Senator Walid Jibrin, the National Patron of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, has stated that a ban on open grazing will assist to settle the country’s farmers-herders problem. As a result, he praised the Nigerian Governors’ Forum for prohibiting open grazing and urged Fulani organizations to band together, Yesterday, he spoke at a press conference in Kaduna.
“Most importantly, the various Fulani associations with membership up to 50 must join together and speak with one voice on this practice of open grazing and not necessarily allow any organization to come out and do it for them,” said Senator Jibrin, the Sarkin Fulani Nasarawa. Cattle rearing has been going on in Africa for over 100 years, according to him, with no regard for free movement of cattle, (open grazing) or any grazing reserve.
“This was due to the fact that there were few herders, farmers, and livestock at the time, particularly in Nigeria.
Both populations have grown in recent years, with modern farming techniques using vast amounts of land,” he explained.
With the present era concern over cattle breeding in Africa, particularly Nigeria, he emphasized that it was necessary to examine how this technique could be carried out properly. “It is important to know that land in Nigeria is owned by individuals, the federal government, and state governments,” he stated.
‘’As a full-blooded Fulani man, Sarkin Fulani, and Patron, Miyatti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, and concerned Fulani leader in Nigeria, I have a free mind on anyone suggesting a ban on open grazing, free movement of herders, and cattle in Nigeria because the practice is becoming outdated internationally and, as a result, vital for Nigeria, particularly the Fulani race, to adapt.
“When you compare the practice of open grazing in Nigeria to what is happening internationally, you can see that Nigeria will never be able to maintain its traditional open grazing practice.” To bring about change, the Fulani elite should be brave enough to propose alternatives to open grazing and advise Nigerian Fulanis accordingly.
“Federal and state governments should step in to help by establishing grazing reserves with hospitals, nomadic schools, electricity, bore holes, cattle markets with modern slaughtering centers, and open markets for our Fulani women to enable them to sell milk instead of going from house to house, exposing our beautiful culture and religion,” says the author.
“I’ve witnessed firsthand how many groups and individuals in Nigeria feel about open grazing.
Nigerian governors, Northern governors, Southern governors, and others have all condemned the situation.
These individuals and organisations should never be vilified; instead, they should be commended for their courageous statements attempting to modernize and enhance Nigerian cattle husbandry.
Another reason to avoid open grazing is the abandonment of traditional techniques of resolving conflicts between herders and farmers.
“The traditional rulers’ position, particularly that of village heads and district heads, is being neglected on a daily basis by both herders and farmers, putting it in the hands of the police, courts, and other law enforcement authorities.
‘’Some Fulani children are involved in some unholy activities as a result of poverty and a lack of proper education, which will undoubtedly be corrected by the introduction of grazing reserves.’ I’d like to use this occasion to commend all of the governors on their bold efforts to combat open grazing, kidnapping, and banditry.
The governor of Oyo State, Seyi Olusola, recently took action in the South West.
I also applaud him for avoiding the call to expel all Hausas and Fulanis from the South West.
I also reject any request from the north for all Hausas and Fulani to leave the South West; Nigeria must remain a one nation, despite what is now taking on.
To settle the feud, we should rely more on communication and mediation with herders, Fulani leaders, traditional authorities, and our governors. Our traditional rulers must also be encouraged to engage in discussions with Fulani herders and farmers.
“In order to prevent open grazing, the federal government could change Article 3 of the ECOWAS Protocol, specifically pertaining to free movement of cattle and other livestock without any special commitment, to prohibit animals from entering Nigeria from ECOWAS nations.
“I strongly urge the federal and state governments to keep all existing grazing areas open by providing the special facilities I suggested earlier. It is also vital for the government to use the World Bank’s services to archive any plans that will emerge from Nigeria’s well-modernized grazing reserves.”