abba Ibrahim, said the programme was an initiative of the ministry in collaboration with ECOWAS commission and Agriculture ministry to deepen the understanding of the issue. 

The minister, who was represented by a director in the ministry, Ambassador Manaja Tula Isa, said the programme had become imperative considering the challenges in the central and West African sub-region between nomadic pastoralists and farmers.

She called for the active involvement of key actors in the crusade, saying the phenomenon had resulted in tension among ethnic groups; destruction of lives and properties, as well as putting unnecessary pressure on the efforts towards sustainable development and democratic consolidation.

Ibrahim remarked that in view of the ECOWAS  integration programme, the ministry had the onerous task of enlightening Nigerians on issues such as human, drug and arms trafficking, trade liberalization scheme among others.

Declaring the session open, Bauchi state governor, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, said  the North east had seen the implication of transhumance, which resulted in the reduction of supply of food and livestock, as well as infiltration by insurgents.

 The governor, who was represented by the head of civil service of the state, Liman Bello,  suggested the involvement of traditional institutions and effective radio communication as a tool for resolving conflicts between herdsmen and their host communities.