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Anti-open grazing law behind Fulani herdsmen killings – Nigerian government


The Federal Government of Nigeria has blamed the implementation of anti-open grazing bill in some states as the major cause of the killings by Fulani herdsmen in the country.


According to the government, the decision of some states to enact laws banning open grazing triggered the violence.

Speaking with State House correspondents at the end of a meeting of security chiefs with President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, urged Nigerians to learn to accept foreigners in their areas.

He also said it was illegal for state governments to set up and arm forest guards.

“Whatever crisis that happened at any time, there has to be remote and immediate causes,” the minister said.

“What are the remote causes of this farmers/herders crisis? Since Independence, we know there used to be a route whereby these cattle rearers use.

“Cattle rearers are all over the nation, you go to Bayelsa, you see them, you go to Ogun, you see them. If those routes are blocked, what happens? These people are Nigerians, it’s just like you going to block river or shoreline, does that make sense to you?

“These are the remote causes. But what are the immediate causes? It is the grazing law. These people are Nigerians, we must learn to live together with each other, that is basic.

“Communities and other people must learn how to accept foreigners within their enclave, finish!” he said.

Mr. Dan-Ali faulted the decision by some states to set up and arm forest guards, saying it was illegal.


He said the decision was “in compliance with the presidential directive for the establishment of National Commission on the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons in the country.”

He said the Ministry of Defence, in conjunction with the office of the National Security Adviser, “has set up a committee to work out modalities to transform the Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons, PRESCOM, to a National Commission”.
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