Defence minister says anti-grazing law should be suspended

Defence minister says anti-grazing law should be suspended

Mansur Dan Ali, minister of defence, has recommended the suspension of the anti-grazing law.

The law is operational in Benue, Taraba and Ekiti states where clashes between herdsmen and farmers have led to the loss of lives.

However, speaking at a meeting President Muhammadu Buhari had with service chiefs at the presidential villa in Abuja, Dan Ali said the law has caused tension in those states, The Cable reports.

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NAIJ.com gathered that Tukur Gusau, Dan Ali’s spokesman, quoted him as saying in the meeting: “There is need to employ other channels with the affected states to reduce tension by suspending the implementation of the anti-open grazing law while also negotiating safe routes for the herders.

“The urgent need for the Nigeria Police and Department of State Services to prosecute all the suspects arrested in states. The need to hasten the establishment of a National Commission on the Control of Small Arms and Light weapons in Nigeria.”

Dan Ali also reportedly recommended the launch of a joint task force operation, similar to Operation SAFE HAVEN in Jos, with headquarters in Gusau, Zamfara state, to cover Zamfara and Birnin Gwari axis of Kaduna state, where kidnappings and killings have also been on the rise.

He said the council considered the killings and kidnapping in the northwest, particularly along Abuja-Kaduna expressway, even as the service chiefs reviewed the activities of armed bandits and other “criminal elements” in Anka, Maru, Kaura Namoda and Atalanta Mafara in Zamfara.

Note that the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, an umbrella body of herdsmen, has consistently demanded that the anti-grazing law should be revoked.

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Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had previously reported that the governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom, stated that if the recent killings in his state were meant to intimidate his administration into repealing the anti-grazing law, then the herdsmen had failed woefully.

The anti-open grazing law which was enacted last year, prohibits the movement of livestock on foot within the state, among other things.

The governor defended the law on Thursday, January 11, at the mass funeral for the 73 victims of the New Year’s Day attacks by herdsmen.

Ortom further spoke out in support of ranching, stating that “it is the best way to go and it is in conformity with global best practices”.

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Source: Naija.ng

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