Leader of the south-east chapter of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Gidado Siddiki has said they are not against the ban on open grazing in the Southern part of the country issued by Governors from the region.
Siddiki in a statement issued on Tuesday May 25, said the Governors should be engaged constructively instead of being condemned.
The Miyetti Allah leader further noted that while the growing suggestions for improved and more modern mode of livestock keeping could be well taken, a middle course needs to be quickly negotiated in the interim.
The interim measures he listed include provision of grazing reserves, stock routes, watering points, health and education facilities. He also noted that “the law-abiding herders” had, for years, lived harmoniously with members of their host communities in parts of 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 improved and more modern mode of livestock keeping could be well taken, but a middle course needs to be quickly negotiated in the interim.
“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.
“However, the awry activities of some migrant herders have recently provoked unhealthy suspicion against people that have for ages enjoyed the warmth of their neighbourhood.
“There is, therefore, need for a functional engagement to deconstruct the growing hate narrative against our people.”