The FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, recently made an important announcement to end open-grazing of cattle in Abuja. This decision is part of his plan to restore the status of Abuja as the Federal Capital Territory.
Open and unrestricted grazing poses many dangers, not only in Abuja but also in other parts of the country. The bad smell and sight of animal dung in the city attract flies and put residents at risk of diseases.
In the past, there have been attempts to address this issue. Former Chairman of the Senate Committee on FCT, Dino Melaye, even directed the Minister of FCT to slaughter cows found in the city center. However, these efforts did not succeed.
Now, Nyesom Wike is determined to tackle this problem. Shortly after taking office, he declared that herders can no longer graze their cattle on the grasses used for the beautification of the city. However, the question remains: how will the Minister drive the herdsmen out of the city without affecting their livelihood?
Wike plans to consult with the herdsmen to find a solution. He understands that cows can be outside the city where there is grass for them to eat. However, they should not be allowed to roam freely in the city center.
The National President of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Baba Othman Ngelzarma, expressed his willingness to meet with the FCT Minister. He believes that proper development of grazing reserves is necessary before stopping the movement of cows in the city.
On the other hand, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, another organization, has a slightly different perspective. They argue that cows should not be driven away or stopped from grazing anywhere in the north. They suggest that Wike should focus on developing Abuja instead.