The plea by the south-west chapter of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) demanding for more time to train its members on how to stop the practice of open grazing has gotten a quick response from Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State.
Maikudi Usman, zonal secretary of south-west MACBAN, had made a plea on Wednesday at the public hearing of the Lagos state anti-open grazing bill requesting for more time.
He said the members of the association need time to be educated on “how they will be breeding cattle in one place and not transfer to anybody’s land”.
In his words: “Our breeders are not used to breeding cattle in one place. They move from here to another place. When we say we’ll keep cattle in one place, the owner of the cattle will not have funds to feed the animals in one place,” Usman said.
“They’ve already depended on going from one place to another. Because in the rainy season time, we have where we settle down, and we also have for the dry season.
“We are pleading with Lagos state government to give us time to go tell our people and train them how they will be breeding cattle in one place and not transfer to anybody’s land.
“But breeding in one place, right now, our people do not have the power to do so. What you’re not used to, you have to be taught. And gradually, everybody will understand.”
On Monday, the anti-open grazing bill passed the second reading at the Lagos state house of assembly.
If the bill is passed, Lagos will be joining some other states in the country’s southern region that have codified the prohibition of open grazing into law.
Meanwhile, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State in his response blasted the Miyetti Allah Kataul Hore over plans to move against the anti-open grazing law in the state and other southern states.
Akeredolu who is the Chairman of the South West Governors’ Forum and the Coordinator of the Southern Governors’ Forum disclosed that nothing would make him and other governors rescind their decision.
The governor stated this on Wednesday in a statement issued by his aide on Special Duties and Strategy, Dr Doyin Odebowale.
Recall that the group had through its secretary, Saleh Alhassan stated the anti-open grazing laws would affect the relative peace and stability currently enjoyed in communities.
Akeredolu said the move by Miyetti Allah was an indication that the group was unbothered about the crimes perpetrated under the pretence of being herders.
While emphasizing that no bandit would be allowed to operate in the State under “any dubious guise”, he said the government has the “responsibility to implement the law for the benefit of the people of the state and those, who may share in their aspiration for development of their God-given space.”
“They claim to be above the law of any State in the Federation. They warn of the imminent breach of peace and promotion of pervasive anarchy if they are not allowed to ravage the sweat and toil of the long-suffering farmers who, apparently, don’t count for much in the scheme of things in their estimation.
No part of our land will be given to foreigners who cling to a dubious regional protocol as an instrument validating dispossession. Let him practice his cultural practices on his father’s land. His likes will not be permitted to operate with impunity in Ondo State. We will defend our land.”