…the South-East leaders are yet to provide ranching as an alternative for herders in conducting their business
Miyetti Allah has declared that the ban on open grazing by Governors of the Southern Region of Nigeria will remain fruitless until an alternative to grazing is provided for the herders.
South East Chairman of Miyetti-Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, Gidado Siddiki, expressed this in response to call on all the states Houses of Assembly in South-East Nigeria to enact anti-grazing law in their respective states.
Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, a former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) made the call following protracted attacks on the people in the region by armed herdsmen.
But in reaction to the call, Siddiki mentioned that they were not opposed to ban on open grazing but that the public hearing on constitution review should grant all parties the right to make submissions for a law against open grazing.
“We were not given the chance to go for the Constitution review public hearing, we went there but nobody gave us an audience to talk. We did not submit a petition,” he said.
He noted that the South-East leaders are yet to provide ranching as an alternative for herders in conducting their business, hence the reason such decision will remain ineffective.
Siddiki said: “Our position is that we are not opposed to the ban on open grazing, but at least we need an alternative.
“You know when somebody is doing business and you stop him from doing that business, he would be given an alternative on what to do.
“When you say that you have banned open grazing, you need to tell us how we should graze our cows because what we know is grazing. If there is an alternative, there is no problem, and that is the only thing we are begging for.”
He urged the governors to call on all parties in making laws in respect to open grazing, adding that there is no provision for ranching in most states which poses a problem to herders.
“If open grazing is bringing problems, let us find ways we can coexist.
“If there is provision for ranching, we can do ranching but I do not think there is provision for ranching in states. Even Benue State that banned open grazing, I don’t think there has been any ranching in Benue State in all these years.
“So, I don’t know if there is provision and that is our own problem,” Siddiki said.