The ban on open grazing in Taraba State has officially taken effect today in line with Governor Darius Ishaku’s declaration that Wednesday, January 24, 2018 would be the official date of banning open grazing throughout the state.
Mr Ishaku made notice of the ban while addressing a crowd at the burial of the lawmaker representing Takum I state constituency, Late Hosea Ibi who was kidnapped on December 30, 2017, and was later found dead.
A senator, Emmanuel Bwacha and the Speaker of the Taraba State Assembly, Abel Diah, had on various occasions appealed to the governor to protect the state against the wanton killings by suspected herdsmen.
Mr Ishaku of has now officially joined his counterparts in Benue and Ekiti State to officially place a ban on open grazing.
It could also be recalled that Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom on May 22, signed the anti-open grazing and anti-kidnapping, abduction, cultism and terrorism bills into law in the state and effected the law on Wednesday, November 1, 2017.
Governors Ishaku and Ortom, however, closed ranks against attempts by the Federal Government to establish cattle colony in both states.
Meanwhile, DAILY NIGERIAN reported recently that the state government had recruited and trained over 1000 ‘Special Anti-open Grazing Marshals’.
However, in his reaction, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, rejected the move, describing it as “calculated and deliberate attempt to attack Fulani nomads.
The Chairman of the association, Sahabi Tukur, while describing the law as ill intended, discriminatory and misplaced priority, said if implemented, the law may cause uneasy and another round of crisis.
Mr Tukur noted that the essence of government is to protect the lives and property of its citizens irrespective of creed, ethnic, geographical or regional inclination before any consideration.
“However, going through the law and even hurriedly recruiting these ethnic militias to attack Fulanis under the guise of Marshals, we can clearly pick holes that are capable of undermining the essence of government as provided for by the Nigerian constitution.
“We keep telling the government that we will continue to challenge the impunity and no amount of threat will frighten us.
“We will however continue to be law abiding citizens and everybody knows that supremacy of Nigerian constitution has superseded any law enacted by states,” he emphasized..
However, the state governor, who spoke through his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Bala Abu, challenged the group to come out with evidence showing clearly how the governor is training ethnic militia against the Fulani.
“We are aware of their plot to stop the implementation of the Taraba State Open Grazing Prohibition Law which is due to commence soon, but the governor won’t be deterred in his quest to bring peace to the state,” the governor’s SSA said.