Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki has said the decision to ban open grazing in the Southern part of the country will allow governments deal with banditry as distinct from the business of herding cattle.
Obaseki who spoke to newsmen said the ban will prevent clashes between farmers and herders and assist governments in checking the activities of bandits.
He said, “We have seen that banditry has been associated with the herding of cattle but we also have the challenge that we need our protein sufficiency. Many people invest in the business and get some of the Northern folks who help in herding the cattle.
He said the Southern governors’ decision to ban open grazing is to restrict the movement of herders, adding, “What we said in that meeting is that we don’t want to see you patrolling. If you want to do herding business, do it within a location.
“The challenge has been, which I have said from day one, cattle herding is a business like poultry, piggery or any other business. If you want to herd cattle, create an area, grow the feedstock, the grasses and restrict the cattle to the area and let the cattle feed there and fatten and take them to be slaughtered.”
“When you say, let people graze in a particular area or ranch in one particular area, people will say no, not on my land. But when these herders come into these communities, people collect money from them and ask them to go and graze without telling them where they should go and graze and these herders go into other people’s farms and when the farmers confront them, they will say they have paid, wondering why the people are confronting them.”