Buhari Rejects Ganduje, Other Governors’ Proposals, Orders Return to Cattle Open Grazing
Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday rejected the proposals of Kano State governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and other state governors on open cattle grazing in Nigeria.
While Ganduje submitted that open grazing was problematic and suggested a ranching option, Buhari during an interview with Arise Television said he has approved the country’s return to open grazing as obtained during the First Republic where herdsmen used designated grazing routes to move their cattle to all parts of the country.
Recall that Governor Ganduje in January urged the federal government to enact a law banning the movement of cattle from the north to other parts of the country in order to resolve the incessant incidences of clashes between farmers and herders.
Seventeen southern governors also converged last month in Asaba to ban open grazing in their respective domains.
But the president said he had ordered the attorney-general of the federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), to begin the process of recovering land from persons who have converted cattle grazing routes for their personal use.
He said the grazing routes were designated in the 1st Republic when “Nigerians used to obey laws.”
“If you allow your cattle to stray into any farm, you are arrested. The farmer is invited to submit his claims. The khadi or the judge will say pay this amount and if you can’t the cattle is sold.
“And if there is any benefit, you are given and people were behaving themselves and in the grazing areas, they built dams, put windmills in some places. There were even veterinary departments so that the herders are limited. Their route is known, their grazing area is known.”
Ganduje in an interview with journalists in Daura sometime in January said having a ban on movement of herders would address the challenge of cattle rustling.
Ganduje said “we are building a Ruga settlement in Samsosua Forest, our border with Katsina and we have succeeded in curtailing the effect of banditry in that area.
“So, we are building many houses, we are constructing a dam; we are establishing a Cattle Artificial insemination Centre; we are establishing a veterinary clinic and already we have started building houses for herdsmen.
“My advocacy is that we should abolish the transportation or trekking of herdsmen from the northern part of Nigeria to the middle belt and to the Southern part of Nigeria.
“There should be a law that will ban, otherwise we cannot control the conflicts between herdsmen and farmers and cannot control the cattle rustling which is affecting us greatly.”
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