From Jude Owuamanam, Jos
JOS (Sundiata Post) – Chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Plateau State chapter, Mr.
Nura Muhammad Abdullahi, has cautioned that enacting a law against open grazing on the Plateau can only lead to more attacks and killings.
He, therefore, asked the Plateau State House of Assembly to stay clear of a bill said to be introduced by a group which sought to ban open grazing in the state.
A statement sighed the chairman said that “It has came to our notice that the Plateau State House of Assembly have received a politically motivated bill, with the name citizen bill seeking for a law banning open grazing in the State, put forward by a group known as G17.
“We swiftly react and view the agitations havering for the ban of the open grazing in the State, as contained in the said bill as nothing than trying to incite trouble into the State, that is trying as much as possible to consolidate on the attained relative peace being enjoyed for a longer period of time.
“That we are also convinced that the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which is the supreme law of the land, which guaranteed freedom of movement and the right of citizens to live in any part of the country of their choice and embark on any legal business of their choice without any let, hindrance, restriction or molestation.
“The bill has also negated all international, regional and sub-regional laws, conventions, charters and treaties which also guaranteed the above rights including transhuman to all and sundry.
“Some of the provisions of the bill are barbaric anti-human and is borne out of ethnic and religious sentiments. The bill also poses serious threat, intimidation and harassment against the herders
“As Nigerians and people of Plateau State, we will not just stay back to look at trouble makers trample on our fundamental rights, and in this regard we vehemently reject any attempt by the State lawmakers to formulate a harmful law, onto our existence.
“Let me categorically make it clear that we will not succumbed to any politically sponsored, ‘citizen bill,’ seeking for passage into law to ban open grazing in our state. We understand that the G17 are agitating for the seizure of cattle route, grazing reservers and grazing corridors in the state give it out to farmers, and that we will again not allow it to go unchallenged, we are therefore urging the lawmakers to desists from doing what will pitch the state into avoidable confusion.”
Therefore, they urged the Plateau State House of Assembly, to shun any agitations havering for the ban of the open grazing in the State, stressing that “As peaceful and law abiding citizens, we will continue to not only support the peaceful process, harp on the need to live in pace with one another, but are seriously working in ensuring that all live in peace, we therefore, urge and caution our people not shiver with the ill conceived bill agitating for the ban.
“We are against any plan for cattle ranching by the government and as being proposed by the G17, talk less of telling us to buy our land to cave our cattle, we hope our positions are best understood,” the statement added.