- The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria is already seeking alternative ways for pastoralists among its fold
- The association's move is based on the blanket ban on open grazing by the Southern Governors Forum across southern Nigeria
- The group said the action of the southern governors is a wake-up call for their colleagues in northern Nigeria to revive grazing reserves in the north
The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has reacted to the grazing ban by the Southern Governors Forum.
The association said the north cannot afford to ignore the recent unanimous decision of southern governors to place a ban on open grazing in their states.
National secretary of MACBAN, Baba Othman Ngelzarma told The Nation that northern governors must rise up to the challenge by working out a solution of their own that will be generally acceptable.
“We can’t ignore the unanimous demand of the entire governments of the south on a particular issue.
“If the southern governors can be in agreement on an aspect, that means it is an issue and deserves to be given serious attention.
“In a situation where the entire southern populace is synonymous with a particular aspect, I think this aspect deserves to be given attention.
“But the northern governors need to speak with their southern counterparts so that they can come up with a solution that is generally acceptable.”
He said the northern governors should also consider reactivating the over 400 inactive grazing reserves in the north and make them attractive for pastoralists to settle.
He added that the grazing reserves if reactivated, with the provision of schools, veterinary clinics, hospital services among others, would give the pastoralists an opportunity to be educated and also stop them from roaming around the country.
He noted that the grazing reserves which cover an area of 5 million hectares in the north should be reactivated in the interim before considering ranching which may take a long time and process to complete.
Meanwhile, Delta state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, on Saturday, May 15 said resolutions reached at the Southern Governors Forum's meeting held in Asaba recently were for the good of Nigeria.
The governor said that anyone casting aspersion on the resolutions of the forum towards a better Nigeria did not mean well for the nation.
He also commended his colleagues in southern Nigeria for putting the interest of the nation above political affiliations, tribalism, religious inclinations, and selfish interest.
Similarly, members of the minority caucus in the House of Representatives from the 19 northern states have endorsed the recommendations of the Southern Governors’ Forum.
In a statement signed by some of the members from Kaduna, Plateau, Taraba, Benue, and Kogi on behalf of the minority caucus, the lawmakers expressed support for the position of the governors, saying it is best for Nigeria.