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Open-grazing: "Govt should treat herdsmen the way businessmen in Onitsha are treated" –Abdullahi

The former governor of Nasarawa State, and Senate Committee Chairman on Agriculture and Rural Development, representing Nasarawa West Senatorial district, Abdullahi Adamu, had reportedly disclosed that, government owes it as a duty to treat herdsmen the same way businessmen in Alaba, Onitsha, Kano, and Port Harcourt are being treated.

According to him, government should make funds available to herdsmen pursuing their legitimate business the same way businessmen across the country have access to funds from the national treasury, because they are Nigerians too.

He noted that, the fundamental rights of every Nigerian citizens with no exception, as enshrined in the Constitution include: Right to freedom of movement, right to pursue a legitimate business, as well as right to freedom of association, and no one, under any pretence can take away these rights. “When I read the meeting of southern governors, as well as the issue of open grazing and how they kicked against it and threatened to make law against it, I replied them in a manner that you recalled. I believe as governors and as members of the executive, operating in the different tier of government, they have a constitution upon which they take an oath of office. As enshrined in the Nigerian constitution, every Nigerian, no exception, has a right of free movement, to pursue a legitimate business, and right to associate with other citizens. I don’t know under any condition which government can say, yes, we can take away this right," he said.

He also, lamented that herders because of their calling, don’t enjoy infrastructure like good road, electricity, pipe borne water among others, yet their rights were being stampeded.

Senator Abdullahi made these statements, while expressing disappointment at how governors are legislating on anti-open grazing law, at a media parley with Senate Press Corps in Abuja on Monday, 13th September, 2021.

The Senator further disclosed that, the duty to protect herdsmen and farmers, rest squarely on the national, State and Local government administration. “The question here is, has the government done what it is supposed to do to protect Nigerians who are in that calling, in that profession and in that trade? The answer is no and you cannot blame the person who is desperately looking for means of livelihood," he said.

He however stated that, Government owes herdsmen a duty to protect their calling. "And I dare repeat that if you go to Wuse Market here, you will see how many infrastructure have been provided by the FCT and Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) like water, and electricity. These are for Nigerians. These herdsmen are Nigerians too," Abdullahi added.


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Abdullahi Adamu Nasarawa State Nigerians Onitsha Port Harcourt

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