NEC Bans Open Grazing, Moves To Establish Cattle Ranches
The National Executive Council (NEC) has yesterday banned open grazing of cattle across the country, following recommendations by its sub committee on herdsmen/farmers clashes.
Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, headed the three-man sub-committee on herdsmen/farmers clashes constituted by the government in February 2018 , which was specifically created to look into the ongoing farmer/herdsmen clashes so as to end the killings of citizens.
Other members of the sub-committee included Governors Simon Lalong (Plateau), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Darius Ishaku (Taraba), and Bindo Jubrilla (Adamawa). The panel was mandated to visit Benue, Taraba, Zamfara and Adamawa states.
Umahi told journalists after the NEC Meeting which was presided over by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo yesterday, that the committee submitted its recommendations to the councils where it was agreed upon that open grazing should be banned and establishment of ranches in states affected by the herdsmen onslaught.
According to him, NEC blamed the incessant killings by herdsmen on perception and reports by the media.
“The core causes of the conflicts, we were made to understand, were perception and of course our media friends, competition for scarce resources and banditry or what you can call pure criminal activities through cattle rustling and kidnapping.”
Governor Umahi said that the team visited five states Benue, Taraba, Plateau Adamawa and Zamfara.
He highlighted that there were three categories of herdsmen in Nigeria; foreign herdsmen, nomadic herdsmen and migrant herdsmen whose continued activities have resulted in clashes with farmers.
He said that the NEC agreed that states affected by the killings should provide ranches that will include nomadic schools and health facilities for their family members.
“Niger and Kaduna have given lands, and Plateau is also giving land. We also agreed that through the agriculture ministry, we have to introduce new species of cows.”
Umahi said the council members accepted the recommendation to stop the further influx of foreign herdsmen into the country.