The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has revealed how the federal government can check the influx of foreign herdsmen.
MACBAN, in a joint statement on Thursday signed by its President, Muhammad Kiruwa, and National Secretary, Baba Ngelzarma, asked the government to implement the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) transhumance certificate protocol to check herdsmen entry from Niger, Mali, and others.
The association noted that the ECOWAS transhumance protocol of 1998 was suggested as one of the ways to curb the farmers-herders clashes in the country.
According to the statement, the suggestion was part of resolutions reached at the end of a one-day national executive meeting of the association with the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar.
The group said the ECOWAS protocol allows herders and the government to identify animals moving from one country to another, including their grazing route and destinations.
MACBAN added that the protocol allows all herders to have the international transhumance certificate (ITC) whenever they go grazing which would limit farmers-herders clashes and other criminal activities.
The statement read: “We asked the federal government to introduce social support programmes as is done to other sectors of the economy such as farmers and miners, the petroleum sector.
“This will alleviate the huge losses of livestock; taking into consideration the over five million cattle that have been lost as a result of banditry, cattle rustling, kidnapping and climate change,” it said.
“The meeting expressed its outrage at how 1,730 cows were allegedly rustled in Kafin Koro, in Mariga Local Government Area in Niger State, on February 2, which rendered several families destitute, without any means of livelihood.
“The meeting also appealed to the Federal Government to take immediate action against local criminal gangs known as “Yansakai” in Kebbi and Niger states, who are involved in wanton killings of 153 innocent pastoralists.
“The meeting once again called on the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to distinguish its name (Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association of Nigeria) with that of a newly registered organisation bearing the same Miyetti Allah, so as not to confuse the public.”