The Federal Capital Territory Administration seems to have given up on its pledge to stop open grazing of cows in the city as herdsmen are still seen leading their animals to pasture in different parts of the FCT.
Findings by Northern City News indicated that the herdsmen had consistently disobeyed the directive to stop grazing their cattle in the city.
Our correspondent observed about 60 cows in two groups grazing along the Kubwa-Zuba Expressway on Sunday.
The Abuja Environmental Protection Board had in September, 2016 arrested nine herdsmen and confiscated about 35 cows and over 70 sheep from their owners for grazing in the FCT.
The herdsmen were later arraigned before a mobile court which fined them between N3000 and N7,000 for each of the animals.
The Director of the board, Mrs. Omolola Olanipekun, had told our correspondent that her agency had held a meeting with the herdsmen where it was agreed that they would no longer graze their livestock in the FCT.
She had pledged to eradicate open animal grazing in Abuja in line with the FCT minister’s directive to the AEPB.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, Senator Dino Melaye, had also raised the issue on the floor of the Senate where he suggested that cows found grazing in Abuja should be slaughtered by the FCT Administration.
But in spite of the arrests of the animals, the herdsmen had continued to defy the orders to stop grazing in the FCT.
The Media Assistant to the minister, Abubakar Sani, however, denied that the FCT Administration had given up on the issue, noting that plans were at an advanced stage to resettle the herdsmen at a game reserve.
Sani said, “No, the Administration has not given up on stopping open grazing of cattle in the FCT. Apart from the committee set up by the administration on the issue, the AEPB is still seizing cows and a number of them have been arrested.”
The AEPB Head of Enforcement, Kaka Bello, promised to provide the data of cows seized from herdsmen in recent times, but he had yet to send the information as of the time of filing this report.