By Andrew Ojih, Jalingo
The Miyetti Allah Breeders Association has rejected a proposed bill by the Taraba State House of Assembly for a law to prohibit open rearing and grazing of livestock and provide for the establishment of ranching in the state.
Speaking during a peaceful protest to the state House of Assembly yesterday in Jalingo, the chairman of the association, Sahabi Muhmud Tukur said the bill as proposed by the house was ill intended, discriminatory and misplaced priority.
He added that the essence of government all over the world is to protect the lives and property of its citizens irrespective of creed, ethnic, geographical or regional inclination before any consideration.
“However, going through the proposed bill before the house, we can clearly pick holes that are capable of undermining the essence of government as provided for by the Nigerian constitution,” he said.
He stressed that grazing like any other occupation is cultural which in the case of Nigeria and Taraba State in particular is practiced, substantially by the Fulani.
He noted that one may be right to state that more than 90 per cent of grazers belong to this group, adding that the bill that was proposed to provide for this occupation has no provision whatsoever for its members.
“For instance, those who drafted it did not find it expedient to get our inputs neither did they consider it to establish ranches for them to permanently settle for proper grazing,” he added.
He informed that the proposed bill did not only reveal inconsistencies but is also on collision course with the provisions of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria as amended.