Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Muhammad Bello has ordered herdsmen to move their cattle out of Abuja.
This is part of efforts to stop cattle grazing in the Abuja metropolis and on highways serving as major entrances and exits into the city centre.
“Herdsmen must move their cattle out of the Federal Capital City because there is no way such animals can co-habit with residents,” Bello said.
He gave the order at a meeting with members of the FCT chapter of the Miyatti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria.
His words: “You have to understand that when the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) says cattle should not roam the city, it is not because they want to prevent cattle breeders from rearing cattle in the FCT. Basically, it is for safety reasons. It is for the safety of your cattle and above all, safety of the citizens.
“In a modern city, it’s impossible for animals and vehicles to move together on the roads because this could cause accidents which, in some cases, could be fatal, and it is our duty to protect life and property.”
A statement by Deputy Director/Chief Press Secretary Muhammad Sule said the minister implored the association to nominate members to serve in the Ministerial Task Team on Environment, chaired by Squadron Leader Abdullahi Adamu Monjel.
The committee is to ensure a smooth communication between FCTA and the association.
The minister added that the FCT Administration earmarked about 33,485 hectares as grazing reserves to cater for about seven million herds of cattle.
He thanked Miyatti Allah for its support to the FCT Administration, and urged it to continue to support the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government.
Association chairman Malam Yahaya Isah promised to continue to interface with the government to promote peaceful co-existence.
He said the association would enlighten members not to breed their cattle in the streets and highways.