Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Cows overrun motorists in downtown Abuja, cause destruction

Despite widespread opposition against open grazing in Nigeria, President Buhari has refused to yield on carving out grazing routes for cows across 25 states.

• September 3, 2021
Cows on Abuja road
Cows on Abuja road used to illustrate the story

A herd of cattle on Friday marched onto Lugbe Airport Road in Abuja, causing destruction to vehicles and inflicting injuries on road users.

A video of the incident was published on Twitter on Friday afternoon, eliciting echoes of outrage and frustration from Nigerians.

Motorists decried the disruption caused by the cattle, saying they had become a menace across even the nation’s capital.

There are existing regulations enacted by Abuja city administration against open grazing of cows around the city centre, but herders have only sparingly complied.

President Muhammadu Buhari has faced charges of allowing the herders to flout laws against open grazing across the country.

Although he strongly denied claims of sympathy towards herdsmen, he has nonetheless insisted on carving out grazing routes for cows across 25 states, saying the colonial era regulation should still be followed in the 21st century because nomadic cattle grazing is a way of life amongst his ethnic Fulani people.

Abuja residents have witnessed repeated cases of cows blocking major roads as they forage around the nation’s capital.

In a Twitter post that included a short video clip of today’s accident scene, a Toyota Camry was seen damaged from behind, with witnesses immediately attributing the chaos to the cows that could still be seen roaming freely along the busy highway.

A spokesperson for the police in Abuja did not immediately return a call seeking comments about the incident.

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