Herders Group Rejects Proposed Census For Herdsmen, Livestock

An association of pastoralists, the Kulen Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, has criticized the proposed herders/livestock census in the country.


The association, in a statement on Monday by its National President, Khalil Mohammed, said the proposed census agreed to by another group, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, was in bad light.

Mohammed alleged that the MACBAN leadership initiated the herders/livestock census during a meeting with some southern governors in Akure, Ondo State.

He stated, “Though we are not objecting to people’s freedom of speech/expression of their opinions in all matters of national interest as stipulated in our well cherished constitution and in the United Nation Charter of 1945, but as one of Nigeria’s pastoralist stakeholders, who are keenly interested in anything related to the nation’s pastoral occupation, we strongly oppose and reject in totality anything to do with isolationism or exclusive counting of any tribe in Nigeria through the herders/livestock census as opined by one of our sister association.

“Our condemnation and strong objection to the said whimsical or myopic proposed counting has to do with the following tentative reasons: It is the first time in the history of Nigeria that a single tribe out of over 200 tribes initiates to be singly counted for a reason only known to itself; the herders will be cocooned and marooned in their fatherland by restricting their free movement in their struggle for survival in search of animal pasture and water points for their livestock.”

Mohammed lamented that the proposed census negated the nation’s constitution, which stated that no tribe name would be mentioned during conduct of any census.

He added that the counting and documentation of herders and their livestock at this time of serious unrest would make them to be seen as criminals in the eyes of other Nigerians.

Mohammed, while stating that the outcome of the census would be disputed by everyone, said, “Above all, according to Nigeria’s rigid constitution, it is only the National Population Commission that is responsible for carrying out population census and not an individual group.

“Likewise, it is only the Directorate of Animal Husbandry Services of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development that is responsible for conducting census or estimation of the country’s livestock.”


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