National president of Kullen Allah Cattle Rearers Association (KACRAN) Hon. Khalil Mohammed Bello, has appealed to southern governors to review the ban on open grazing.
In the event of the governors not heeding his plea, Bello urged herdsmen in the south to remain peaceful but disregard the law.
In his press statement he signed yesterday, which was made available to LEADERSHIP in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, Bello said the herdsmen should ignore the anti-open grazing laws passed by the states and do their businesses peacefully.
He said, “As the southern states are busy signing and enforcing anti-open grazing laws, Lagos State is the major consumer of livestock meat in the country which averagely is said to be consuming nearly two million cattle yearly.”
Bello described the southern part of the country as having all the factors for running pastoral occupation including security which is a most vital factor in Nigeria, noting that not all parts of the country are safe even for ordinary living let alone doing any business.
Bello said, “They must fully cooperate with southern authorities and security agencies to pinpoint the hide outs of any gang of criminals in their environment and surrounding regardless of from which tribe or religion, the members of such gangs belong to without fear or prejudice.
“They (herdsmen) must be submissive to the existing laws and regulations with the exception of the anti-open grazing law.”
They must conduct themselves in a way and manner in which they would be so useful and helpful to the government and their host communities.
“We advise them to remain peaceful and friendly when doing their business or in their usual interaction with the people in the area under reference. They must return to their normal way of decent life which earned them love and acceptability in the olden days.
According to him, “They must stop taking the law into their hands if their animals are being beaten or killed by their host communities, instead, let them report such cases whenever they occur to the constituted authorities such as the Obas, chiefs/kings and other securities agencies.
He continued, “The southern governments are hereby advised to kindly have a rethink over their decisions to enforce Anti Open Grazing Law. Instead, they should allow the herders to continue freely with their lawful pastoral occupation in their domains.”