The Federal Capital Territory Administration has said it has banned open grazing in Abuja.
The Director, Abuja Environmental Protection Agency, Dr Hassan Abubakar, in an interview with The Punch, said an earlier ultimatum issued to herders had expired and sanctions would be placed on offenders.
While stating that the enforcement of the new directive would be enforced by a newly constituted special team, he said the Minister of the FCT, Muhammad Bello had provided five locations for cattle grazing in Abaji, Kwali and Kuje Area Councils.
He, however, did not state how the enforcement would be carried out or the temporary places herders would use before the grazing areas will be completed.
When Daily Trust contacted the FCT chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Yahaya Isah, he said there was an understanding that open grazing would stop in some areas within Abuja.
Isah stressed that the ban was placed in consultation with his association.
According to him, the ban will ensure that herders do not graze in sensitive areas, except on the outskirts of the FCT.
He said: “There is an arrangement for grazing reserves is to be put in place and that would enable herders to settle in one place when it is complemented.
“We were asked not to go through places like Wuse zones to areas in the Villa down to Apo roundabout and Maitama. Also, herders were urged not to follow expressways, including the one on Airport road as we agreed that they will build a cattle crossing centre there.”
He added that sensitization had begun to inform Fulani herders of the new directive.
Isa, however, noted that areas on the outskirts of Abuja city centre were not affected by the as the Fulani settlements predated the creation of Abuja.