The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has asked that a level playing ground be provided to enable members adopt in their business saying they are not against the ban on open grazing of cattle in the Southern part of the country.
The South-East Zonal Chairman of Miyetti Allah, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki, made the appeal in a statement on Tuesday, May 25, in Enugu.
Siddiki said that the Governors of Southern Nigeria may have taken the decision due to the exigencies of the time, adding that no one should vilify them.
Siddiki, however, requested that a middle course be negotiated to avoid the abrupt stoppage of open grazing; preparatory to the commencement of better and modern methods of cattle rearing.
The Miyetti Allah chairman said that such a move would douse the tension; so far generated by the decision across the country.
“I do not think we should be quick in rising to condemn the governors over this decision; but rather engage them constructively for the good of all.
“The growing suggestions for an improved and more modern mode of livestock keeping could be well taken; but a middle course needs to be quickly negotiated in the interim,” he said.
The MACBAN chairman called for the provision of grazing reserves; stock routes; watering points; health and education facilities as interim measures.
This would reassure law-abiding herders of their inalienable constitutional rights to live and trade anywhere in the country; as well as guaranty the safety of their lives and property, he stated.
Siddiki said that it was the responsibility of the government to maintain law and order; adding that MACBAN had always urged statutory security agencies not to shirk from such responsibilities.
“The herders due to the nature of cattle rearing are more on transit; and are equally exposed to the wanton camp infiltration by often migrant fellows who are criminally minded.
“These infiltrators do not spare the law-abiding herders; and for their lawless acts; the entire herders; unfortunately, suffer odium.
“However, no singular group ought to be blamed for the failure of a system to protect; and preserve the essence of its being,” he said.