Northern governors adopt national livestock policy, move against Almajiri, insecurity

The Northern States Governors Forum yesterday rose from an emergency meeting in Kaduna, adopting the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) as a system that would engender modernisation of pastoral activities. It clarified that the scheme was different from the Rural Grazing Area (RUGA) settlement project .

In a communiqué read to newsmen by its chairman and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, the body said the plan would ensure resettling of dislocated populations in conflict zones and incorporating them in the new scheme of things.Pleading with other states to key into the pilot project, Lalong stated that the programme provides a veritable platform for peaceful dialogue and reconciliation in the affected communities.

He hinted that the Almajiri phenomenon in the region was also discussed and it was resolved that expert advice would be sought to take the children off the streets, as they had become susceptible to criminal activities.

The Plateau chief executive regretted that the good intention of the initiative, earlier built on high religious and moral foundation, had been abused by prominent citizens for selfish ends.He pledged the commitment of the forum to rescue the zone from criminal elements and reposition it to meet the aspirations of the people, especially in the areas of security, economic and social development.

The document reads in part: “The Northern States Governors Forum convened an emergency meeting to discuss some key topical issues of common interest, particularly the development of the agricultural sector, being the economic live wire of the region.

“The current challenge of insecurity which seems to be persisting despite concerted efforts by all tiers of government was also deliberated based on insightful analyses and the best possible ways to address the menace, which is currently bedeviling the region.“Consequently the Forum resolved to continue to adopt a sustainable and holistic approach towards tackling this challenge in the region.

“It is the Forum’s unwavering determination to rescue the region and reposition it to meet the yearnings and aspirations of our people, especially in the areas of security, economic and social development.” “The Forum therefore adopted the National Livestock Transformation Plan which lays out a clear path for modernising pastoral activities.

“The Forum also received a brief on the Almajiri phenomenon in Northern which is not only endemic but pandemic. “After in-depth discussions, we resolved to collaborate further with experts in this field with a view to finding implementable recommendations to solve the Almajiri phenomenon and take the children off the streets.”