The Anti-Open Grazing Law cannot work because it is targeted at some people and their means of livelihood, said Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN).
The South-East Zonal Chairman of MACBAN, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki, said this in an interview with Daily Trust in Awka, Anambra state.
He said this while reacting to a viral video where a man allegedly attacked a rice farmer in the Ugbene community in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra.
According to him, somebody attacked a herder by the name of Adamu Musa who had gone to rear his cattle in a forest in the Ugbene community, but he luckily escaped from being killed.
He said when they did not succeed in killing him, they turned around to accuse him of attacking a rice farmer.
He said Musa sustained serious injuries, noting that if he was not lucky to have escaped, they would have killed him and nobody will know about it.
“I was surprised to see a video accusing a Fulani man of attacking a farmer in in his rice farm in Ugbene, when he was the person actually attacked,” he said.
“I am making this statement to put things straight. We cannot be accusing Fulani all the time; even when they are the ones under attack… Instead of telling the world that they attempted to kill the herder, they are accusing the man they wanted to kill of attacking somebody in his farm.
“The herder never attacked the farmer rather the farmers attacked him and he escaped. This is how they have been killing our people. Had it been that they succeed in killing him, nobody will know and nobody will hear about it. It was when they could not kill him and take his cows that they started making noise.”
On why the anti-grazing law is not working, he said it was not established for public interest but to punish some people and destroy their business.
According to Gidado, when a law is established with the intention to prevent others from their business in the country, the law is certainly bound to fail.
“Law must be established for the general good and not for stopping some people from practising their business. Nigeria belongs to everybody and everybody has the right to live anywhere and do his/her business. They said they want to ranch, nobody is establishing the ranches. When you make laws to stop me from my source of livelihood, you must show me the alternative.
“Nobody had told us what to do since we can not be allowed to rear caws again. In fact, it is difficult for anti-open grazing laws to be obeyed. Even in Benue state where it was first established, it is no longer functional because it lacks a human face,” he said.
According to him, people hide under anti-open grazing law to attack and kill Fulani in the country.
“They are being attacked daily in the forest where there are farms and to justify they accused herders of grazing in their farmland,” he said.
He called on Governor Willie Obiano to revert to the former method being used to manage herders-farmers clashes.