By Cecilia John
Abuja – The Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has mandated the FCT Minister, Mohammed Bello, to impose N50,000 As fine per cow on herdsmen who defy government directive not graze cattle in the FCT.
The Chairman of the committee, Sen. Dino Melaye, gave the directive when Bello appeared before the committee in Abuja on Monday.
Melaye expressed displeasure over the continued movement of the cattle in the city centre in spite of warnings by the FCT authorities.
According to him, the arbitrary movement of cattle in the streets and highways in Abuja calls for concern.
“We are not happy with the state of sanitation in the FCT. We have received a lot of complaints across the metropolis of the FCT but the greatest of it all is the menace of herdsmen in the territory,” he said.
“To me that is absurd and is not acceptable in the capital city. If it were to be at a time when we have a visiting president/diplomat from other countries what impression will we give to our visitors?
“Honourable Minister, Senate as an institution is not happy at how herdsmen continue to move their cows across the city centre, which we are aware you have given directive against some time ago.
“From now, get knives and ask your men to slaughter cows found in the capital city or prosecute herdsmen seen with cows in the city centre.
“If that is not going to work, any cow that is seen within the metropolis of FCT must be arrested with a minimum fine of N50, 000 per cow.
“This must be enforced, if not anytime again we see cows or we receive reports of cows moving around the streets, the committee will sanction the FCT administration,’’ he said.
On sanitation in the FCT, the committee chairman cautioned that it was the second time the committee would be talking about the deplorable state of sanitation in the FCT.
He urged the minister to quickly address the matter to prevent the city from being defaced.
He also decried the menace of hawkers and beggers in the streets of the FCT and directed Bello to enforce the law on those matters.
Responding, Bello assured the committee that his administration would address the issues raised.
He added that that efforts were being made to check the menace of herdsmen in the metropolis.
Edited by Felix Nwadioha