Buhari Backs Open Grazing, Issues Fresh Directive To AGF Malami

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the return of the open grazing practiced, where herdsmen will use designated grazing routes to move their cattle.

The president stated this during an interview with Arise Television which was aired on Thursday.

Recall that 17 southern governors had after a meeting in Delta State imposed a ban on open grazing in the region.

Nigeria’s Attorney General, Abubakar Malami had kicked against the declaration by the governors, adding that it was like northern governors banning spare part trading, a job that is synonymous with southerners.

Asked if he agreed with the AGF’s position, Buhari responded, “You want me to contradict my attorney-general?”

He disclosed that he has asked Malami to begin the process of recovering land from persons who have converted cattle grazing routes for their personal use.

Buhari said the grazing routes were designated in the 1st Republic when “Nigerians use to obey laws” but those routes had been converted.

“What I did was ask him to go and dig the gazette of the 1st Republic when people were obeying laws,” he said.

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There were cattle routes and grazing areas. Cattle routes were for when they (herdsmen) are moving up country, north to south or east to west, they had to go through there.

“If you allow your cattle to stray into any farm, you are arrested. The farmer is invited to submit his claims. The khadi or the judge will say pay this amount and if you can’t the cattle is sold. And if there is any benefit, you are given and people were behaving themselves and in the grazing areas, they built dams, put windmills in some places there were even veterinary departments so that the herders are limited. Their route is known, their grazing area is known.

“But I am telling you, this rushing to the centre (sic) so I asked for the gazette to make sure that those who encroached on these cattle routes and grazing areas will be dispossessed in law and try to bring some order back into the cattle grazing.”

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