By Adnan Abdullahi Adam
Historically, in the olden days hunger and starvations occur mainly as a result of instability which forces people to flee their settlement due to raiding by slave merchants or their village in the state of perpetual war with a rival village. Thus, when people are stuck in fear and hostilities, they would not have time to cultivate their farms. Then hunger most strike and starvation is inescapable!
The recurrent banditry and kidnappings affect the harvesting period this year. News media outlet reported stories were farmers are being killed or kidnapped when they went out to plant or harvest their farmlands. Many farmers in the rural areas do not live in peaceful atmosphere to work in their farms, for those can afford to work; it is only small fraction of their farm lands bordering major towns.
The unprecedented soaring inflations of food prices have caused hardship to an ordinary citizen. Farmers have fled their farms the whole rainy season sheltering in IDPs camps. For many, they do not know where to forge ahead with their life. They are deprived from their livelihood by the spate of activities of cut-throats bandits and kidnappers.
Rural areas are largely the source of foods that is being transported to the cities, so if these places are not secured under total government control, there must be shortages in the supply chain of the foods. For securing these is necessary condition for the overall food security of the nation.
Therefore, it is imperative for the national and states economic plans should enlist large forest reserves. These vast resources should be harnessed for the overall economic progress of the country. There is need for expanding dams and building new ones for irrigations.
While population is huge potentials for growths, yet there is no a clear policy to utilize these demographic bubbles. Building human capital is akin to building economic prosperity of the society, human capital is crucial that all developed nations give it maximum priority. They developed capacity of men and women that spear head many discoveries that can lead to their overall economic progress.
There is need to develop the agricultural business of these remote villages, since their mainstay is farming and rearing cattle and domestic animals. Roads should be built to make easy access for people and goods, clearing a grazing field for cattle, demarcating ranches, mining of neglected mineral resources, small lakes should be turn into fishing rivers.
By investing massively in agricultural programs in rural areas, migration from rural to urban areas can be discouraged drastically. Most Nigerian cities centers are populated by the economic migrants from villages who troops daily looking for menial jobs and petty trading, thereby increasing rate of crimes, anti social behavior, traffic congestion coupled with unhygienic environment.
There are massive migrations of young men to the cities which took its toll on abandoned farmlands in the villages. It is because Government programs are mainly centered in cities and bigger towns. Large concentrations of wealth are in the cities, this has aggravates a widening gap in material wealth between people in the villages and in the cities.
A lot of towns and villages are without basic amenities.
There is an access gap, seldom to have any functional government establishment. There is need for building staff quarters and paying special allowances for the civil servants posted to town and remote villages. Ignoring villages without viable government presence is what has backfired today, which affect the whole Northern Nigeria.
Small farmers are the backbone of food security. Statistics shows they produce almost 80% percent of farm produce in the country. Then in effect, It is only when their security is assured; then will be able direct their attention to their farms and food security and jobs will be guaranteed in the country.
Generally, peace and social stability are crucial for the development of any nation. Most developed nations take precautionary measures for the ensuring peace and stability of their society, they spend huge amount of their budget on readiness to curtail any perceived internal or external aggressions.
Nigeria has vast lands and forest reserved which is largely underproductive. It remained for years without comprehensive approach on how to turn these forest reserves into productive means of economy. By chance, this gives kidnappers seized the vacuum by creating their hideout and unleashing havocs to villagers and highways passers-by.
Before his assassination in 1966,the late Amadu Bello Sardauna of Sokoto , the premier of Northern region embarked on hundred tours to remote villages, initiating developmental projects ,building mosques, schools and dispensaries the nook and corner of vast Hausa land. Even to this day, no politician ever have visited towns and villages in his administrative functions like the late Sardauna of blessed memory.
In his autobiography titled My Life, the late Sardauna of Sokoto has captured the whole essence of Northern Nigeria’s unique detailed perspective, history, religion, problems and philosophy. An aristocrat lineage of Shehu Usman Dan Fodiyo, and a politician leader of Northern People Congress (NPC), he has laid the foundation of North’s progress.
Nigeria a country with a porous border, this makes it easier for even foreign terrorist groups to operate freely and even to secure an enclave within the nation’s territorial space. It is just recently, Nigeria can afford to issue National Identification Number (NIN), and to harmonize the data base of its 208 million populations.
Today, Fulani heard men debacle become hydra-headed obstacle. It has occupies center stage in our national worrisome. The failure arises from the lack of proactive visionary objectives, which will enable us to look at larger picture of their phenomena, in order to take appropriate decision.
The Nomadic education was enshrined in National Policy of Education, yet, Fulani herd men are cut off from any educational programs, they are marginalized in the forest, disenfranchised from any formal learning program. It is only when they are trained and educated they wouldn’t be gullible and easy prey for mischief makers who used them to destabilize the entire country.
Local government authorities should be autonomous, in effect, because they are closer to the villages more than any other tier of the government , it is very surprising if you go to any of these remote villages, you can barely pin-point any viable government presence.
By and large, absence of social justice will makes problem worse. Northern Nigeria is grappling with compounding social challenges bit-by-bit, and there is no signing of abetting. Only God Knows!
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Sky Daily