President Muhammadu Buhari said he has given approval to the return of open grazing practiced during the First Republic where herdsmen used designated grazing routes to move cattle to several parts of the country. The President made this known in an exclusive interview with Arise TV, yesterday.
While fielding questions in the 44-minute long interview, the President said he had asked the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, to begin the process of recovering land from persons who have converted cattle grazing routes for their personal use.
Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami has condemned Southern Governors resolution to ban open grazing in their region.
Responding to a question on the decision by the Southern Governors and if he agreed with the AGF’s position, Buhari laughingly responded: “You want me to contradict my Attorney General?
“What I did was ask him to go and dig the gazette of the First Republic when people were obeying laws. There were cattle routes and grazing areas. Cattle routes were for when they (herdsmen) are moving up country, north to south or east to west, they had to go through there.
“If you allow your cattle to stray into any farm, you are arrested. The farmer is invited to submit his claims. The Khadi or the judge will say pay this amount and if you can’t the cattle is sold. And if there is any benefit, you are given and people were behaving themselves and in the grazing areas, they built dams, put windmills in some places there were even veterinary departments so that the herders are limited. Their route is known, their grazing area is known. So, I asked for the gazette to make sure that those who encroached on these cattle routes and grazing areas will be dispossessed in law and try to bring some order back into the cattle grazing.”
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