FCTA Banishes Herdsmen from Abuja Municipality

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Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

The FCT Administration has asked the Fulani herdsmen to move their cattle out of Abuja as part of efforts to stop cattle grazing and roaming the major highways of the nation’s capital.
The order was given monday by Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Muhammad Musa Bello, at a meeting with members of the Miyatti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, FCT chapter led by Malam Yahaya Isah.

The minister reiterated that herdsmen must move their cattle out of the FCT as animals cannot be allowed to co-habit with the residents on safety grounds.

The herdsmen are now to relocate to a new grazing reserve measuring 33,485 hectares with capacity for seven million herds of cattle.

The new grazing reserves are Paikon-Kore, 8,500 hectares; Kashi, 6,000 hectares; Kawu in Bwari, 9,000 hectares and Rubochi in Kuje community, 9,985 hectares.
The grazing reserves were acquired from farmers, the original occupants of the lush and expansive land.

Bello said his ministry would work out a plan with the National Assembly on compensation for the displayed farmers, adding that compensation may not necessarily be in monetary term because of the size of land involved.

“In a modern city, it is not possible for animals and vehicles to move together on the roads because this could cause accidents which in some cases could be fatal, and it is our duty to protect lives and property,” the minister said.

In order to achieve meaningful results, he implored the Miyatti Allah to nominate some of their members to be co-opted into the Ministerial Task Team on Environment, led by Squadron Leader, Abdullahi Adamu Monjel, to ensure that there is smooth communication between FCTA and the association.

Isah promised that the Miyetti Allah will continue to interface with the government to promote peaceful co-existence between herdsmen and the farmers.