- The chairman, Kirikasamma local government area in Jigawa, has said the ban on night grazing in the area is still in force
- The ban was aimed at preventing farmlands encroachment, which could cause clashes between herdsmen and farmers
- According to him, the state and council will not make any decision that will jeopardise peace
Alhaji Salisu Garba-Kubayo, chairman, Kirikasamma local government area in Jigawa, said on Tuesday, September 25, that the ban on night grazing in the area was still in force.
Garba-Kubayo made the disclosure when the leadership of the Kirikasamma chapter of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) paid him a courtesy visit.
According to him, the ban was aimed at preventing farmlands encroachment, which could cause clashes between herdsmen and farmers. He, however, warned the farmers against farming on cattle routes and grazing reserves.
The chairman called on both herdsmen and farmers to always conduct their activities in a manner that would promote peace and development in the area.
“Herdsmen are expected to graze in approved areas during the day and not at night, while farmers are supposed to harvest crops due for harvest and take same to their respective homes. If everyone will play his or her part responsibly, we will not be having these problems.
“I want to assure you that the state and council will not make any decision that will jeopardise peace because we have sworn to protect the lives and property of our people," Garba-Kubayo said.
Earlier, the chapter’s chairman, Alhaji Yanbiyu Mattara, rejected an alleged plan by the state and local governments to demarcate cattle routes in Zagari forest in the area.
He said the plan would only escalate the conflict between farmers and herdsmen because his members’ farmlands were located in the same forest.
“We have it on good authority that plans have been concluded to acquire farmlands in Zagari and convert same to cattle routes. I want to inform you we are totally against such plans because it will not resolve the conflict; rather it will worsen it," the chairman said.
Mattara suggested that, as usual, the forest be restricted for farming activities and be made accessible to grazers only after crops harvest.
“Nothing short of this usual practice will guarantee peace. I foresee a backlash against any move to change the status quo," he said.
NAIJ.com previously reported that Benue governor, Samuel Ortom, expressed his satisfaction at the implementation of the state’s anti-grazing law which has led to the arrest of around 200 herdsmen.
Ortom said of those herdsmen arrested for grazing their herds in the wrong places, 49 have been convicted by courts of law. The governor also expressed his readiness to lay down his life in defense of the people of the state.
Benue Elders Speak on Herdsmen Attacks - on NAIJ.com TV