Nigeria’s federal government has reportedly banned the open grazing of cattle in the country. The ban is coming days after suspected herdsmen attacked two communities in Benue state. The Nation reports that the decision to ban the group was reached after a meeting of a federal government delegation, security agencies and five governors. Benue state governor, Mr. Samuel Ortorm, made the decision known in a communique issued after the meeting. Mr. Ortom was reported to have said: “The meeting noted that all animal farmers must ranch their cattle and livestock for better productivity. It also observed the existing synergy between the security agencies and between the states and the Federal Government”.

According to the report, the closed-door meeting, lasted for hours, and was attended by the governors of Adamawa, Benue, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Niger and Taraba states, and heads of security agencies. The Benue state governor stated that it was agreed at the meeting that Nigerians should desist from hate speeches that were fueling the crisis. Mr. Ortom urged Nigerians to see it as a national challenge that demanded the efforts of all to be checked. He said that: “As you can see all the governors of the states where we have the most challenging security problem are here”. “We have dialogued; we have looked at the problem with the security chiefs and appreciated each other. “One thing that is central is that we have agreed that killing in any form is not allowed; security men must apprehend and prosecute those responsible. “There is no point politicising these killings; it is the responsibility of all Nigerians to eliminate the criminality that is resulting in the killings”. Meanwhile the minister of agriculture, Mr. Audu Ogbeh, has said the federal government will establish cattle colonies across the country to curb increasing cases of clashes between farmers and herdsmen.

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