Minister of the federal capital territory (FCT),Muhammad Bello has directed herdsmen to move their cattle out of the city.
The order was contained in a statement released on the minister’s behalf on Monday by Muhammad Sule, chief press secretary, following a meeting with the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, FCT chapter.
He said it was “part of efforts to totally stop cattle grazing in Abuja metropolis and major entrance and exit highways into the city centre”.
“During the meeting in his office, the minister reiterated that herdsmen must move their cattle out of the federal capital city because there is no way such animals can cohabit with the residents,” Sule said.
“Even for safety reasons, cattle should not roam on the streets and highways in the city, and this is not because the government wants to prevent cattle breeders from raring cattle in the Territory.
“You have to understand that when Abuja Environmental Protection Board says cattle should not roam the city, it is not because they want to prevent cattle breeders from raring cattle in the FCT. Basically, it is just for safety. It is for safety of your cattle and above all, safety of the citizens.
“In a modern city, it’s not possible for animals and vehicles to move together on the roads because this could cause accidents, which in some cases could be fatal, and it is our duty to protect lives and property.”
He quoted Bello as saying the FCT administration had moved a step further to even identify new grazing reserves that will cater for their requirements”.
“A total of 33,485 hectares have already been earmarked for grazing reserves to cater for about 7 million herds of cattle comprising of Paikon Kore 8,500 hectares, Karshi 6,000 hectares, Kawu in Bwari 9,000 hectares and Rubochi in Kuje 9,985 hectares.
“The FCT administration may even reach out to the host communities to work out a situation where compensation does not have to be in monetary terms because of the large expanse of land involved.
“Nothing should prevent the communities that are there and the Fulanis living together because you don’t always have to move people away.”