- Open grazing has been banned across the southwest region of Nigeria
- The decision was taken by southwest governors following the recent attacks by armed herdsmen in the region
- The move is similar to that of Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state
State governors in the southwest on Monday, January 25 banned all forms of open grazing in the region.
Punch reports that the decision was taken after the governors had a meeting with the leadership of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) which was also attended by security chiefs.
Two northern governors, Mohammed Abubakar of Jigawa and Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi also attended the meeting.
The move by the southwest governors is similar to that of Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state.
After series of attacks by armed herdsmen on Benue, Governor Ortom signed the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law in the state.
Since then, several herds of cattle had been impounded and quarantined across the state by the Benue Livestock Guards, an agency created by Governor Ortom.
In Nigeria like in other parts of the world, livestock keeping is known to all cultures and groups for ages and the need to provide food of crop and animal origin to meet the ever-growing demand of its increasing population has often resulted in the opening up of lands hitherto uncultivated.
The industry constitutes a very important national resource with a great deal of untapped tropical climate with distinct wet and dry seasons – a feature that makes it conducive for plant and animal food production.
However, due to high population and overcrowding, agricultural encroachment on farmlands that were hitherto left uncultivated for natural regeneration of the soil nutrients are fast disappearing, so also are grazing lands which have traditionally provided dry season grazing to pastoralists.
Recall that Governor Ortom had also alleged that the federal government is colluding with the National Assembly to allow herdsmen to grab land under the guise of the National Water Resources Bill.
Ortom in a statement through his spokesperson, Terver Akase claimed the provisions of the bill granted herdsmen unhindered access to river basins, adjacent marine and coastal environments across the country.
Meanwhile, the national president of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) Alhaji Muhammadu Kiruwa has directed Fulani herders across the southwest of the country to put an end to both night and underaged grazing with immediate effect.
Kiruwa also warned herders to desist from taking their cows to people’s farms for grazing, adding that the frequent farmers/herders clash must be brought to an end.
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