Falana to Buhari: Old Grazing Reserves Law Applied Only to Northern States

Falana to Buhari: Old Grazing Reserves Law Applied Only to Northern States

  • President Muhammadu Buhari has often referred to the gazette which published the grazing laws in Nigeria.
  • In his recent television interview to mark his sixth anniversary in power, he made reference to the document
  • Femi Falana, one of Nigeria's respected lawyers, says the gazette is limited to northern Nigeria and not applicable nationwide

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Lagos - Human rights lawyer, Chief Femi Falana (SAN), says the Grazing Reserves Act of 1964 was only applicable to northern Nigeria in the 1960s.

Falana made the comment in a statement seen by Legit.ng on Monday, June 14 in response to President Muhammadu Buhari's plan to revive the outdated grazing reserves.

The respected lawyer said the Grazing Reserves Act of 1964 was not a law of general application because

“The Western Region, Mid-Western Region, and the Eastern Region had ranches for animal husbandry.”

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Buhari in Mali
President Buhari faces stiff opposition from various groups in the country over his stance on open grazing. Photo credit: Michele Cattani/AFP
Source: Getty Images

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Falana, therefore, advised President Buhari to promote ranching instead of attempting to revive grazing routes.

Meanwhile, Leadership newspaper reports that governors of the 17 states in southern Nigeria will meet to deliberate on their next line of action as a result of Buhari’s declaration that his government was planning to revive the cattle grazing routes of the First Republic.

The Southern Governors’ Forum had placed a ban on open grazing of cattle in the south of Nigeria a few weeks ago.

They insisted on ranching of cattle as the way forward, a position popularly supported by northern governors and the umbrella body of cattle breeders, Myetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) and other Nigerians.

In a related development, the governor of Bayelsa state, Douye Diri has rejected Buhari’s directive for states to reactivate cattle grazing routes across the country.

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Nigerian governor reacts to Buhari's order, insists no grazing routes

Diri stated that restoring grazing routes would not apply to Bayelsa state as the government’s ban on open grazing is backed by law.

The governor insisted that Bayelsa state has no grazing routes because the people are predominantly fishermen.

Similarly, groups like Afenifere, Ohanaeze, and PAN Niger-Delta Forum have all kicked against the statement by the president.

The sociocultural groups insist that the power to allocate land is vested in governors and not the president.

They also stated that the system of grazing routes is archaic and has no place in modern animal husbandry.

Source: Legit Nigeria

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