EKITI STATE ANTI GRAZING LAW: MINISTER ORDERS HERDSMEN OUT OF FCT
Following the enactment of anti grazing law in Ekiti State,the Federal Capital Territory Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, has met with members of the Miyatti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, during which he directed them to stop cattle grazing in Abuja metropolis.
The minister ordered the herdsmen to move their cattle out of the FCT, “because there is no way such animals can co-habit with the residents,” a statement on Monday in Abuja, by the Chief Press Secretary to the minister, Muhammad Sule, said.
Bello emphasized that even for safety reasons, cattle should not roam on the streets and highways, explaining that in a modern city, animals and vehicles cannot move together on the roads because this could cause accidents.
This, he added, was not because the government wanted to prevent cattle breeders from raring their animals in the FCT.
“You have to understand that when Abuja Environmental Protection Board says cattle should not roam the city, it is not because they want to prevent cattle breeders from raring cattle in the FCT. Basically, it is just for safety. It is for safety of your cattle and above all, safety of the citizens,” the minister told the herdsmen.
He adds, “In a modern city, it’s not possible for animals and vehicles to move together on the roads because this could cause accidents which in some cases could be fatal, and it is our duty to protect lives and property.”
In order to achieve meaningful results, the minister implored the cattle breeders to nominate some of their members to serve in the Ministerial Task Team on Environment under the Chairmanship of Sqr. Ldr. Abdullahi Monjel, to ensure smooth communication between the FCTA and their association.
Bello said the FCT Administration had moved a step further by identifying new grazing reserves that would cater for cattle grazing requirements.
He disclosed that 33,485 hectares had been earmarked in the suburbs as grazing reserves for about seven million herds of cattle.
The minister said, “A total of 33,485 hectares have already been earmarked for grazing reserves to cater for about 7 million herds of cattle comprising of Paikon Kore – 8,500 hectares, Karshi – 6,000 hectares, Kawu in Bwari – 9,000 hectares and Rubochi in Kuje which is 9,985 hectares.”
Bello noted the critical issue of compensation for the farmers whose farms were destroyed by cows, but assured them that his Administration would work with the National Assembly to resolve it amicably, adding that he may reach out to the host communities to work out a compensation which may not be in monetary terms due to the large expanse of land involved.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the cattle breeders association, Malam Yahaya Isah promised to continue to interface with the government to promote peaceful co-existence.
He said his union would enlighten the members not to graze their cattle on the streets and highways again.