Society

3 Facts About Open Grazing In Nigeria

Open grazing is the age-old practice of roaming ruminant animals in open fields, searching for pasture.

The submission of the seventeen Southern governors regarding the ban on Open grazing in Nigeria’s southeast and southwest regions has continued to generate reactions from different quarters. 

The ban has made many Nigerians accuse the southern governors of fueling the call for secession, which has become one of the major topical issues in the country.

On the other hand, some believe that the ban on open grazing is commendable and long overdue, giving the harms caused by some killer herders, who invade people’s farmland, attack the farmers and destroy their farm products.

The reactions trailing the ban on open grazing come from the citizens and some of the people at the helm of this Nation’s helm, including the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, Abubakar Malami. The AGF condemned the ban on open grazing and raised an eyebrow over the decision of the southern governors.

War of words between Malami And Akeredolu

While featuring on a political programme on Channels Television, Malami compared the ban on open grazing in the southern region to Northern governors banning the sales of spare parts in their different states.

Meanwhile, in his response, the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, noted that the AGF could not differentiate between a business that poses no danger to the people and open grazing, which has resulted in attacks on farmland and destruction of farm products.

According to Governor Akeredolu, clinging to an anachronistic model animal husbandry harmful to the harmonious relationship between farmers and herders is wicked and arrogant.

Open Grazing

Akeredolu further stated that open grazing has resulted in the loss of lives and caused untold hardship on the host communities. However, the Ondo Governor advised the AGF to approach the court of law to challenge the ban on open grazing and the Southern Governors forum’s decision.

Meanwhile, many Nigerians took to social media platforms to express disappointment over how Malami compared the ban on open grazing to spare parts sales in the Northern region. Some tweeps noted that spare parts business owners pay taxes, rents shops and pose no danger in the cause of doing their businesses.

3 Facts About Open Grazing In Nigeria
Southern Governors During a meeting in Asaba.

Facts About Open Grazing

1.OPEN GRAZING IS ANACHRONISTIC

Open grazing is the age-old practice of roaming ruminant animals in open fields, plains, and bushes, searching for pasture.

As opined by Governor Akeredolu and many other Nigerians, Open grazing is anachronistic and unsustainable. The government and cattle owners need to agree on settling for ranching to end the disagreement between farmers and herders.

Benue state is one of the worst-hit states when it comes to farmers-herders clashes; many farmers have been killed, farmlands destroyed, and thousands of state residents live in fear. If not for any other things, it is time for the government to find a lasting solution to cattle rearing that would align with the modern cattle rearing style.

2.OPEN GRAZING FUELS ETHNIC CLASHES

Undoubtedly, the farmers-herders clashes have turned Fulani cattle rearers to suspect because they are perceived as the ones behind killing innocent Nigerians and destroying farmland in some parts of the country.

Recently, Yoruba activist, Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho, issued a quit notice to the Fulanis in Ibarapa, Oyo State, and Ogun state, among other towns and cities in the southwest region. 

3.OPEN GRAZING POSES A DANGER TO NIGERIA’S UNITY

The farmer-herder clashes caused by open grazing is no doubt a threat to the unity of Nigeria because it will add to the existing tension.

EveryEvery.ng gathered that the Grazing Reserve Law 1965 applicable only to States in the Northern part of Nigeria have not adequately curbed the incessant clashes between pastoralists and farmers. 

The National Grazing Reserve (Establishment) Bill 2016 conflict with farmers’ inalienable right to property as contained in the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended).

Presidency’s Stands

In the meantime, the Presidency has frowned at the pronouncement made by the southern governors. According to Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigerian government expressed a solid resolve to address the frequent clashes between farmers-herders.

Shehu disclosed that Buhari had approved the rehabilitation of grazing reserves in the 36 states and Abuja, with facilities for herders and their families, including schooling, veterinary clinics and water points for animals.

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