Chairman of Miyetti Allah cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) Bauchi State Chapter, Alhaji Sadiq Ibrahim Ahmed has supported the introduction of an electronic chip to monitor the movement of cattle as a way to end farmers’ and herders’ conflicts in the country.
Farmers’ and herders’ conflict remains a critical security issue in Nigeria that in extreme cases consumes the lives and property of the people, particularly in the northern part of the country.
Recently, the federal government introduced the construction of a Cattle Ranch policy with a view to ending open grazing, which is believed to be the leading trigger of confrontations between farmers and herders.
The Chairman said this in an interview with reporters in Bauchi.
He said new the newly proposed modalities should be considered for re-branding farming activities in Nigeria while providing leeway for the community of herders in Nigeria to tap endless benefits.
Alhaji Sadik called on the Federal Government to review the policies of cattle routes in the country as a step toward restoring peace and stability of diverse people in Nigeria.
Southern States’ Governors Ban Open Grazing
Governors of 17 states from the Southern part of the country resolved to completely ban open grazing in their states.
The governors argued that open grazing practice opened up their states to hostile herdsmen who allegedly wreak havoc on innocent people in the zone.
The governors resolved, “that open grazing of cattle be banned across Southern Nigeria; noted that development and population growth has put pressure on available land and increased the prospects of conflict between migrating herders and local populations in the South. Given this scenario, it becomes imperative to enforce the ban on open grazing in the South (including cattle movement to the South by foot).
“The people of Southern Nigeria remain committed to the unity of Nigeria on the basis of justice, fairness, equity and oneness and peaceful co-existence between and among its peoples with a focus on the attainment of shared goals for economic development and prosperity,” Chairman, Southern Governors Forum and governor of Ondo State Oluwarotimi Akeredolu said.
The ICIR reports that of 17 states making up the southern part of Nigeria whose governors had agreed to place a ban on open grazing, the ban is enforced only in seven states. The ban is in the legislative process in four other states while the law banning open grazing exists or it is awaiting assent in three states.
Abia, Ebonyi, Bayelsa, Rivers, Oyo, Ekiti and Ondo states are anti-open grazing enforcing southern states; it is in the legislative process in Enugu, Akwa Ibom, Delta and Lagos states; in Cross River, Osun and Ogun States the law already exists or has been passed by the state assembly but awaiting their governors’ assent. However, in Anambra, Imo and Edo states; nothing seems to be happening regarding the anti-open grazing bill.
Abubakar Malami, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice censured the decision of the governors banning open grazing in the southern part of Nigeria.
He said there are faulty lines in the resolve, arguing that it infringes on relevant provisions of Nigeria’s Land Use Act. It is null and void. The decision “does not align with the provisions of the Constitution, hence it does not hold water.”
“It is about constitutionality within the context of the freedoms expressed in our Constitution. Can you deny the rights of a Nigerian?
“If you are talking of constitutionally guaranteed rights, the better approach to it is to perhaps go back to ensure the Constitution is amended,” the Attorney General of the Federation said.