Fulani herdsmen defy Wike, grazing cows few meters away from Aso Villa (photo)

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Fulani Herders Continue Grazing in Abuja City Center Despite Minister’s Warning.

In direct defiance of the warning issued by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) minister, , a group of Fulani herders were spotted grazing their cattle within the city center of Abuja on Sunday. This comes just days after Mr. Wike’s stern message to halt the practice.

Last week Monday, shortly after taking office as FCT minister, Mr. Wike publicly addressed Fulani herders, urging them to remove their cattle from the city center. In a resolute tone, he stated that grazing within the city limits would not be tolerated. “We cannot allow cows inside the city. It can be outside the city.

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Fulani herdsmen defy Wike, grazing cows a few meters away from Aso Villa
Grazing Cattles around Central Bank of Nigeria() (Credit: Ahmed Oluwasanjo)

That is the way it should be done,” Mr. Wike emphasized. He highlighted that the lush grasses meant for city beautification were situated outside the urban area, while the ones within the area councils were suitable for grazing.

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However, on Sunday, the Ejes Gist News witnessed a herd of cattle openly grazing in close proximity to the Goodluck Jonathan Expressway, near prominent landmarks including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Christian Ecumenical Centre in Abuja. The Gazette captured photographs and videos of the grazing cattle near the CBN, around 1:52 p.m. on Sunday.

The Central Bank of Nigeria, situated at Plot 33, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Way, within the Central Business District of Abuja, stands a mere distance away from the Aso Presidential Villa.

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Although Mr. Wike’s firm stance against open grazing within the city center garnered support from many quarters, the reappearance of cattle on the streets of Abuja suggests that Fulani herders are reluctant to comply with his directive. This development raises concerns about the enforcement of such measures.

Over the past eight years, during the tenure of former President Muhammadu Buhari, instances of Fulani herdsmen engaging in open grazing within the city center were met with condemnation. However, despite criticism, President Buhari’s administration took no concrete actions to address the issue. This allowed herders to continue grazing their cattle from areas like Jabi district to Asokoro, Maitama, and even the Central Business District, which houses key governmental institutions including the State House, National Assembly, and Supreme Court.

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As the situation unfolds, attention turns to the effectiveness of regulatory measures and the broader challenges surrounding grazing practices in urban areas across Nigeria’s capital city.

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