Anti-open grazing law, a time bomb, says Miyetti Allah

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Godwin Isenyo, Kaduna

The Fulani socio-cultural organisation, Miyeti Allah Kautal Hor, on Monday in Kaduna, described the anti-open grazing law passed in some states as a time bomb.

The association, which rose from its North-West zonal meeting in Kaduna, argued that the anti-open grazing law was an attempt to destroy herders’ means of livelihood.

The National President of the association, Alhaji Abdullahi Bello-Bodejo, and the National Secretary, Alhaji Sale Alhassan, at a joint press conference held after the meeting, said the law was not in the best interest of peace in the land.

They said it should be reviewed urgently.

The association called on the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to provide adequate security for Fulani herdsmen particularly in Benue State because their lives were under threat.

It dismissed the claims that the Fulani were planning to attack Benue communities because of the anti-open grazing law.

Bello-Bodejo added that the Fulani were peaceful and law-abiding  people, who would not do anything that could truncate peaceful co-existence in the country.

“The grazing law agenda is destroying herders’ means of livelihood and we are appealing for immediate intervention to safe Fulani pastoralists from total destruction of their means of livelihood by current trends from some state governors enacting segregational anti-open grazing law which target primarily the economic livelihood of the herders,” he said.

He noted that after their deliberations, “we are completely opposed to the anti-grazing law, and we are worried about the possible crisis that may emerge if such law as allowed to take effect.

“It is a negative law because it attempts to expel Fulani herdsmen from their grazing areas for ages, besides, that Benue anti-grazing law, no herder was involved during the course of its preparation to get their input.

“To us, ensuring security of citizens should be the priority of government, but this anti-grazing law is nothing but a time bomb if not addressed with wisdom.

“It is a national challenge that requires a national intervention by a well-meaning government, because it is capable of creating serious conflicts in the land; hence, developing a policy of sustainable management of land resources is of the essence.

“We have continued to appeal to our members to be law-abiding and I want to say categorically that the rumours that Fulani herdsmen are planning to attack communities in Benue State is not true and must be ignored by well-meaning Nigerians.

“We will continue to support the Federal Government’s policies on crop and animal farming,  particularly on the agro-rangers which is aimed at providing security for all categories of farmers.”

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