Group backs governors over open grazing ban
The Alliance to Survive COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAB) has supported the decision of southern governors to ban open grazing in their respective states.
The group, led by a human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, in a statement to PREMIUM TIMES on Friday, said the only solution to farmer-herder violence is the adoption of livestock versus open-air grazing.
He argued that some African countries like Botswana, South Africa, Mozambique, Kenya and Ethiopia have adopted ranching to end the crisis.
âAs I have repeatedly stated, the worsening insecurity in the country, including the violent clashes between pastoralists and farmers, can only be seriously resolved if decision-makers are prepared to abandon primitive ideas and adopt scientific solutions.
âAs early as 2016, the Buhari administration had adopted animal husbandry instead of open grazing on agricultural land without the permission of the owners. Unfortunately, under pressure from some selfish interest groups, the federal government abandoned the policy of breeding.
âHowever, the growing wave of insecurity in recent times has forced the federal government and all state governments to make livestock the cornerstone of the National Livestock Transformation Plan.
âAccording to the information we have, no less than 24 state governments have applied for the special grant for the establishment of ranches by the federal government.
Mr. Falana noted that “every citizen has the right to the fundamental right to freedom of movement and the right to own and acquire land in any part of Nigeria under Articles 41 and 43 of the Nigerian Constitution respectively “.
âTo this extent, pastoralists, like other citizens, are free to acquire land for the livestock trade under the Land Use Act.
âOddly enough, Professor Usman Yusuf condemned the Southern Governors’ Forum’s decision on the ban. While not condemning the decisions of the Northern Governors Forum and the Nigerian Governors Forum, Professor Usman argued that the decision of the Southern Governors Forum could not be justified under the land use. These divisive-and-conquer tactics are designed to further polarize the masses of our people.
âThose who encourage pastoralists to reject modern animal husbandry are invited to learn from Botswana, South Africa, Mozambique, Kenya and Ethiopia who have effectively adopted animal husbandry to end clashes between pastoralists. and farmers. In these countries, farmers live on ranches with family members, including their children, and wards who attend neighborhood schools, âFalana said in the statement.
This newspaper reported on Tuesday how 17 states in southern Nigeria had decided to ban free grazing of cattle in their states. The decision was made in Asaba, the capital of Delta State.
Open-air cattle grazing has often caused conflict between host communities and migrant herders, resulting in multiple deaths in many states.
Some of the herders have also been accused of committing other criminal acts such as armed robberies, kidnappings and murders. Herders have also accused residents of stealing their cows.
Following the ongoing conflict, the governors of the south held a meeting on Tuesday in Asaba.
Earlier, Ondo and Oyo states announced a ban on open-air grazing.
In Ogun, the speaker of the assembly, Olakunle Oluomo, also said that plans were underway to legislate on livestock and related activities through the enactment of a comprehensive law on combating grazing in the open air in the state.
All governors in the southeast, when their Ebube Agu safety gear launched in April, also banned open-air grazing and urged security agencies to enforce the ban in the states.
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