…Says until the legislation is revisited, it would be difficult to resolve herders, farmers’ crises
Leadership of the Miyetti Allah has said that the grey areas in the enactment of the anti-grazing law by the Benue State government was responsible for the killings that greeted the state in December 2017.
National Secretary, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN), Baba Usman Ngelzarma, said that until the grey areas identified in the anti-grazing law is revisited, the crises between Herders and farmers in Benue State would be difficult to resolve.
Ngelzarma spoke during a meeting initiated by leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) led by its president, Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN, to proffer lasting solution to the farmers and herders crises in Benue State.
While stressing that the problem is bigger for the Federal Government to handle, Ngelzarma lamented that out of the 415 grazing areas reserve by the Federal Government, only 140 are functional.
He said:” It is unfortunate that out of the 415 grazing reserve set aside by the Federal Government, only 140 are functional. Even at that, the grazing areas have become useless because there is no water in the reserve.
“This is the reason why these herders go out to look for water and in the event of their going out, they end up losing most of their cows to farmers. If the grazing reserves are improved upon, there will be less of these crises”.
For his part, Ibrahim Galma, Benue State Secretary General, MACBAN, accused Governor Samuel Ortom and leadership of the State Assembly of passing the law without carrying their members along.
He said that none of their members were represented at the public hearings only for them to be informed that the law would take effect from November.
“For that law to be balanced, something need to done. Those grey areas need to be corrected and at least, we should be given some time to sort ourselves out.
“Most of us were born and brought up in Benue State, if you wake up and ask us to go, then where do you want us to go?” he asked.
At the end of the meeting, the NBA boss assured that the members will review the issues raised by all the stakeholders and come up with a comprehensive report that will help in curbing the herders and farmers crises.
It would be recalled that a similar meeting was held by the membership of the NBA at Makurdi, the Benue State capital.
Mahmoud while addressing the stakeholders during the one-day town hall meeting assured that the NBA would carry out a detailed table review of the issues raised by the stakeholders and come up with a logical conclusion.
He said: “The Bar has been consistently associated with the rule of law. We are concerned that whatever our contribution is, it will be concise and practical.
“We are also concerned in bringing this circle of violence to an end. The NBA will look at the evidence and content of facts, carefully analyse all of the facts and come out with a logical conclusion,” he said.
The two-day programme of the NBA delegation came to a tearful end last Saturday when the team visited two Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp at Daudu in Guma Local Government Area of the state to see first-hand the humanitarian crisis that trailed the herdsmen killings in the state.