FCTA BANS OPEN GRAZING IN ABUJA, EARMARKS LOCATION FOR CATTLE GRAZING
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has banned open grazing of cattle in Abuja, the nation's capital.
Dr Hassan Abubakar, the Director of Abuja Environmental Protection Agency (AEPB) disclosed this to journalists on Wednesday, adding that the FCT minister Muhammad Bello has earmarked five locations for cattle grazing.
The locations designated for cattle grazing in the FCT are in Abaji, Kwali, and June Area Councils.
Abubakar stated that the one-month ultimatum issued to herders has expired, therefore violators would henceforth be prosecuted.
The AEPB boss noted that a special enforcement team has been put in place to enforce the directive and any herdsmen caught grazing on Abuja roads would be penalised heavily.
"We held meetings with the leadership of Fulani herdsmen in the FCT and they have agreed on so many issues. We have given them time, which they asked for, and when the time lapses, we will strike. They are not allowed to graze inside the city; that’s prohibited," Abubakar told the Punch
“Even the minister has approved some grazing areas where RUGA is going to be created; about five areas. We have one around Kwali; another one in Abaji and one in Kuje,”
The enforcement of the ban on open grazing in Abuja, the nation's capital is coming on the heels of heightened tension between herders and their host communities across the country with some states issuing an eviction notice to the pastorals.
Many locals have accused herders of being responsible for criminal activities such as kidnapping for ransom, murder, and the likes.
The situation degenerated into clashes between herdsmen and farmers, the most recent occurred at Ijoka-Ijoun, Yewa North Local Government Area on Monday, February 15.
However, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) has said its members are peaceful people who are willing to work with the Government to combat all criminal activities, stating that herders are also affected by the insecurity in the country.
Baba Uthman, MACBAN national secretary disclosed that over 10,000 herders have been killed and more than 5,000 cows have been lost to insecurity in the country.