A Fulani Group called Gan Allah Fulani Development Association of Nigeria, has called on the Oyo State House of Assembly to consider them in the proposed anti-open grazing law which has passed the first and second reading in the state house of assembly.
The National President of the Association, Alhaji Sale Bayari made the plea on Friday, during a press briefing which held at the Correspondents chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo State council in Ibadan.
‘The Oyo State House of Assembly has a proposed bill on ‘open grazing’ that has passed the first and second reading, government should first address the idea of ‘settled grazing’ before full implementation of the zero grazing’, he said.
“We are pleading with the Oyo State House of Assembly to ensure that as interested and affected citizens of the pending law, we deserve to be heard and listened to during the public hearing of the bill so that our views and opinions as Nigerians are heard and considered without bias against or favor”,Bayari stated
The Chaiman noted that although the members of the State House Assembly have a constitutional right to make laws for the good people of Oyo State, which include the Fulanis, and for the good and peace of the State, which they associate 100% with, calling on need for human face to this law in the event it becomes absolutely necessary to promugate and pass into law.
“We plead for an alternative grazing space for our means of livelihood, which is the cattle, which we are rearing as peasant traditional stock owners, not as commercial livestock or cattle business stakeholders, ours is the hereditary and traditional family life sustaining cattle rearing, not done on commercial basis.”
‘In the continuation of our national assignment as a Fulani ethnic association disturbed by our present and current security problem in the country especially as it affects a section of our members who have come under fire, hail and thunderstorm some Nigerians, especially the farming communities which has resulted in tensions of ethnic crises of various dimensions in the country.
“These are allegations that should have been leveled against all criminal elements within our society but unfortunately they are allegations that have been made against an ethnic, religious and a sectional group that have led to the profiling, stigmatisation and harassment of Fulani ethnic group as a whole.”
National President of the group pointed out that during the meeting that was held in Abeokuta on the 3rd of August 2019 with the former President Olusegun Obasanjo where 8 States were in attendance, a lot of the problems between herders and farmers were discussed especially the criminality that was attributed to the Fulani ethnic group as a whole.
“At the end of the meeting, it was all agreed that there is a national problem that needed to be addressed by all well-meaning Nigerians interest in having a prosperous, peaceful and one country that is the home of all that must be secured and protected for yet unborn generations.”
The Fulani leader noted that Fulani ethnic group had both the good and the bad like any other tribe and therefore the action of one bad Fulani should not be taken against other Fulanis.
The Group, however called on security agencies and other well-meaning Nigerians to cooperate and fish out all criminals in the country and ensure their prosecution to serve as deterrent to others, adding that members of the public should watch out for suspicious behavior and report such behavior to the law enforcement agencies and where ever possible the community leaders.
“We pledge to continue to work with the security agencies to flush the criminals from our communities, and to ensure that our members are law abiding, obedient and respectful to constitute authorities while promising to go all out to ensure that criminal elements were flushed out of our communities and ethnic group which may even make the enactment of the anti-open grazing law no longer a necessary absolute.”