Miyetti Allah cattle breeders protest against anti-grazing bill
•Idoma people faults group’s claim of free movement
Members of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria yesterday stormed the Taraba State House of Assembly in protest against a pending anti-grazing bill.
The peaceful protest started from the Ministry of Works to the assembly complex, where the Speaker, Peter Abel Diah received them.
The speaker urged them to attend the public hearing that would be conducted in the state’s geo-political zone, adding that the bill was not targeted against any group as claimed by the association.
Led by its state chairman, Sahabi Mammud, the association “rejected the bill in its entirety because it was ill-intended, discriminatory and a misplaced priority.”
Citing various sections of the 1999 constitution (as amended), they complained that the bill would “restrict the movement of certain group of people who are constitutionally guaranteed of freedom of movement.”
They also cited section 43 of the same Constitution, which guaranteed every Nigerian the right to acquire and own land. Faulting the governor for initiating the bill, they urged the assembly to “stop the bill in the collective interest of the state.”
According to Mammud: “The penalties proposed in the bill are so punitive that they appeared to target the grazers for humiliation and displacement.” Meanwhile, the Idoma Forum in Jos has faulted the claim by Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore that they have freedom of movement to any part of the country.
The association had said in a recent statement that the protocol of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) empowered them to move across member countries.