Breeders’ association moves against Taraba’s anti-grazing law
The leadership of the North-East Zone of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria has opposed the Taraba State Anti-Open Grazing Law, describing the piece of legislation as “a child play that would not see the light of day.”
In an interview with The Guardian yesterday in Jalingo, the chairman of the association, Mafindi Umar Danburam, stressed that the nation’s constitution supersedes every law enacted by the federating units.
According to Danburam, who oversees cattle breeders in the entire region, the law prohibiting their activities would be nullity at the end of the day, noting that they had dragged the state government to court.
He said: “In our view as an association, the law is just a child play because it will not supersede the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In a situation where a nation has a constitution, every state’s law is answerable to the constitution of such country.”
Danburam queried the recruitment of marshals, wondering how the “same government that could not pay staff salaries would be able to pay its militias which it has recruited and called marshals. To us, the law is nothing more than a child play.”
Listing Kenya, United States of America as some of the countries that practise ranching, the herders’ association leader alleged that Governor Darius Ishaku does not even know that there are well over two million cow in the state. He questioned how does he hope to ranch in the absence of this all-important detail.
Danburam, who also expressed reservations at the ‘haste to enforce the law’, claimed that the move was as a ploy to eject herders, which he said constituted 38 per cent of the population of the state.
His words: ” It is a law of hatred and segregation. It is a biased law that will not stand because we are already challenging it in court.”
He, however, enjoined their subjects and supporters to be law-abiding.
“We are appealing to our people to be law-abiding while we await the outcome of the suit.”
Curiously, cattle owners still go about the business of open grazing despite claims by the government that the law had taken off in the state.
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