Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
Miyetti-Allah Kautal Hore Fulani Socio-cultural Association has lamented that the Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbe was exploiting his relationship with the president to undermine the interest of livestock producers in this country.
It added that the present psychology of the minister would not bring succour to livestock producers, noting that livestock production had been neglected over the years.
Miyetti Allah wondered whyâ€Ž FADAMA project was aggressively being sponsored by the World Bank without taking livestock production into consideration.
The National President of the Association, Alhaji â€ŽAbdullahi Bello Bodejo and the National Secretary, Mr. Saleh Alhassan â€Žmade the disclosure at a press conference in Abuja.
Bodejo alleged that he had been receiving death threats due to the association’s stand against anti-grazing law in Benue State.
Alhassan decried that livestock department in the ministry of agriculture had failed completely, describing it as a deliberate sabotage.
He stated: “up till now, all the policies developed for livestock production are just at the table. The idea of creating an agency to ensure there is identification and tagging and management of livestock in this country is germane and it’s an international practice. If that agency comes in place, every cattle you have in this country will carry a chip. It will address this security issue. If you say cattle have trespassed into your farm, just arrest one, the chip will identify the owner. All abattoirs will not take cattle that are not tagged, it is a technology that has been used to address lack of accountability to end this bisque of unknown gunmen.
“The livestock department in the ministry of agriculture has failed completely. It is a deliberate sabotage. There is underlining politics about it, unfortunately most of the people in charge of policies in the agricultural sector are from the background of crop producers. They have this inherent bias against livestock production. In fact the minister should see that policy as a complimentary policy because you have companies that are ready to come with that technology of tagging livestock.
“For the minister to oppose it, I believe is either being mischievous or so ignorant of the policy.
We are calling for the removal of the responsibility of livestock policy from theâ€Ž ministry as it is now. As it is now the chemistry, the psychology of Audu Ogbe that we know of today is not ready to bring succour to pastoralists,” Alhassan said.
He emphased that since the coming into force of Benue State anti-grazing law in November 1, over 10,000 herdsmen had been displaced, while over 600 cows had died.
“So far, we have a reported case of a particular Fulani man, Abdukadri who committed suicide because he lost over 200 cows. We have the criminal eviction of over 10,000 headers, they are forced into Nassarawa border communities, Taraba and some into Cross River.
“So far, from the report we receive from our members â€Žin Benue State, they lost over â€Ž600 cattle to hunger, and lack of water,” he noted.