An umbrella body of nomadic herdsmen in Nigeria, the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, has described the ban on open grazing in Southern Nigeria by the respective state governors as a declaration of war on herders.
The group also described the ban as an empty policy.
Seventeen Southern Governors had met in Asaba, Delta State last Tuesday, where they resolved to ban open grazing of cattle in the region, among other resolutions, blaming it for causing insecurity.
Spokesman for the group, Saleh Alhassan, however, told Punch on Monday, “We condemn it, it is totally unacceptable to us. You can’t ban our business without providing ranches. Let them create ranches for us, we don’t have the land, we are ready to ranch, we are ready to pay, let them create the enabling environment for us.
“The ban is an empty policy because it has no basis. You can’t ban our business, we are not criminals, let them go after the bandits and the criminals.
“We can’t comply with an empty policy. If they create ranches and ask us to go there, we will go there but they can’t wake up one day and say they are banning our business.
“If the governors are stopping us from grazing, they are preparing for confrontation. Their action is a declaration of war on the herders.”
When asked whether Miyetti Allah would dialogue with the Southern governors on the issue, Alhassan said, “Their colleagues in the North will engage them since it is politics.”
Alhassan further said the group would take legal actions against the Southern governors if they stopped the business of the nomadic herders.
“If you stop our legitimate business, we will challenge you in the court of law. We also have cultural ways of addressing injustice,” he said.