The Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, a factional umbrella body for herdsmen in the country, has opposed the ban imposed on open grazing of cattle by South-West governors, saying it was tantamount to an eviction notice.
This is however against the position of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), which at a meeting with some governors in Akure, the Ondo State capital, on January 25, agreed with the position of the governors.
The meeting in Akure was attended by the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Ekiti Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi; Governors Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State, Muhammad Badaru of Jigawa State, Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, and Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State. MACBAN was led to the meeting by its chairman, Alhaji Muhammadu Kiruwa, among other attendees.
Apart from South-West governors, governors in the South-East had previously banned open grazing and movement of cows on foot into the South-East.
Speaking in an interview with Punch, the Secretary-General of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Saleh Alhassan, said the governors can’t put an end to open grazing by fiat because grazing is not motorcycle business.
“There must be an alternative. Secondly, if they say they are going to end open grazing, what is the timeline for it?
“They want to displace herders from where they earn their livelihood. It is not different from an eviction notice – it is just putting the eviction notice into effect. This is very unfortunate because they cannot come out to say they are embracing peaceful herders and then say they are ending open grazing. What do they mean by that? Is there closed grazing?”
He also gave his backing to the National Livestock Transformation Plan, saying it will address a lot of challenges.
“From history, right from the time of Moses, grazing is open. By now, they should realize that they will not get the result they are looking for. We are in total support of the National Livestock Transformation Plan. I was part of the committee that reviewed the final document. The programme has a lot of components, and if implemented, it will address a lot of challenges.