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Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Muhammad Bello, has announced a total ban on cattle grazing within the Abuja city centre.
A Ministerial Task Force headed by Abdullahi Monjel, was also inaugurated to ensure enforcement of the ban.
This is following series of complaints by residents of the FCT that the animals constitute nuisance and threat to lives.
In a meeting with members of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, FCT Chapter, the minister asked the association to nominate some of its educated young men to be part of the enforcement committee.
He reiterated that herdsmen must move their cattle out of the Federal Capital City because there is no way such animals can co-habit with the residents.
“You have to understand that when Abuja Environmental Protection Board says cattle should not roam the city, it is not because they want to prevent cattle breeders from raring cattle in the FCT. Basically, it is just for safety. It is for safety of your cattle and above all, safety of the citizens,” Bello said.
“In a modern city, it’s not possible for animals and vehicles to move together on the roads because this could cause accidents which in some cases could be fatal, and it is our duty to protect lives and property”.
The FCT minister said that new grazing reserves have been created for herdsmen to conveniently carry out their activities.
He said: “A total of 33,485 hectares have already been earmarked for grazing reserves to cater for about 7 million herds of cattle comprising of Paikon Kore 8,500 hectares; Karshi 6,000 hectares; Kawu in Bwari 9,000 hectares and Rubochi in Kuje which is 9,985 hectares.”
Bello said that his administration will work together with the National Assembly to amicably resolve the issue of compensation for the owners of the grazing reserves.
Chairman of the Cattle Breeders Association, Yahaya Isah, promised that the group will continue to cooperate with the government in order to promote peaceful co-existence.