From: Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
Ahead of the full implementation of the law prohibiting open grazing in Taraba State, Governor Darius Ishaku, has reiterated that the law is not targeted at any group or section of the state as the law is colour-blind.
In a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant, Public Affairs, Mr. Emmanuel Bello, Governor Ishaku assured that the law meant well as it was not enacted to punish any tribe, religion, business or section of the state.
According to the governor, the law was imperative to, once again, assure all citizens that “The Anti-Open Grazing law is not directed at any tribe or religion as the issues it seeks to address are not restricted to any particular religion or ethnic groups.
“Cow ownership in Taraba State is not the exclusive preserve of any religion, tribe or group. Basically, the law wants to, among other things, change the mode of production of cattle for better yield. This is a step towards modernisation of cattle rearing and it is keeping with best global practices all over the world”.
Governor IShaku insisted that agriculture was undergoing a global revolution and antiquated means of production are giving way to better methods with the use of tractors and better seedlings among other things.
“The ancient method of nomadic voyages has failed to give better milk production or even beef as cows subjected to the rigours of long treks are leaner and less productive. Ranching has since become the best form of attending to the need of cattle. Even here in Nigeria, top cow owners have seen the wisdom in ranching. In Taraba, cow owners on the Mambilla have been doing a form of ranching and the results have been quite awesome,” the governor said.
Governor Ishaku, who maintained that “the law did not happen arbitrarily as public hearings were taken and all views from stakeholders collated” further noted that the law, when implemented, would take into cognisance all the observations of stakeholders and urged citizens not to fall cheap to politicians seeking to ride on the back of a national challenge to score cheap points.
He said government was working hard to address the higher issues of development that concerned all by providing roads, hospitals, reviving industries and ensuring the security of lives and property.
The Anti-Open Grazing law is expected to take effect on January 24 amidst stiff resistance from the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association and affiliate bodies who insists that the law was obnoxious and targeted at their members.
In an exclusive interview with Daily Sun, the state Chairman of Miyetti Allah Alhaji Sahabi Tukur, said that the group “would pursue all available options to ensure that the law does not come to be” as it is meant to frustrate the means of livelihood of her members.
Daily Sun recall that Taraba State is one of the states that have come under worse attacks from Fulani herdsmen with several villages sacked and hundreds of persons killed.
Only last weekend, attacks by herdsmen on communities in Lau Local government area of the state left over 50 persons dead and more than two hundred missing, with several homes and farms completely destroyed.