Fulani pastoralists in the North-East have charged the new board of the North-East Development Commission to upscale assistance to them to expedite the revival of the region’s pre-Boko Haram glory in transhumance, massive cattle production and transborder cattle trade.
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had earlier this May, announced the appointment of a new 12-member board of the commission to replace the pioneer board chaired by Maj. Gen Paul Tarfa (retd.) and administered by Mohammed Alkali as its Managing Director.
Welcoming the appointment of the new NEDC board, the pastoralists, under their umbrella association, Kulen Allah Cattle Rearers Association of Nigeria, praised the former board for carrying them along in its humanitarian assistance and community development projects and programmes.
In a statement signed by KACRAN National President, Khalid Mohammed Bello, and mailed to PUNCH, the pastoralists noted that the Boko Haram insurgency claimed the lives of many of their members and “their animals rustled and forced to move to unknown places without food, water or any source of livelihood.”
They recalled how the former Alkali-administered board rescued them from extinction.
“The commission performed wonderfully well by helping our herders with animal feed and water points as well as including our members in its quarterly distribution of relief materials to the vulnerable and internally displaced people,” the pastoralists said.
“We call on the new board of the Commission to sustain such assistances and do more to us to help us boost our cattle production and the population of cattle traded across the border, and between the North-East and other parts of the country.
“In view of our interest towards the development of our region, we members of KACRAN, as one of the commission’s stakeholders and partners in progress, we strongly call on the incoming leadership of NEDC, starting from its Chairman, MD, Management board, and all other staff of the commission to improve on the performance of the outgoing management team.”