The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, on Friday stated that there will be no need for the establishment cattle colonies in the South-East geopolitical zone.
This, the MACBAN chairman in Anambra, Sadiq Gidado, said is as a result of the harmonious relationship already existing between Fulani herdsmen and South-East residents.
Gidado, who spoke at a news conference in Awka, the Anambra capital, bemoaned the incessant farmer-herdsman clashes in some parts of the country, saying that the two parties were coexisting peacefully in the South-East.
“Cattle breeding in Anambra is different from what obtains in other states; here in Anambra; we are working in synergy with the security operatives, the indigenes and the state government through the Cattle Menace Control Committee.
“To me, anti-open grazing bill, cattle colonies and ranches are just political creations; these concepts are created by politicians to bring disharmony between farmers and herdsmen.
“In the South-East, the proposed cattle colonies cannot work; you cannot just take somebody’s land and give to another person to conduct his own business; it is not right.
“Here in the zone, it is virtually impossible to operate cattle colonies, as there is harmonious relationship existing between the herdsmen and the farmers.
“The cattle colonies they are talking about are already existing in the North,” he said.
Gidado, who is a member of the Cattle Menace Control Committee, commended the governors of the South-East states for being proactive by setting up the committee which had ensured peace.
While blaming some frictions recorded in the region on migrant cattle breeders, who were not members of MACBAN in the zone, he stated that the association had put in place some measures to forestall future incidents.
Gidado underscored the need to strengthen the mutual understanding and synergy between MACBAN and the people in the zone.
According to him, “We thank the governors of the South-East states, especially the Anambra and Enugu state governors, who constituted these committees that are coordinating our activities.
“The regulation is that you only graze where there are no farms. If you destroy farmlands intentionally or unintentionally, you must be punished for what you have done and be made to pay for what you have destroyed.
“And if the people in the communities kill a Fulani man or his cow, you pay damages accordingly; we have a good structure that enables the effective management of our members.”