The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has urged northern governors to provide basic social amenities in the reserves located in the region for herders.
This was contained in a statement issued by Alhaji Othman Ngelzarma, the National Secretary of MACBAN, on Thursday in Abuja.
He said that providing these needs would serve as an interim measure against herder/farmer clashes, pending the establishment of ranches across the country.
According to Ngelzarma, the designated grazing reserves covered an area of about five million hectares in the region.
Reacting to the southern governors’ ban on open grazing, the MACBAN scribe said that their position must not be ignored.
He called on the northern governors to open discussion with their southern counterparts on the policy to come up with solutions to the security and socioeconomic issues around open grazing.
“We are never opposed to settlement of pastoralists throughout the country.
“To achieve this there has to be a model of settlement for the pastoralists to see and emulate because there was no attempt by past administrations to modernise animal husbandry in the country.
“The pastoralists we have practiced the primitive system they inherited as the only option available for them. This system is no longer sustainable considering the growing population, and demand for land that does not increase.
“The pastoralists are also bonafide citizens whose rights and privileges deserve protection.
“As a solution, the northern governors must open discussion with their southern counterparts on the matter in order to come up with an acceptable position for both farmers and herders in their respective states,’’ he said.
The MACBAN general secretary, however, urged the southern governors to consider the plights of the pastoralists while agitating for anti-open grazing policy for the sake of peace and unity of the country.
By Mayowa Oladeji
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