The Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, a Fulani socio-cultural association, Monday urged the federal government to create a Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries “as obtainable in many African countries.”
The association said this was in line with the recommendation of the Inter-ministerial Committee on Livestock Development in Nigeria 2015, the Report of the President Committee on Pastoralists and Insecurity 2014 and the National Livestock Transformation Programme.
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Its National President, Abdullahi Bello Bodejo and the National Secretary, Saleh Alhassan, made the call at a national peace summit and investiture of Queen Mother Amina Temitope Ajayi as the Miyetti Allah Brand Ambassador, held at the Maliya market headquarters of the association in Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.
The association also urged the National Assembly to intervene and stop state governors from enacting the anti-open grazing law.
It said the anti-open grazing law would undermine the relative peace and stability currently enjoyed in local communities, threaten social order and worsen cattle rustling in the country.
Seventy southern state governors had passed a resolution to enact the anti-open grazing law to tackle insecurity and farmers-herders’ clashes.
Only Bayelsa, Rivers, Oyo, Ondo, Ekiti and Abia have so far complied with the resolution.
“The National Assembly must come to the rescue of the pastoralists by resuscitating and passing the Grazing Reserves Commission Bill and other livestock management bills that were initiated by the previous assembly. The anti-open grazing laws would destroy livestock production and send into poverty millions of people that depend on the livestock value chain,” Alhassan said.
He urged the federal government to take an inventory of all the existing grazing reserves, traditional grazing areas, and major stock routes apart from developing at least one grazing reserve in each senatorial district to tackle farmers-herders clashes.
“The review of the Land Use Act was long overdue to accommodate the interest of all land users, including pastoralists. Ranching as envisaged by many required capital-investment and was difficult to sustain, not economical and it is not small livestock holder-centred.”
He also condemned the “continuous extortion and profiling of the Fulani pastoralists by Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom, asking him to stop insulting Fulanis and apologise to them.”
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for listening to the association’s consistent calls to restore the existing grazing reserves, routes and create new ones.
“Because it is the only sustainable solution to the farmers and herders’ conflicts in the country,” he said.
Responding, Mrs. Ajayi said she joined the association to engender peace, unity and development as well as chart a new course of action for the Fulani pastoralists.
She said: “I’ve developed a blueprint for the total transformation of the cattle rearing and farming business that will change the GDP of Nigeria. If we’re able to implement half of my development agenda for the Fulani pastoralists, the lingering clash of Fulani and farmers will be a thing of the past.”