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  Consistency of government policy is one thing tiers of government across the world find difficult to achieve. But the experience with Nigeria is different as the government at the Federal level is often found to be walking a path separate from that at the State and Local government levels.
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The first subtle resistance to this renewed call for grazing routes to be revived is the move by the Katsina state government to ban the movement of livestock, among others. So it is without coincidence that cattle were among the livestock on the banned list. Facing a scourge of terrorist attacks of late, Kaduna state followed the list of states banning livestock movement in an announcement on Thursday, 2nd September. And finally, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto has also announced bans that will extend as far as suspending the movement of cattle, among other things. Addressing a press conference, Isah Bajini, who is the state Commissioner for Information, revealed that the orders were signed by Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State on Wednesday after consultations with stakeholders and authorities. A part of the Executive Order read:
“Prohibition of transportation of cattle using trucks/lorries in Gada, Goronyo, Gudu, Illela, Isa, Kebbe, Sabon Birni, Shagari, Rabah Tambuwal, Tangaza, Tureta and Wurno Local Governments Areas”

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Already, the embargo on the movement of specific merchandise is being resisted by some of the key personalities known for banditry. But the truth is that limiting the movement of cattle in the North-East would affect the operations of ‘bandits’ hide under cattle-herding to attack unsuspecting farmers and citizens of the state. Meanwhile, the insinuations that the sacking of Agriculture Minister, Sabo Nanono, by President Muhammadu Buhari could also be over the failure of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to enforce/revive Grazing Routes continues to linger. For Buhari, giving the nomadic Fulani cattle-rearers a ‘lifeline’ of continuing to roam the country in search of green pasture for their livestock might be a non-negotiable mission with his insistence of reviving colonial-era cattle grazing routes. The erstwhile Minister of Agriculture may just have been the fall guy for that failed dream. And as much as the issue of Open Grazing for cattle continues to remain a highly politicized issue, the recent announcements by the 3 states in the North -East may imply that the leaders are beginning to take seriously the immediate and the hidden causes of the insecurity situation in their domains. Featured Image Source: Punch Newspapers
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This article was first published on 4th September 2021


Macaddy is mostly a farmer in the day who also dabbles into technology at night, in search of other cutting edge intersections. He's on Twitter @i_fix_you

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