The Miyetti Allah group in a reaction by its President, Baba Ngelzarma said they already have an agreement with the federal government not to graze their animals in areas that fall within the central city based on the Abuja masterplan.
He, therefore, gave the blessing of the Miyetti Allah group to the plan by Wike to deal with herdsmen who graze their animals within the city center.
“We have an agreement with the federal government that from Area 1 to Area 11 in Garki, from Wuse Zone 1 to Zone 7, Maitama, and Asokoro within the central area, it is very embarrassing to see cows roaming the main city.
“This we have done with the leadership of the association at the FCT levels, Area Council levels, and the immediate Fulani leadership grass root levels. We have called them and had series of engagements with them in the FCT to stop roaming the main cities with their cows.
“So, whoever is allowed to be caught rearing his cattle in the main city is on his own, whoever is allowed to be caught, the law should take its cause, this is because we have severally discussed and drawn the attention of the pastoralist,” Ngelzarma told THE WHISTLER.
Speaking further, the MACBAN President however said the areas mapped out for the herders to graze their cows in the outskirts of Abuja have been taken over by farmers. He added that they would however continue to enlighten their members towards compliance with the government order.
He said, “Regarding the outskirt of the city, there will be a problem because we have grazing reserves in the FCT that are not being developed. Rather, they are being encroached on by farmers who are illegally living and claiming the grazing reserves to be theirs.
“And once pastoralists decide to use the grazing reserves, this will create problems between them. The government needs to be serious about creating and developing these grazing reserves.”
Ngelzarma however appealed to the FCT Minister to ensure the grazing reserves outside Abuja are developed so the herders can move there and take care of their animals.
“What we expect the minister to do for us is to develop all the grazing reserves on the outskirt of Abuja so that all the pastoralists leaving Abuja can settle there while measures will be taken to enable them to settle.
“This will enable them to have enough green pastures without having to roam about. The minister should create a model for the settlement of pastoralists that other governors can emulate. What we have are grazing areas, those areas can be developed into community ranch and today, we have the concept of ranches that can be acceptable by communities because it suits their peculiarities.
“We need the ministers to work with us closely so we can develop a settlement model. Also harnessing the livestock sector will help the government in revenue generation as well as security rather than seeing pastoralists as a security threat,” the MACBAN boss said.
The Miyetti Allah boss also expresed confidence in the ability of Wike to get the job done.
“We are looking at him as somebody who can transform the livestock sector into a beneficial sector for the government and the pastoralist. This is because we see him as a bulldozer that intends and does what is necessary for development,” Ngelzarma said.