the north cannot ignore the south’s decision on open pastures

the north cannot ignore the south’s decision on open pastures

He orders the governments of the North to revive 400 dormant pastures.

By Juliana Agbo, Abuja
The Miyetti Allah Livestock Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) says the North cannot afford to ignore the recent unanimous decision of the southern governors to ban grazing in their states.

Responding to a statement by Asaba governors on Tuesday, MACBAN national secretary Baba Osman Ngelzarma said the northern governors must rise to the challenge by coming up with a solution of their own that is generally acceptable.

“We cannot ignore the unanimous request of all southern governments on any particular issue,” Ngelzarma told The Nation yesterday.

“If the southern governors can agree on one thing, then this is a problem and deserves serious attention,” he added.

“In a situation where the entire southern population is synonymous with a certain aspect, I believe that this aspect deserves attention.

“But northern governors need to talk to their southern counterparts so they can come up with a solution that is generally acceptable.”

He said northern governors should also consider restoring more than 400 dormant pastures in the north and making them attractive to herders.

He added that the rangelands, if renewed, with the provision of schools, veterinary clinics, hospital services, among other things, would provide shepherds with an education and prevent their wanderings.

His words: “Breeding is a long-term issue. Since we have these unused pastures, why can’t we reuse them?

“We, as an association, believe that shepherd settlements will be the only solution that will resolve peasant-shepherd conflicts in the country.”

According to the nation, there are 415 pastures in Nigeria, but only a third of them are in use.

The association said the rangelands, covering an area of ​​5 million hectares in the north, in the meantime, must be restored before considering farming, which can be time-consuming and process-intensive.

Ngelzarma called on the federal government to develop a policy to resolve the conflict between farmers and herders.

He said: “The time of wandering in search of pastures is almost over given the country’s growing population, land problems and climate change. This requires effective planning by the federal government.

“Why can’t the rulers of the north start making these areas attractive to shepherds? Why can’t the rangelands be reopened?

“By the time they provide water and pasture for the pasture, it will attract the shepherds from the south to move north again.

“Only when you give them a place to live will you have the opportunity to educate them, as well as provide them with veterinary clinics, hospital services and more, which will prevent them from wandering.

He called on the National Assembly to pass legislation to end this problem.

Governors of 17 southern states, in a statement after the meeting in Asaba, said the invasion of the southern part of the country by armed shepherds, criminals and bandits poses a serious security threat so that citizens cannot live. their normal life.

They decided to “ban open grazing in southern Nigeria, noting that development and population growth put pressure on available land and increased the likelihood of conflict between migrant herders and local southern populations.

“Given this scenario, it becomes necessary to ban outdoor livestock grazing in the south (including moving livestock south on foot).”

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