Why we are against Benue’s anti-open grazing law – Miyetti Allah


Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) says it opposed the Benue state anti-open grazing law because it failed to address pastoralists’ interests.

Secretary of MACBAN in Benue, Ibrahim Galma, said this during a meeting with the leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Abuja.

He called for modification of the law to make it fair for all parties.

Galma, who appealed to the NBA to interface with the state government on the necessary amendment, said Miyetti Allah was not invited for all the public hearings held before the bill was signed.

“We could not contribute. It was after the signing that the Benue State government called the association to inform us that the implementation of the law will start on November 1, 2017.

“We went through the law and advised the government on areas that do not do justice to the pastoralists.

“I told the governor that temporal grazing reserves should be allocated to the Fulanis pending the full implementation of the law but my advice was ignored by the government”, he said.

He further lamented how the law was communicated to local herdsmen, saying it was not properly managed.

“It was communicated to the local herdsmen that the government has signed a law to drive the Fulanis out of the state.

“Also, there was no training and sensitization of Fulanis and local farmers before the implementation”.

National Secretary of MACBAN, Baba Usman Ngelzarma, in his remarks, backed Galma.

The scribe decried activities of the Livestock Guard created by the law to implement the anti-open grazing provision.

He said the association cautioned against the law “because there is no way the cattle will be taken from herders and there will be peace in the state”.

Ngelzarma said the association does not have problem with the Ekiti State anti-open grazing law because the law has human face in that it only prohibited night grazing.

Earlier, NBA president, Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN) said the meeting with MACBAN officials followed the body’s fact-finding mission to Benue state.

Mahmoud said the association would come up with its report on its findings in the next few weeks.

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