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Nigeria: Archbishop calls for Cattle Ranching in response to killings

Christians gather for a religious service to mourn victims of recent killings of Christians in Southern Kaduna state during the Christmas period.  - REUTERS

Christians gather for a religious service to mourn victims of recent killings of Christians in Southern Kaduna state during the Christmas period. - REUTERS

14/01/2017 12:53

The incessant clashes between farmers and pastoralists is a clear indication that the old fashioned way of raising livestock through the so-called livestock routes and grazing reserves is outdated and unsustainable, hence the urgent need for the establishment of ranches by land owners for rent to those with livestock but without land, Archbishop Mathew Man’Oso Ndagoso  has said.

Archbishop Ndagoso who is the Metropolitan of Kaduna Ecclesiastical Province stated this in his homily recently at the Centenary ground of Shendam Diocese during the celebration  of the Episcopal ordination and installation Mass of Bishop Philip Davou Dung as the Second Catholic Bishop of the Catholic diocese of Shendam.

The prelate who identified the root causes of the incessant deadly clashes between farmers and herdsmen as the constant movement of herders and pastoralists in search of greener pastures for their animals urged the government as a matter of urgency to establish ranches in the country.

“We urge all those concerned, to, as a matter of urgency, to do the needful to encourage the creation of the enabling environment for the gradual establishment of ranches by governments, communities, and individuals to help curb the ugly trend that is threatening the corporate existence of our country.” Archbishop Ndagoso noted

Archbishop Mathew Ndagoso reinstated the position of the Catholic Bishops of Kaduna Ecclesiastical Province on the matter by quoting their joint statement:

“Going forward, we must note that the debate about herdsmen and pastoralists is a debate about the future of our human survival, environment and our country. We must abandon the old practice of herdsmen moving in droves across the country especially given the violence this has unleashed on our people. Today, entire communities have been destroyed, and the anger in the land is palpable. We are convinced that the only way forward is for the government to arrest this drift of herdsmen and their animals by exploring the options of creating Ranches instead of grazing reserves. We believe that the creation of Ranches will make both economic and humane sense for our people.”

Recently the Archbishop of Jos and President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, Ignatius Kaigama, expressed what he termed as disbelief and anger at the “casual and deliberate manner” in which lives of innocent citizens were being lost in Nigeria. His reaction was a result of news of mass killings in Southern Kaduna which took place during the Christmas period.

The killings have been attributed to Fulani herdsmen.

Soon after the killings, the Vicar-General of Kafanchan Catholic Archdiocese, Fr. Ibrahim Yakubu said 808 persons had lost their lives during the feroicious attack that is also said to have destroyed 1,422 houses, 16 Churches, 19 shops and one primary school.

On Friday, this week Nigeria’s Premium Times quoted  the Nigerian government finally releasing its own tally.

The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA said 204 people were killed in the Southern Kaduna crisis.

(Catholic News Service, Nigeria/ Vatican Radio)


14/01/2017 12:53