Apex body of Fulani herders, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), has backed Governors on ban of open grazing, saying it will help to address farmers –herders’ crisis.
Addressing reporters in Kaduna on Thursday, National Patron of MACBAN, Senator Walid Jibrin, noted cattle rearing has been on in Africa for over 100 years without any consideration for free movement of cattle (Open Grazing) or any grazing reserve.
He said this was carried out because at that time, there were few herders, farmers and cattle especially in Nigeria.
He noted the population of both has increased with modern techniques of farming consuming land tremendously.
Jibrin, who is also the Sarkin Fulani Nasarawa, said with the current International concern on cattle rearing in Africa, especially Nigeria, there is need to look at how best this practice will be carried out successfully.
According to him: “As a concerned Fulani Leader in Nigeria, I have a free mind on anyone recommending a ban on open grazing, free movement of herders and cattle in Nigeria because the practice is getting outdated internationally and is therefore necessary for Nigeria especially Fulani race to study critically the traditional open grazing believing that the 21st century may never accommodate it.
“When you look at the practice of open grazing in Nigeria compared with what is happening Internationally, Nigeria can never continue with traditional open grazing practice.
“In order to effect a change, the Fulani elites should be bold enough to come out with alternatives to open grazing and advise the Fulanis in Nigeria accordingly.
“Most importantly the various Fulani Associations with Membership up to 50 must come together and talk with one voice on this tradition of open grazing and not necessarily allow any group to come out to do it for them.”
He added: “I have fully observed the feeling of many groups and individuals in Nigeria about open grazing. There is so much condemnation from Nigerian Governors, Northern Governors, Southern Governors etc.
“These groups and individuals should never be condemned and must be praised for their bold comments trying to modernise and improve cattle rearing in Nigeria.
“Another reason why we should shun away from open grazing is the way old methods of settlements of crises between herdsmen and farmers have been abandoned.
“May I seize this opportunity to congratulate all the Governors for the bold steps they are taking to curve the menace of open grazing, kidnapping and banditry.