The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has urged its members in the Southern states to vacate the region and described President Muhammadu Buhari as a clueless figurehead.
The 17 Southern governors had after a four-hour meeting in Asaba, Delta state last Tuesday agreed that open grazing should be banned.
Open grazing of cattle has often caused conflicts between host communities and migrant herders, leading to several deaths in many states.
Some of the herders have also been accused of committing other criminal acts like armed robbery, kidnapping, and murder.
Reacting, MACBAN Chairman in Bauchi state, Sadiq Ibrahim Ahmed, claimed the governors were bent on frustrating their businesses as well as turn their people against herders.
He said, “This is a simple calculation. We are heading for secession. The rulers are no longer interested in the people. If some people are banned from open grazing, there is nothing more. Fulani people should move out from there. It is very simple.
“Must we transport the cattle there? I have said it before. We have an option of breeding our cattle here (North). We are peace lovers. Let them come and buy from us. It is some people’s fault.
“Criminality started in the South. Armed robbery, kidnapping; all started in the South. We have been watching these on television. And if these are being transited to the North, and you know we have a government that is not protecting the Constitution of the nation. Everyone takes laws into his hands.
“The Southern governors can do that. There is no problem, let them do what they want. If the Northern governors feel like, they can also do it too (banning open grazing).”
He described President Muhammadu Buhari as incompetent, saying, “The President is there as a figurehead. He doesn’t know what he’s doing. He is not controlling anybody. In our country now, everyone does what he feels like. The country is already moving apart. Where is the central government, if some governors can meet and take decisions that are against the Constitution...?”
According to him, Buhari should "step aside or for Nigerians to put heads together and elect a credible president in 2023, a leader with focus and competence. Nigeria should get a leader with a good example, who is ready to sacrifice his life for his subjects.”