Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has urged security agencies to increase their surveillance on foreign pastoralists entering into the country so as to monitor their activities.
The National Secretary of the association, Alhaji Baba Ngelzarma, made the call while speaking with newsmen in Abuja on Thursday.
Ngelzarma, who said that pastoralists coming in and out of the Niger Republic were given operational permits, suggested that a similar policy should be adopted in the country.
He said that such permits would allow the security agencies to know the pastoralists’ countries of origin and the number of their cattle, with a view to checking their activities when they were in the country.
The national secretary said that the move would also allow the association to fish out the “bad eggs’’ among the local pastoralists.
“If you look at the international routes that allow the international pastoralists to enter into the country, those routes are not monitored by any security outfit in the country.
“What we discovered in Niger is that before they allow their pastoralists come into Nigeria, they have to give them permit, know where they are going to and the number of cows that they are taking before allowing them to go.
“And if the number of their cows increases when they are coming back, they will be questioned.
“That system of check is what is absent in Nigeria,’’ he said.
Ngelzarma also called for a synergy between state governments in the border areas and neighbouring countries to curtail the excesses of the international pastoralists.
“Niger Republic usually allows all their international pastorialists to come into Nigeria around December because by December, they must have gathered their farm produce but in Nigeria, it is not so.
“The time they release their pastoralists to come to Nigeria is the time when our farmers are still busy with their farm produce in the farms.
“There is no synergy between the neighbouring states and the border states.
“We have to work together and if this is done, the farmers-herdsmen crisis will reduce significantly,’’ he said.