In a resolute move to curb the illegal grazing of animals within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Osi Braimah, Director of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), announced that his team would commence arresting herders.
Speaking during a recent monitoring exercise, Braimah emphasized that grazing along the streets of Abuja is strictly prohibited.
“We are going to be strict on enforcement until the city of Abuja is rid of animals,” stated Braimah, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
“The laws against grazing of animals in the FCT are quite clear. The extant laws and rules are that you are not allowed to keep animals on your property, and you are not allowed to graze animals on the streets of Abuja. Grazing along the airport road is illegal.”
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The AEPB director highlighted the board’s efforts to engage with cattle-rearing groups through numerous meetings, aiming to address and combat this persistent issue within the city.
However, due to the escalating nature of the problem, stricter enforcement measures will be implemented.
“We must try to enforce these laws. We know that it’s getting serious now, when you live in Abuja you see animals grazing everywhere, cows everywhere, this is no longer acceptable,” Braimah expressed. “We are going to begin strict enforcement. We are going to seize these animals and take the violators to court soonest. Our prayer would be that the court confiscates those animals and gives them away because we have done all we can to mitigate these problems.”
Braimah further emphasized the detrimental impact of cattle grazing on public safety, citing fatal accidents caused by the activities.
He lamented the lack of awareness among the young herders about safety rules and emphasized the board’s commitment to minimizing the use of force during enforcement operations.
“Safety rules are not known to these small boys who rear these animals. Even though we have armed policemen with us, we always try to use minimal force against them,” Braimah stated.
“We have appealed to their parents to make their children remain at home and not to be herding animals on the streets. We will not have and condone animals crossing the expressway. We will not also allow people to keep animals on their property.”