The Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Alhaji Muhammad Musa Bello, on Monday, told herdsmen in the FCT to move their cattle out of Abuja, saying animals and humans should not be allowed to co-habit in the city’s centre.
In a release made available to National Mirror by Deputy Director/Chief Press Secretary in FCT Administration, Muhammad Sule, the minister said the decision was taken for safety reasons and that it was not because government wanted to prevent cattle breeders from rearing cattle in the territory, National Mirror reports.
He gave the directive when he met with members of the Miyatti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria in his office, the release said.
Bello was quoted as saying: “You have to understand that when Abuja Environmental Protection Board says cattle should not roam the city, it is not because they want to prevent cattle breeders from raring cattle in the FCT.
“Basically, it is just for safety. It is for safety of your cattle and above all, safety of the citizens. In a modern city, it’s not possible for animals and vehicles to move together on the roads because this could cause accidents which in some cases could be fatal, and it is our duty to protect lives and property”.
The release also said the minister asked the association to nominate some of its members to serve on the Ministerial Task Team on Environment under the Chairmanship of Squadron Leader, Abdullahi Monjel to foster smooth communication between FCTA and the herdsmen.
He was quoted further as saying the FCTA has moved a step further to identify new grazing reserves that will cater for their needs.
“A total of 33,485 hectares have already been earmarked for grazing reserves to cater for about seven million herds of cattle comprising of Paikon Kore – 8,500 hectares, Karshi – 6,000 hectares, Kawu in Bwari – 9,000 hectares and Rubochi in Kuje which is 9,985 hectares,” he said.
He noted that the critical issue is compensation for the farmers on the pieces of land, but assured that his administration would work together with the National Assembly to resolve it amicably.
Also, National Mirror reports that the Minister, however, said nothing should prevent the communities and the Fulanis living together, as according to him, there was no need to always move people around.
Source: National Mirror