Senator Abdullahi Adamu (APC, Nasarawa West) thinks that cattle herders haven't been granted the same rights as everyone else, as enshrined in the nation's constitution.
Sen Adamu wants herders to be given the same govt protection handed to failing banks
The senator says it is not the fault of the herdsman that he still grazes the old way.
Governors in Nigeria's southern region have banned open grazing of cattle, amid recurring farmer-herder clashes.
However, the ex-governor of Nasarawa is of the opinion that banning open grazing of cattle is unfair to the herdsman.
“The duty to protect the herdsman and the farmer rests squarely on the table of the national government, the state government and the local government,” Adamu said during a media briefing in Abuja, Monday.
“The question is, has the government done what it ought to do to protect the people in that category or in that trade? The answer is no.
“You cannot blame the person who is desperate and looking for a means of livelihood. However, this does not excuse anybody in the course of exercising his right, to do harm to another person’s right.
“A farmer has the right to farm. If you take your cattle to his farm and cause damage, he has a right to claim and he can claim in the court of law. It doesn’t matter.
"If all the northern governors echo the same thing that the southern governors did, it doesn’t change it. The government owes these herdsmen a duty to protect their calling.
“Yes, there is modernisation, but it is not the fault of the herdsman that he still grazes the same way he has been doing. We have misdirected our political thinking and activism by refusing to tackle the main issue.
“If you can protect a spare parts dealer, why can’t you protect herdsmen?
"If the government and CBN can protect failing banks, why can’t you protect herdsmen?” he added.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who hails from the northwestern State of Katsina, is favourably disposed to reopening old grazing routes for herders as opposed to placing a ban on open grazing outright.
This position has set the president and presidency on a collision course with southern governors, some of whom have since passed legislation banning open grazing of cattle in their jurisdictions.
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