Friday 18th October 2019
Friday, 18th of October 2019
Home / Agric & Biotech / Anti-open grazing law: Herders seek government intervention

Anti-open grazing law: Herders seek government intervention

The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has appealed to the Federal Government to prevail on the Benue State Government to extend the implementation of its Anti-Open Grazing law scheduled to take effect from Nov. 1, 2017.

Fulani-Herdsmen-Nigeria

Herdsmen grazing their cattle

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday, October 29, 2017 in Makurdi, the National Coordinator of the association, Alhaji Garus Gololo, said the extension of the implementation time would enable both the government and herders resolve some grey areas in the law.

He, however, did not disclose the duration of the extension needed.

Gololo regretted that the law had placed certain responsibilities on the part of herders which were difficult to fulfill within the timeframe provided for its implementation.

“For instance, we are expected to ranch our cattle, but a typical ranch involves the construction of schools for the children of the nomads, a veterinary clinic, borehole for its water supply, electricity and adequate space for the cattle to graze within the ranch.

ALSO READ:  Stakeholders call for fortification of food with micronutrients to stem ‘hidden hunger’

“At the moment, what the government has promised is only the pivot ranches where all arrested cattle would be kept for a time after which it would be sold.”

According to him, since it is difficult to buy land from the villagers, government should construct ranches and rent them to herdsmen.

“They can build the ranches and give them to our members on rent since it is not possible to get land from the indigenes. We will rent them from the government and keep our cattle there.”

He said it would not be in the interest of all for the Fulani’s to leave the state in anger and called on the federal government to intervene to save the state from further crises.

ALSO READ:  Agency trains 207 staffers in biosafety management

He, however, stated that the herdsmen were set to migrate to Nasarawa, Taraba and Niger states  if all entreaties for extension of the implementation time for the law failed.

Gololo, accused Gov. Samuel Ortom’s Security Adviser, retired Col. Edwin Jando, of masterminding the anti open grazing law as a move to chase out the Fulani’s from the state.

“We (MACBAN) have no confidence in Col. Jando. He does not want us and our cattle in Benue and we are leaving. I have written a petition to the governor against Jando,” Gololo said.

Responding to the accusations by Gololo, Jando said nobody wanted the Fulani’s out of the state.

ALSO READ:  GMOs: When HOMEF, media debated biosafety, agric biotech

Jando explained that the herdsmen were carried along in all processes leading to the enactment of the law, therefore, it was not correct for MACBAN to claim that the law was against them and sought to flush them out of the state.

He said the import of the law was to protect livestock owners by criminalising cattle rustling.

“Apart from providing a permanent solution to incessant clashes between farmers and herders, it protects livestock owners by criminalising cattle rustling.

“The extensive sensitisation and advocacy  of this law has made the MACBAN who were initially apprehensive to now support it.

“In view of the above facts, it is not true that Fulanis are not wanted in Benue,” he explained.

%d bloggers like this: