The leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, weekend, threatened legal action to challenge the anti-open grazing laws in Benue and Taraba states.
The group described the anti-open grazing laws in both states as obnoxious and capable of engendering anarchy in the areas. MACBAN’s National President, Alhaji Mohammed Zuru, stated this during the launch of an animal identification and management solution scheme by the Katsina Government in collaboration with mobile network provider, MTN. According to him, “the Nigerian State must recognise that Fulani pastoralists exist and have rights to the nation’s shared resources.
We must be allocated land to do our cattle grazing and settle our families, change the breed of cattle we need and improve on the technology of cattle rearing. “My association views the current attempt by the Benue and Taraba states’ governments to criminalise our means of economic livelihood of cattle rearing through the enactment of an obnoxious anti-open grazing law, as the most wicked act any government can do to us and our economic interests.
On rights, interests “We want to state here that we reject those repressive and oppressive laws and we will deploy all the necessary legal means as enshrined in the Constitution to challenge them.
The pastoralists, like other citizens of the country, have the right to move freely and to reside in any part of the country and we view this oppressive law as fundamentally going against our culture, economic interests and constitutional rights.” Launching the scheme, Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State, said: “This programme has all it takes to curb cattle rustling as well as farmers-herdsmen conflicts.”
Governor Masari also announced government’s decision to sponsor the micro-chipping of 6,800 cows across the 34 local government areas.