YORUBA agricultural producers cooperative the Agbekoya Farmers’ Association has warned Fulani herdsmen’s group Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore that it faces severe consequences if it does not obey the ban on open grazing introduced across southwest Nigeria.
In response to the incessant killings by Fulani herdsmen across southwest Nigeria, state governments are all in the process of banning open grazing, compelling all cattle rearers and pastoralists to operate from ranches. Although the main Fulani herdsmen’s body the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (Macban) has accepted the principle of ranching, its breakaway faction Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, has not.
Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore is insisting that the ban was tantamount to an eviction notice and as such it regards it as unconstitutional. Saleh Alhassan, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore secretary-general, said the ban on open grazing was targeted at destroying the means of livelihood of herdsmen and would radicalise the herders.
In response, the Agbekoya Farmers Association pointed out that their refusal to obey the southwest governors’ open grazing laws would have severe consequences. Its president Chief Kamorudeen Okikiola, reiterated that the effective solution to the problems of clashes between farmers and herdsmen was to stop open grazing, stressing that those interested in rearing cattle must, by all means, establish ranches as is done in other countries of the world.
Chief Okikiola said: “Can a southerner or a Yoruba man living in the north refuse to obey the Sharia law or any other law of the northern states? Yoruba people have been very accommodating but if we are pushed to the wall, we are going to fight back.
“How can a group of people, under a business name or an association, come out openly to say that they cannot obey the law of the state where they are operating their business, even if the law affects their business? We call on the southwest governors to put everything in place to make sure the open grazing law is effectively obeyed to put an end to clashes between farmers and herdsmen in the southwest.”
“The days of open grazing are gone and anyone that is interested in rearing cattle should establish a cattle ranch. We are warning the members of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore to be ready to obey the open grazing law in the southwest or face the wrath of the law or other consequences.”