The Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore has urged the Nigerian National Assembly to intervene and stop state governors from enacting anti-open grazing laws, which it says are targeted at Fulani pastoralists.
It also called on the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom to apologise to the “Fulani race”.
The governor had accused Fulani herders of being behind the killing and kidnapping of his people, saying their (Fulani herders) agenda is to take the ancestral land of Benue people.
The Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, a group of Fulani herders, made the call through the National Secretary of the association, Mr Saleh Alhassan during a National Peace Summit and Investiture of Queen Mother Amina Temitope Ajayi as the Miyetti Allah Brand Ambassador.
The event was held at Uke in the Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.
The group said the law would undermine the relative peace and stability currently enjoyed in the local communities, threaten the social order and worsen the incidence of cattle rustling.
According to Alhassan, the anti-open grazing laws would destroy livestock production and send into poverty millions of people who depend on the livestock value chain.
He appealed to the National Assembly to save herders by resuscitating and passing the Grazing Reserves Commission Bill and other livestock management bills that were initiated by the previous assembly.
The secretary also called on the Nigerian Government to create a Federal Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, saying such is available in many African countries.
He noted that the government needs to take an inventory of all the existing grazing reserves and fully develop at least one grazing reserve in each senatorial district.
“This is in line with the recommendation of the Inter-ministerial Committee on Livestock Development in Nigeria 2015, the Report of the President Committee on Pastoralists and Insecurity 2014, and National Livestock Transformation Programme,” he said.
He said that the review of the Land Use Act was long overdue to accommodate the interest of all land users, including pastoralists.
According to him, ranching as suggested by many Nigerians, including governors is expensive.
He said ranching is more suitable for herders with many cattle.
“Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore totally condemns the continuous extortion and profiling of the Fulani pastoralists by Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue and we call on him to offer an apology to the Fulani race.
“We commend the courageous efforts of the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari for listening to our consistent call to restore the existing grazing reserves, routes and create new ones.
“Because it is the only sustainable solution to the farmers and herders conflicts in the country,” he added.