Taraba To FG: No Going Back On Anti-Open Grazing Law
The bid by the Nigerian government to suspend the extant anti-open grazing laws in some states has been rejected by the Taraba State government.
This comes as the government, during a meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, resolved to suspend the anti-open grazing laws operational in Ekiti, Benue and Taraba States.
The Federal Government had reached the resolve after the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, said at the meeting that there was “need to employ other channels with the affected states to reduce tension by suspending the implementation of the Anti-Open Grazing Law while also negotiating safe routes for the herders.”
In reaction, Governor Darius Ishaku said through his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Bala Dan Abu, that “Taraba state is not ready to do that [suspend the anti-open grazing law] as the reasons for law still remain valid”.
Governor Ishaku said, “I must say that the minister is I’ll informed. He does not seem to understand the issues at hand properly and that explains their inability to resolve them. Herdsmen attacks predate this law. These herdsmen have been killing people for the past seven years or thereabouts. This is what necessitated this administration’s decision to come up with this law.
“The law as it is now is meant to stop the killings. If herdsmen no longer wander into people’s farms to graze of their crops, the crisis would be reduced greatly. The instances of cattle rustling would also reduce as it would become easier to secure the cows.
“So if the government is blaming the wanton killings on the law, what about the areas, the states that do not have the law and yet there is just as much attacks and killings? Is it the law that is causing the killings in Zamfara, Plateau, Kogi, and all the other states across the country where open grazing is not prohibited?
“I would not want to say that the Federal Government has ulterior motives but I think they lack a proper understanding of the issues here and that explains their inability to tackle these issues.
“In any case, this law was duly passed by the state Assemblies of the respective states and so it is only through the instrumentality of the States Houses of Assembly that the law can be repealed, and Taraba state is not ready to do that as the reasons for law still remain valid,” he said.