SWITZERLAND, JANUARY 19 – The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria has said that the agreement it had with the Ondo State Government was to stop night grazing and use of underage boys to graze cattle, adding that it could not be true that herders had been asked to vacate forest reserves in the state.
The Miyetti Allah National Secretary, Baba Usman, stated this in an interview on Monday in reaction to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu’s statement that Fulani herdsmen had seven days to vacate forest reserves in the state.
Usman noted that the meeting the cattle breeders had with the state government did not include the vacation of forest reserves in the state.
He said, “I just spoke with my Ondo branch chairman. The governor of Ondo State emphasised on stopping night grazing and not allowing minors to graze cows. These were small boys and that was the agreement we had with the governor during our last visit to Ondo State sometime last year.
“We jointly agreed to stop allowing minors to graze cows. And we jointly stopped night grazing. But that was what was emphasised by the governor. So, it is not true that any Fulani man was asked to leave Ondo State.
“Nothing like forest reserves; the chairman told me that the governor asked them to stop grazing around towns and schools; they should go to the forests and graze. They should not allow small boys to graze because that is what is causing problems. So, it is not true that he asked Fulani men to leave Ondo State. It is not true.”
Governor Akeredolu on Monday reportedly ordered Fulani herdsmen to vacate all forest reserves in the state within seven days.