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The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association(MACBAN) has again faulted the enactment of Anti-Open Grazing Law across some southern states, saying such would rather create more problems.

The association which is the umbrella body of all cattle herders in Nigeria, has continued to insist on continuing in its old practice of open Grazing and the movement of cattles from one place to the other, in spite of the recommendations for the adoption of cattle ranches.

Benue, Ondo, Delta, Oyo and several other states especially in the southern part of the country have made laws banning open Grazing in their domains.

While appearing on Arise TV’s Morning Show on Thursday, the Secretary General of the association, Usman Baba-Ngelzerma, said the laws were made without putting to consideration the interests of the herders who are indigenous to the states they operate.

He said the laws appeared to be lopsided and sought to affect 100 percent the herders themselves.

Mr Ngelzerma feared that the law, which he considered not aimed at breeding harmony, might not achieve its objectives.

According to him, the Anti-Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017 has not brought any peace to Benue State despite the fact that it was assented to by Governor Samuel Ortom four years ago.

He also advised Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, to create an inclusive law that would accommodate the interest of pastoralists in host communities in the South-West state


He noted that laws are supposed to bring harmony and understanding in a Community and not to further divide the people.

He pointed out that stakeholders were not invited for public hearings before some states in the Southern part of the country passed their respective anti-open grazing laws.


“We (Miyetti Allah) are civilised people and we know that the responsibility of making laws lies in the state House of Assemblies and we know that once a law is made by the state House of Assemblies and assented to by the Governors, that becomes a law, whether we like it or not, whether good or bad,” he said.


“In Ondo and most of the Southern states, we have indigenous pastoralists whose fathers were brought up in those states and those who are there today were also brought up there.

“So, if you ask them to go, they won’t know where to go because they know these States as their own States.

“These are indigenous pastoralists who are born and brought up there, whose interests and lives are supposed to be protected by the law but when you make a law without getting them to come and put in their input, the law becomes lopsided and what is the purpose of making the law then?

“Where you make a law that does not bring harmony and understanding amongst the groups in a particular area, that law has not been done in a way to fulfill the purpose with which it is being promulgated.

“Let’s take the example of Ondo now. A law is in place and we just have to wait and see how the law is going to affect our members but as it is now, Ondo State is calm, everybody is calm, our members are calm.

“So, we will wait and see how this law is going to be implemented but I will like to draw the attention of Ondo to Benue where a law has been put in place.

“Go and appraise the Benue law, has it succeeded in bringing peace to Benue? It has never succeeded in bringing peace to Benue. Rather, it has further aggravated the situation to becoming worse, day in, day out.


“Laws are supposed to bring harmony and understanding in a community.

“By definition, the ranches must be established before you implement the ban but what took place in Benue was the implementation of the ban even before the establishment of the ranches.”

However, the Commissioner for Information, Delta State, Charles Aniagwu, who also appeared on the programme, said the law made in Delta banning open Grazing was necessary to ensure a balance in the protection of both herders and farmers.

He said the law also provided a situation where there would be a colocation of facilities including water and abattoir needed in the facilitation of the cattle rearing business.

He called on the herders to show understanding in that the society has moved forward beyond where we are now to effective ranching.

Mr Aniagwu said the ranching business provides a whole lot of benefits in creating jobs and improving the economy of the nation.

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