Buhari should limit open grazing to areas where the culture is tolerated – Tambuwal

SOKOTO State Governor Aminu Tambuwal has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to limit his plan for open grazing to areas where the culture was still being tolerated.

Tambuwal gave the advice at the 63rd birthday celebrations of Richard Akinnola, a journalist and lawyer, where he spoke on Tuesday.

He said the president must not impose the plan on states, stressing that open grazing was not helpful for the Fulani herdsmen themselves, their cows and communities they usually pass through.


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“The time has come to come to face the reality of the fact that it is not helpful for the Fulani herdsmen themselves, the cows and communities they are passing through. We should rethink and rework that arrangement,” he said.

“I said that President Muhammadu Buhari should only do his programme of cattle routes or grazing reserves where the people or communities are interested.

“If the government can provide infrastructure and support in locations where these practices are tolerated and understood, it can be done. Why must someone from Sokoto be pursuing his cattle to Delta State?”

Buhari has stirred the hornet’s net after he approved, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity Garba Shehu, the recommendations of a committee to review ‘with dispatch’ 368 grazing sites across 25 states in the country ‘to determine the levels of encroachment.’

The committee, chaired by Buhari’s Chief of Staff Ibrahim Gambari, had recommended collecting field data on 368 grazing reserves across 25 states to assess encroachment and encroachers, stakeholder engagements, and sensitisation.

Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom, whose state has suffered greatly from clashes between farmers and herders, has vehemently opposed the idea.

Also, the Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, has described the president’s decision as a ‘sweet pipe dream in a fool’s paradise.’

Afenifere’s Secretary-General Olusola Ebiseni, in a statement on Friday, said Buhari was wasting taxpayers’ scarce resources on a programme whose conception lacked all conceivable growth capacity.

Human Rights Lawyer Femi Falana had said the president could not impose any land policy on states under the country’s Land Use Act.






     

     

    Falana stressed that land in every state in Nigeria was vested in the governor on behalf of the people and not the Federal Government.

    He wondered why the president would take that kind of decision when all stakeholders, including the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and Miyetti Allah, had agreed that open grazing was obsolete n the country.

    He recalled that in 2018, the Federal Government came up with a policy called the National Livestock Transformation Plan, including ranching, which he said had been adopted by the 36 state governments.

    He noted that funds had also been allocated to states that had started the implementation of the policy.

    You can reach out to me on Twitter via: vincent_ufuoma

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