By Ginika Okoye
Abuja – Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has applauded President Muhammadu Buhari’s pledge to end the clashes between farmers and herdsmen.
MACBAN’s National Secretary, Baba Ngelzarma, was reacting to President Muhammadu Buhari’s nationwide broadcast on Monday during which he pledged that government would tackle kidnapping, farmers and herdsmen clashes as well as ethnic violence fuelled by political mischief makers.
Ngelzarma told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday that President Buhari’s declaration was a welcome development.
He emphasised that ending the clashes between farmers and herdsmen would help grow the livestock sector.
According to him, the sector has been neglected over the years and the neglect is impacting negatively on livestock production in the country.
He appealed to the President to set up a committee to implement reports that had been compiled concerning the root causes of the conflicts between farmers and herdsmen.
“A lot has been said about the crisis; a lot of literature has been compiled toward resolving the issue, but they are not being implemented.
“What we want the President to do is to harmonise all of these reports that are placing responsibility on various agencies of government.
“There is nothing concerning this crisis that had not been said before.
“What is remaining is to harmonise the reports, set up a committee to analyse them, and assign tasks to various tiers of government.
“Give the states, local governments and the associations of cattle breeders roles to play toward resolving the crisis.
“This is what we expect the President to do in order to bring to an end this crisis,’’ he said.
Ngelzarma said that the association would challenge the anti-open grazing law passed by some states of the federation in international courts.
“We feel that the fundamental human rights of our members are being infringed upon because this is what they inherited from their forefathers.
“So that is why we are going to challenge the open grazing law promulgated by Taraba and Benue states, we are sure that we will get the backing of ECOWAS.
“Everyone is allowed to stay anywhere in the country just as the President said during the broadcast and do his business.
“How can somebody promulgate a law to stop a particular group of people from leaving in a particular area of the state because the law is a strategic way of forcing those pastoralists out of those states,’’ he said. (NAN)