Mixed reactions have continued to trail the opposition of some Senators to the anti-grazing bill in the National Assembly.

The proposed legislation is designed to end the farmers/herders crisis and encourage ranching across the country a development that has tended to divide the country.

In his reaction to the development, a Bauchi-based legal practitioner, Barr Shipi Rabo said, “Farmers/Herders crisis is a phenomenal that is not restricted to some states, it happens in virtually all the states in the country, this calls for intervention of the federal government considering the effect of the crisis.”

He added, “It can be considered a security concern which rightly vested the national assembly the jurisdiction to enact an act to intervene in the crisis.”

According to the Legal Practitioner, “I consider the bill as timely and the right intervention to be taking in response to the crises. I urge the national assembly to open more conversation with the senators opposing the bill so that their grievances will be accommodated in the bill.”

In his reaction, the immediate past Chairman of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Bauchi branch, Barr Jibrin O. Jibrin said, “It is my considered view that the said bill may not be for the overall good of the country.”

According to him, “For one, it is a tasted truism that all parts or states are concerned or affected by the issue, meanwhile, the primary task of the National Assembly is to make laws for the good and development of the whole country.”

Jibrin O Jibrin added, “Another reason to reckon with is the fact that even in states where laws have been made on the subject, it is clear that there are still issues about implementation.”

“Then, you also need to consider the implication legally, that will come with the law asking or confining nomads and the rest to their “states” of origin because they are into cattle rearing,” he added.

The legal Practitioner adds, “The point being made here is that the Constitution gives every Nigerian the right to live in any part of the country, own immovable property, and engage in legitimate occupation, trade and what have you.”

He however stressed that “The ranching bill, the way it is being considered, is likely to negatively affect these constitutional provisions.”

He concluded by saying, “In all, I say the bill is not well thought out and at best, it calls for a deeper caution, consultation, and possibly a stay of action until all these grey legal and real concerns are addressed, otherwise, it is better jettisoned.”

As for Abdullahi Yalwa, a Public Analyst, “To me, there two sets of the opposition. Those with the ethno-religious mindset think from the point that the Fulani, majority of whom are Muslims and their source of livelihood are the main target.”

According to him, “This group also think the law is unconstitutional as it infringes on the freedom of movement of the harders, in addition to the fact that, it reduces free interactions among the diverse Nigerians, to which the North is disadvantaged.”

The National Publicity Secretary of ASUP added,”The second group are some who see it as economic sabotage to the country or an economic suicide since there is no alternative provided as at now. The same movers of the law rejected the Ruga or Ranching despite sufficient evidence of its benefits and prior practice even during colonial era.”

“To this group to which I belong, the Anti Grazing Law has been pursued, will only aggravate the Herder/ Farmer conflicts and indeed other security challenges as the owners of these animals must find alternative means of surviving. Similar attempts by Benue and Taraba states without alternatives only worsen the security climate,” he stressed.

Abdullahi Yalwa added, “Those who argue that pastoralists are in personal business and public resources should not be used to salvage it, forget that Airlines, Banks, and lots of other private business including Trader Money, N-Power, etc. are all interventions by Government into personal businesses, thus, what is good for the goose, is good for the gander. More so, food security is the most essential segment of national security and must be pursued at whatever cost.”

He concluded, “Therefore, provide a suitable alternative to open grazing first, then naturally even without any law the clashes will end. Chad as a country, has modified its species of Cows and banned the type of grazing without a single noise and everyone is happy about it, then why not the giant of Africa.”