The Abuja Environmental Protection Board, has arrested nine herdsmen and confiscated 25 cows and 51 sheep for illegal grazing in the Federal Capital Territory.
It stated that the herdsmen were penalised by the mobile court which imposed fines ranging from N3000-N7,000 on them.
The acting Director of the board, Mrs. Omolola Olanipekun, who disclosed this at a press briefing on Friday in Abuja, added that 589 street hawkers were also arrested and fined by the mobile court.
Responding to questions about the directive from the Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, Senator Dino Melaye, that cattle found grazing in Abuja, should be slaughtered by the FCT Administration, Olanipekun said compliance with the directive may lead to violence.
She said, “We don’t want a repeat of what is happening in other states, we don’t want loss of lives because of cattle.
“We have met with the cattle rearers and they promised that they would try and get their people off the streets, but unfortunately, they did not fully comply. We have been arresting them and we discovered that there is another group that we have not met.
“We are preparing to meet with them and let them know that we don’t want cows in the city. If we start killing them (cattle), like the senator wants us to do, they would react and we don’t want bloodshed here. Very soon, I promise, the cattle would be where they are supposed to be.”
Olanipekun explained that the AEPB was working to replace stolen manhole covers, adding that the new ones would be embossed with the board’s name to discourage theft.
She further outlined her plans to keep the FCT clean, noting that discriminate setting up of car wash centres would be discouraged, stressing that it constituted an environmental nuisance.