From Noah Ebije, Kaduna,
The National Patron of Miyatti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Senator Walid Jibrin, has said that open grazing by Fulani herders is out dated in Nigeria, and called for an alternative to it.
This was even as he commended southern governors for the ban on open grazing in the southern part of the country.
Jibrin, a second republic lawmaker, and Fulani leader in Nasarawa State, told newsmen at a press conference, in Kaduna, yesterday, that government should modernise open grazing by providing grazing reserve centres equipped with socio-economic facilities to stop the herders from roaming about.
He expressed disappointment with those Nigerians, particularly Northerners for condemning southern governors of the decision to ban open grazing.
“As a full blooded Fulani man, Sarkin Fulani, and Patron of Miyatti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), and a concerned Fulani leader, I have a free mind on anyone recommending a ban on open grazing, free movement of herders and cattle in Nigeria, because the practice is getting out dated internationally, and is, therefore, necessary for Nigeria, especially Fulani race, to study, critically, the traditional open grazing, believing that the 21st century may never accommodate it.
“When you look at the practice of open grazing in Nigeria, compared with what is happening internationally, Nigeria can never continue with traditional open grazing practice. In order to effect a change, the Fulani elites should be bold enough to come out with alternatives to open grazing, and advise the Fulani in Nigeria, accordingly.
“Many African countries are shying away from open grazing and herdsmen movement coming up with better alternative by provision of grazing reserve e.g. in Zimbabwe, as a result of the change, one cow is producing meat worth of seven cows in Nigeria and equally one cow producing milk worth of six cows in Nigeria.
“Cattle rearing has been on in Africa for over 100 years without any consideration to free movement of cattle (Open Grazing) or any Grazing Reserve. This was carried out because, at that time, there were few herders, farmers and cattle, especially in Nigeria.
“Today, the population of both increased with modern technique of farming consuming land tremendously.
“With the current international concern on cattle rearing in Africa, especially Nigeria, there is need to look at how best this practice will be carried out successfully. We must note that land in Nigeria is being owned by individuals, federal, and state governments.
“I have fully observed the feeling of many groups and individuals in Nigeria about open grazing. There is so much condemnation from Nigerian governors, Northern governors, Southern governors etc. These groups and individuals should never be condemned and must be praised for their bold comments trying to modernise and improve cattle rearing in Nigeria.”