- Cattle breeders association under the aegis of Miyetti Allah Kautal said that the Benue valley belongs to them
- The group has kicked against the anti-open grazing legislation enacted by the Benue state government
- The National Secretary, Saleh Alhassan said Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocol allows the Fulani community free movement into and across the country
Cattle breeders association under the aegis of Miyetti Allah Kautal on Tuesday, May 31, opposed Benue state government's anti-open grazing.
The National Secretary, Saleh Alhassan said during a world press conference in Abuja that Fulani Herdsmen are original residents of Benue valley.
Alhassan said the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocol allows the Fulani community free movement into and across the country.
He said: ''We are ever ready. We are peaceful people. What we don’t accept is for people not to welcome us and want to annihilate us. We will not accept that.
''We know our history. We know our root. If you see us in the bushes, don’t think we don’t have our history and particularly in the Benue.
''We are challenging the Tiv people. We were there in the Benue valley before them before they moved from Congo and settled in Cross River and later moved to the Benue valley.
''The Nigerian state must recognise that the Fulani pastoralist exists and as a socio-cultural group that has a right to the shared resources.
''We must be allocated land to do our cattle grazing, which systematically we can settle our families, change the breed of cattle they need and improve on the technology of cattle rearing.'' added.
Abdullahi Bello, President of the socio-cultural association, described the enactment as wicked, obnoxious and repressive.
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According to reports, Bello, said it was wicked to criminalise their means of survival and freedoms.
He however urged the National Assembly to intervene on the issue, stressing that inter-state movement of pastoralists is synonymous to inter-state commerce.
''Our association view the current attempt by the Benue state government to criminalise our means of economic livelihood of cattle rearing through the enactment of an obnoxious anti-open grazing law as the most wicked act any government can do to us and our economic interest.
''We want to state here that we reject that repressive and oppressive law and will deploy all the necessary legal means as enshrined in the constitution to challenge it,” he added.
Meanwhile Legit.ng earlier reported that the Nigerian Senate had urged the security agencies to apprehend people who disguise as herdsmen and destroy properties in the country.
The Senate also condemned criminal activities among cattle herdsmen in the country.
Members of the upper chamber stated this during plenary on Wednesday, May 31, after Senator Clifford Ordia, representing Edo central, raised a point of order on the assault and killing of 2 women from his constituency by alleged Fulani herdsmen.
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