The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has said it supports the Asaba Accord resolution of governors of southern Nigeria to ban open grazing in the region.
Read Also: More PDP Govs Will Join APC, Says Ayade
Senator Walid Jibrin, the National Patron of MACBAN, announced this at a press conference in Kaduna on Friday.
The southern governors had at their meeting in Asaba, the Delta State capital, last Tuesday announced the ban on open grazing across the region.
However, prominent politicians and influential persons from northern Nigeria, including Abubakar Malami, the Attorney-General of the Federation, have expressed their opposition to the resolution.
Read Also: Bandits Gun Down Emir’s Son, Others In Niger
But Jibrin, who is also the acting Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), disagreed with individuals and groups that had criticised the resolution of the southern governors, saying that they, instead, deserved being praised for taking such a bold step.
According to the former federal lawmaker, the open grazing practice is archaic, noting that the ban is capable of solving the farmers-herders crisis.
Read Also: Let’s Remain United, PDP Urges Its Cross River Members After Ayade’s Defection
He said: “I have fully observed the feeling of many groups and individuals in Nigeria about open grazing. There is so much condemnation from Nigerian Governors, Northern Governors, Southern Governors etc. These groups and individuals should never be condemned and must be praised for their bold comments trying to modernize and improve cattle rearing in Nigeria. Another reason why we should shun away from open grazing is the way old methods of settlements of crises between Herdsmen and Farmers have been abandoned.
“The role of the Traditional rulers especially the Village Heads, District Heads are daily being neglected by both Herdsmen and Farmers leaving it on the hands of the Police, Courts and other law-abiding agencies. Because of poverty and lack of full education, some Fulani children are involved in some unholy acts which will surely be remedied by provision of Grazing reserves.
Read Also: We’re Probing Report Of Shekau’s ‘Death’, Says Nigerian Army
“May I seize this opportunity to congratulate all the Governors for the bold steps they are taking to curb the menace of open grazing, kidnapping and banditry. In the S/W the recent action by the Governor of Oyo State Chief Makinde is very commendable and also commend him for shunning away the call asking all Hausas and Fulanis to leave the SouthWest. I also condemn any call from the North that all Hausas and Fulani should – leave the South West.
“Nigeria must remain one entity and one Nigeria as against what is happening now. We should rely more on dialogue, and mediation with herders, Fulani Leaders, Traditional rulers and our Governors in order to end this feud. Our Traditional Rulers must also be encouraged to participate in dialogue between Fulani Herdsmen and Farmers, for now, the traditional rulers are kept off from handling of Herdsmen and Farmers problems.”
Read Also: Senate Spokesperson Asks Buhari To Sack Malami Over Open Grazing Comment
Jibrin explained that the open grazing method of cattle rearing commenced over 100 years ago because there were few herders, farmers and cattle, especially in Nigeria.
He, however, acknowledged that there is now an urban shift with the country’s increased population coupled with the modern technique of farming.
He said there is a need to look at how best the practice of cattle rearing can be carried out successfully to align with the dynamics of a more contemporary world.
Read Also: Nigeria’s Agric Ministry Approves N30m For Mosque Construction
He said: “We must note that land in Nigeria is being owned by individuals, federal, and State gtovernments.
“As a full-blooded Fulani Man, Sarkin Fulani, and Patron Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), and concerned Fulani Leader in Nigeria, I have a free mind on anyone recommending a ban on open grazing, free movement of herders, and cattle in Nigeria because the practice is getting outdated and it is necessary for Nigeria, especially the Fulani race to study critically the traditional open grazing believing that the 21st century may never accommodate it.
“When you look at the practice of open grazing in Nigeria compared with what is happening Internationally, Nigeria can never continue with traditional open grazing practice. In order to effect a change, the Fulani elites should be bold enough to come out with alternatives to open grazing and advise the Fulanis in Nigeria accordingly.
“Most importantly the various Fulani Associations with Membership up to 50 must come together and talk with one voice on this tradition of open grazing and not necessarily allow any group to come out to do it for them.”
Read Also: You Can’t Equate Cattle Movement To Right Of Property Ownership, Adegboruwa Replies Malami
Jibrin said the federal and state governments must provide special reserve areas fully equipped with equipment and facilities that would be needed by both the herdsmen and their cattle.
“The Federal and State Governments should come to the rescue by providing Grazing reserve centres equipped with Hospitals, Nomadic Schools, Electricity, Bore Holes, Cattle Markets with Modern Slaughtering Centres, Open Market to our Fulani Women to enable them to remain in one place to sell milk instead of their house to house roaming about exposing our rich Culture and Religion,” he said.