The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN), South West Chapter, has kicked against the introduction of laws that prohibit open cattle grazing, noting that ranching is an expensive way of breeding cattle.
The South West Zonal Secretary of the MACBAN, Mr. Meikudi Usman, disclosed this at a public hearing on a bill for a law to Prohibit Open Cattle Grazing that was organised by the Lagos State House of Assembly recently.
Usman noted that pastoral farming, where animals are moved to different places during the rainy and dry seasons, was best for cattle rearing.
In his words: "If cattle are bred in one place, the price could go up to about two million each. We agreed with some local chiefs in other states that anyone who wants to rear cows in a location should register and he should indicate when he is leaving. A Fulani man moves from one place to another to ply his trade, but we have some bad eggs that are fomenting trouble. The government should allow us to tell our people that they don't want our cows to destroy people's farmland. We have met with stakeholders in Ekiti, Ondo and the even Oyo States and we reached agreements with them."
The Zonal Secretary pointed that the association would need the assistance of the government in subsidising the cost of raising the animals in one location, when the bill would be signed into law.
He therefore urged the Lagos State Government to amend the proposed bill intending to restrict grazing to a particular place.
On his part, Speaker of the House, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, said that it has become necessary to address issues around cattle rearing, which have affected the security of lives of people in the state and beyond.
Obasa, who was represented by his Deputy, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, called for concerted efforts in stemming the tide in order to attain stability and economic development.
He said: "If there is no security, there will be no peace and development. Farmers/herders clash appears to be the oldest. Both the farmers and herders are critical to food stability. Both of them affect our health. Their conflicts lead to insecurity and claim lives and properties. We must engage ourselves to make the right decisions."