The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has called on the federal government to leverage the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) transhumance certificate protocol to check the influx of herdsmen from neighbouring countries.
The ECOWAS transhumance protocol of 1998 requires all herders to have the international transhumance certificate (ITC) whenever they go grazing.
The protocol allows for easy identification of animals moving from one country to another, including their grazing route and destinations, limiting clashes that often occur between herdsmen, trans-border authorities and farmers.
In a statement jointly signed by Muhammad Kiruwa and Baba Ngelzarma, president and national secretary of the association respectively, MACBAN said the advice was part of resolutions reached at the end of a one-day national executive meeting of the association with Sa’ad Abubakar, Sultan of Sokoto and its chairman, board of trustees.
The group asked the federal government to introduce social support programmes “as is done to other sectors of the economy such as farmers and miners, the petroleum sector”.
“This will alleviate the huge losses of livestock; taking into consideration the over five million cattle that have been lost as a result of banditry, cattle rustling, kidnapping and climate change,” it said.
“The meeting expressed its outrage at how 1,730 cows were allegedly rustled in Kafin Koro, in Mariga Local Government Area in Niger State, on February 2, which rendered several families destitute, without any means of livelihood.
“The meeting once again called on the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to distinguish its name (Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association of Nigeria) with that of a newly registered organisation bearing the same Miyetti Allah, so as not to confuse the public.
“The meeting also appealed to the Federal Government to take immediate action against local criminal gangs known as “Yansakai” in Kebbi and Niger states, who are involved in wanton killings of 153 innocent pastoralists.”