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The Sout-West Zonal Secretary as well as Lagos State Secretary of the Myetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Maikudi Usman, has pleaded with the Lagos State Government to give the association more time to sensitise its members about the new law on open grazing that will soon be in place.
Usman made the appeal on Wednesday at a Public hearing on a bill for a law to prohibit open cattle grazing Lagos State, the trespass of Cattle on land, and for other connected purposes organised by the Lagos State House of Assembly.
Stating that it would be more expensive to breed cattles in one place, since breeders have been used to moving from one place to another, he asked that the state government should give them more time to enlighten their people on the new law.
He added that the association would need the assistance of the state government if the bill must be signed into law, adding that raising a cow in one location could increase the price of a cow to as much as N2 Million.
He then called on the government to subsidize the cost of raising the animals in one location.
“If cattles are bred in one place, the price could go up to about N2M each. We agreed with some local chiefs in other states that anyone who wants to rear cows in a location should register and he should indicate when he is leaving.
‘A Fulani man moves from one place to another to play his trade, but we have some bad eggs that are formenting trouble. The government should allow us to talk to our people that they don’t want our cows to destroy people’s farmland.
‘We have met with stakeholders in Ekiti, Ondo, and even Oyo States and we reached agreements with them,’ he said.
In his speech, the President of the Lagos State Sheep Farmers Association, Alhaji Mustapha Ibrahim said that the bill was not meant to attack anybody, but that it is all-embracing.
Ibrahim stressed that land resources was very important to Lagos State and that the relationship between cattle rearers and farmers should be symbiotic.
He also advocated for a legislation to promote the creation of farm estates across the state.
Also speaking, the Executive Director of Consumer Rights Advocacy Center, Comrade Adeola Samuel suggested the arrangement of some sections of the bill, while Dr. Femi Joseph said April 4, 2021, which is World Animal Control Day should be part of the bill.
Speaker of the Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa said in his keynote address that it was important to address the issue of cattle rearing, which he said affects security of lives and is a pointer to peaceful co-existence and other human desires.
Obasa, who was represented at the event by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni said that the issue of cattle rearing and open grazing called for concerted efforts for stability and economic development.
‘If there is no security, there will be no peace and development. Farmers/herders clash appears to be the oldest. Both the farmers and herders are critical to food stability.
‘Both of them affect our health. Their conflicts lead to insecurity and claim lives and properties. We must engage ourselves to make the right decisions,’ he said.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK