- Cattle herders have been asked to stay off Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa state
- The directive was issued to the group by a committee set up by the Bayelsa state government
- There have been loud calls across the country in recent times for open grazing to end
The Bayelsa state livestock management committee has issued two weeks ultimatum to the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN).
The committee headed by the Bayelsa state commissioner for agriculture and natural resources, David Alagoa, asked MACBAN and other livestock operators to move the animals they tend to out of Yenagoa, the state capital, and its environs.
Alagoa made this known in an interview with journalists after a meeting between the committee and some members of MACBAN on Monday, March 29.
He warned that at the expiration of the notice, the committee would impound the animals, adding that movement by foot either at night or in the day would not be tolerated in the state.
He urged residents to be patient as talks were ongoing with the MACBAN, stressing that one of such processes to take cows out of Bayelsa had just begun.
According to the commissioner, the state government had created opportunities in the meat business for people to take advantage of and establish ranches or grow grass to sell to cattle breeders.
The Nation quoted him as saying:
“So we have agreed that we give them a moratorium period of 10 days and by the 14th day, which falls on the 10th of April, we will start impounding (cows).
“If you are interested in the cattle business in Bayelsa, the governor has opened up business opportunities of the huge value chain in the meat business.
“It is time now. If you have land and you want to ranch, you can ranch, since we are going purely for ranching. If you want to plant grass and sell for cattle, you can sell.”
Recall that six state governments, namely Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Oyo recently declared that they will not donate any land to be used as grazing reserves for herdsmen under the National Livestock Transformation Programme.
The programme is an initiative of the federal government designed to run from 2019-2028 as part of its initiative in collaboration with state governments under the auspices of the National Economic Council.
Meanwhile, the Northern Christian Youth Forum (NCYF) has frowned at some section of Nigerians linking President Muhammadu Buhari with killer herdsmen operating in some parts of the country.
A statement by the secretary-general of NCYF, Reverend Josiah Adam, which was seen by Legit.ng said such allegation is the handiwork of enemies of Nigeria that are desirous of an ethnoreligious war by casting aspersion on the image of the president.