By Nick Dugba.
Aggrieved herdsmen who are protesting against the Taraba state Anti- Grazing Bill currently before the House of Assembly have threatened to halt supply of cattle to the markets.
Yesterday Monday, Fulani herdsmen under the umbrella of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) with solidarity from seven other associations, staged a protest at the Taraba State House of Assembly, calling it to throw off the proposed Bill citing constitutional breach of their freedom of movement.
Although the Speaker, Abel Peter Diah intervened and asked them to channel their grievances through public hearing, it seems all have gone to deaf ears as today the situation has assumed another new dimension.
A visit to the Sabon Gari abattoir today Tuesday, shows that work has completely been halted except for a few butchers who are selling remnant of the last supply.
An official of the meat dealers in the abattoir confided in this reporter that work has ceased in all the abattoir within the state capital Jalingo. He said the cattle markets at Iware and Tella, among others, which are particularly large markets that attract customers from outside the State have been grounded due to the action of the herdsmen.
The official warned that if the government doesn’t take any action, there could be scarcity of meat in the markets.
He expressed fears that the strike could impact negatively on jobs because a single cow could provide job for about 50 persons.
Commenting on the Bill, the official stated that a palliative or remedial measure should have been put in place before such a Bill is passed into Law. He also regretted that people were not consulted before initiating the Bill.
When this reporter contacted the Commissioner of Agric, David Ishaya Kassa, he confirmed that there was actually a situation but that it has been resolved and normal activities are taking place at the abattoirs.