June 21, 2021

NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA

Africa's Media Giant

Open Grazing: ACF urges FG to ban foreign herders

By Hassana Yakubu
Chief Audu Ogbe, the Chairman, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), has advised the Federal Government to stop herders from West African countries from entering Nigeria as advocated by Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje.
Ogbeh made the call in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Kaduna.
He noted that the suggestion by Ganduje would help to contain open grazing and farmer/herder conflicts.
The ACF Chairman said that Nigeria should seek an amendment to Article 3 of the ECOWAS protocol, “especially as regards free movement of cattle and other livestock without special permit.
” If it is done, we have over five million hectares of land in old grazing reserves left, enough to accommodate over 40 million cows if well grassed and watered.”
He also urged Northern State Governors to look at the viability of those spaces to develop ranches for lease to Nigerian herders, so that the matter of open grazing can be brought to an end.
“Thereafter, any herder found roaming can be penalised and our ECOWAS neighbours can find ways to deal with their own issues the way they deem fit.”
The forum chairman advised Nigeria to seek support from Africa Development Bank, the World Bank, European Union, Kuwait Fund or any source willing to support the initiative.
Ogbe maintained that hurling abuses, suspicion and threats as currently trending, “will only produce grief and disaster.”
He agreed that nobody would accept alleged trespass into farmlands and destruction of crops by herders.
Ogbe said governors should not think that merely banning open grazing would end the crisis, as the bulk of the violent herders were from neighboring countries, who have no regards to boundaries, whether state or regional.
He added that those were the herdsmen that must be stopped.  (NAN)
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