Series of attacks carried out in recent times by suspected Fulani herdsmen are reprisals, according to Meyatti Allah Cattle Breeders Association.
The association said the herdsmen were only acting in self-defence following many cases of attack on their cattle by youths of the various host communities where they had taken their cattle for grazing.
National Secretary of the association, Alhaji Baba Othman Ngelzarma, rose in defence of the cattle rarers who have recently been vilified for launching several attacks on Nimbo community of Uzo Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State, where about 48 persons were feared killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
Ngelzarma, while speaking on Channels Television Sunrise Daily programme, blamed the National Assembly of the immediate past administration of neglecting the grazing bill, adding that the neglect has led to the continuous Fulani/farmers crises
According to Ngelzarma, the neglect by the National Assemble has exposed the herdsmen to danger as they have been made to spread to other parts of the country in a search for grazing field for their cattle.
“There had been many cases of Fulani herdsmen being killed or kidnapped, especially in Kaduna State but these incidents were not reported. Fulani herdsmen are victims and culprits at the same time. It is sad that despite being a victim, they are also seen as the culprits.
“The clashes came as a result of the absence of grazing reserves and the protection of those reserves. If the past administration had done their work, we would not be having the problem of Fulani herdsmen attack we are having today
“Fulani herdsmen were pushed to the Southern part of the country because of the search for grass and water. If grass and water were provided in the reserves, they would not have the desire to go anywhere.
“Some people somewhere are out to profile the Fulani herdsmen as terrorists. Some want to spoil the name of Fulani herdsmen,” Ngelzarma said and expressed displeasure at the public sentiment against the herdsmen and equally blamed the media for the poor public perception.
He pleaded with the National Assembly to facilitate passage of the grazing bill stressing that it would help curb the conflicts between herdsmen and host communities.
Nigerian Pilot Saturday recalls that the bill generated hiccups following strong objection from lawmakers from the southern parts of the country who have insisted that carving out 5,000 hectares of land as grazing zones at the expense of the host states was unacceptable.
They have argued that since the herders are engaging in private business it would hardly be appropriate for the states to cater for the herders’ business without any form of compensation.
Others think itinerant form of cattle rearing was no longer tenable stressing creating ranches were the modern way of rearing cattle as is done in Argentina, Britain, South Africa, and North and Central African countries.

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