Cattle Ranching Bill Will Bring Evolutionary Change, Says Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe

Senator representing Abia South senatorial district, Enyinnaya Abaribe, has said that the introduction of the cattle ranching bill will bring about a required evolutionary change. 

In an interview with ARISE NEWS on Monday night, the APGA Senator said the bill which seeks to establish ranches for herders in their states of origin to raise their cattle, was previously proposed by a former senator although it wasn’t passed due to various disruptions during the process. 

He said, “A former senator had also brought this Bill. This is what always happens when a bill is concerning this issue is about to be passed, first they will be the argument about our rights as Nigerians which includes right to free movement but they never bring argument other of right to life and security, when that doesn’t go on they will say there is a land bills act which vest all powers of right to land in the governors.”

Abaribe added that some people’s reservations about the bill which bans open grazing is that “the open grazing is a way of life, but it was also a way of life to kill twins, so there has to be an evolutionary change which come by education about the bill.”

The land bill act which wills all power of right of land to the governors was also highlighted by Abaribe as one of the issues to be dealt with.

Abaribe alluded that the issue of conflict between farmers and herders was raised at the beginning of the Buhari’s regime, but it has currently escalated and led to many deaths. 

He stated, “This is a matter we raised when the Buhari regime started. They had always been herders &farmers clash but it had never gotten to this point where whole communities were exterminated do some people will be roaming freely within their land which is what happened in Plateau and in Benue state.”

Further speaking on the root of the conflict, Abaribe revealed that “in trying to remove Jonathan, they were stateless persons from the Sahara region who were imported into Nigeria.

“That importation is a fact, they are called the ‘Bororo Fulani’ who are the imported ones that don’t own land, therefore what they want to do is settle in Nigeria, they were given free passage by the Buhari regime. We were shouting at that time that non Nigerians should not be brought in to the country, because they will not have sympathy, all they want to do is displace you, take over and roam freely,” he added.

He explained that as the bill had passed the second reading, the next stage will be a meeting where Miyetti Allah, Nigerian farmers associations from each state and governors from each state will be invited for an “open minded” discussion.

He added that the Bill is meant to “alleviate and not deepen grievances”. 

Abaribe believes that those opposing this bill are in the minority not the majority, and with a lot of “openness and understanding” they’ll get on board.

Nancy Mbamalu 

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