By Gabriel Yough
Jalingo – Alhaji Bello Yero , Permanent Secretary, Taraba Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, on Friday urged the citizens to support the anti-open grazing bill before the state House of Assembly.
Yero, who made the appeal in an interview with newsmen in Jalingo, urged herdsmen who were rejecting the bill and the citizens in general to support the bill because of its enormous benefits.
“I have read through the bill sent to the Assembly by Gov. Darius Ishaku and I can authoritatively say that the proposed law is in favour of my kinsmen, Fulani herdsmen.
“It takes a man with a heart like Gov. Ishaku to have such a deep concern over the unwanted killings and destructions here and there and come up with a laudable solution to the problem.
“One thing that I believe is that people don’t take time to read and understand or ask to be enlightened about something; they just go ahead and believe what they heard or what they were told by others.
“I am a Fulani man and if anyone wants to infringe on my rights, I won’t allow that but in this case, it is not so, the governor is only trying to make our state a peaceful and habitable place for everyone,’’ he said.
Yero recalled that when he was growing up, his parents used to operate a ranch called Walde in the local language, which enabled Fulani herdsmen to coexist with farmers.
He noted that the protection of life was the fundamental responsibility of every government, adding that all individuals and groups were duty-bound to support the government in achieving the goal.
“When I was growing up, I use to know what my parents called Walde, meaning ranch, and there were no problems with farmers in the neighbourhood in those days.
“Even at the moment, people on the Mambilla Plateau are the largest cattle rearers in the state; they are still practicing the same kind of cattle ranching and there is peace in the area,” he said.
Yero called on members of the Miyetti–Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) to have a rethink about their attempts to scuttle the passage of the bill.
He said that the bill, when passed into law, would control the influx of people, who disguised themselves as herdsmen and attack farmers, all in a plot to tarnish the image of the Fulani people in Taraba.
Yero appealed to the butchers, who were currently on strike in the state in protest of the anti-open grazing and ranches establishment bill, to call off their strike and support the bill.