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Whereas the North-East zonal Chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBA), Alhaji Mafindi Danburam, has said the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo-led committee on killings by herdsmen would not produce the desired result with the inclusion of Darius Ishaku and Samuel Ortom of Benue, leading legal luminary and human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) has given a clear way out to the intractable crisis of Fulani Herdsmen currently terrorizing parts of the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari, Sultan of Sokoto and Emir of Kano are among the patrons of MACBA.
Both states governors’ have signed into law, the anti-open grazing bill into in Taraba and Benue states and the implementation had lead to serious killings arising from disobedience to the law by Fulani herdesmen.
In an interview, Falana averred that “We don’t need to go far to learn how to keep animals in this society. It is primitive to take cows from Sokoto to Calabar”.
“That was not the practice in Nigeria. In 1951 we had the first ranch in Cross River known as Obudu Cattle Ranch. Now it has been converted to Obudu Resort. The late Ahmadu Bello established the Mokwa Ranch. The Obafemi Awolowo government in the 1950s established Akunnu Ranch now in Ondo State.
“I was asking Governor Rotimi Akeredolu some days ago about what he was going to do in Akunnu Ranch and he assured me that they were going to revive the place. The late Adekunle Ajasin of old Ondo State established a dairy farm in Ekiti. What do you expect the government in Ekiti State to do? Is it not to revive the dairy farm? But what did they do? Implement an anti-grazing law. Just two days ago a pregnant woman was killed in Ekiti. It is the height of primitivism to kill a pregnant woman anywhere in the world but you can be sure nothing will happen.
“In the Western Region the late Obafemi Awolowo brought in a species of cows from Argentina which was locally bred and people had animals but they are now extinct. Nobody was entering anybody’s farm but now there is desertification and the animals have got to move and if you are taking a cow from Sokoto to Benin or Enugu, because of cattle rustlers, the herdsman has to be armed, the cow will feast on someone’s farm and then rape will be committed since the herdsman hasn’t seen his wife for three months but this is no longer done anywhere in the world. “The argument that cattle ranching is a private business and should be ignored by government is wrong. Federal Government is the biggest investor in rice such that rice importation will stop this year. The LAKE Rice in Lagos and Kebbi is run by government. If government can invest in cash crops, why not in cattle ranching?” Falana queried.
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