Why Southern Governors Banned Open Grazing – Akeredolu

 

Chairman of the Southern Governor’s Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu, has explained why the group placed a ban on open grazing of cows into and within the region.

The governors had earlier in a communique jointly signed by all called for a national dialogue and also announced that a ban has been placed on open grazing in the region. The communique was signed at the end of their meeting in Asaba, the Delta State Capital, on Tuesday.

Akeredolu on Wednesday, during an interview on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily said the decision is not new and most of the governors have placed a ban on open grazing in their states before the meeting.

He called for a modern system of animal husbandry.

“This message is not new. We looked at what is happening in our respective states. Most of the states have passed laws on open grazing. Virtually all of us have passed that law.

“We felt that … this open grazing must stop. It is causing a lot of problems particularly between the herders and the farmers. Whether we like it or not, times have changed and this must change. We must adopt a modern system of animal husbandry.

“In this day and age, they cannot continue taking cows by foot from Kano to Port Harcourt,” he said.

The governor said the Federal government needs to throw its weight behind state governments that want to set up ranches, noting that this will benefit the herders who are exposed to dangers as they roam with their cattle.

“At the meeting, we referred to what Governor Ganduje said. It was clear that he is also against open grazing. He says it does not augur well and the herders also do not benefit from it. There is no development, they are exposed to dangers.

“That why we suggested that the Federal Government should intervene to help these herders. The Federal government should give money for ranches to be created. That is why it is part of our recommendation that states who want to create ranches be supported,” Akeredolu who is also the Governor of Ondo State said.

The decision of the Southern Governors to ban open grazing comes three months after the Nigerian Governors Forum did the same.

In February 2021, the Nigerian Governors Forum, representing all 36 states in the country, said it had reached a consensus on the “need for the country to transition into modern systems of animal husbandry that will replace open, night, and underage grazing in the country.”

The ban on open grazing comes as herdsmen violence continues to be reported across the country.

Beyond the herdsmen crisis, the country continues to groan under diverse security threats, including but not limited to an insurgency in the North-East, banditry in the North-West, and secessionist agitations in the South-East and South-West.

Abiodun Orders Investigations Into Herdsmen-Farmers Clash In Ogun

A file photo of Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun. Twitter/@dabiodunMFR

 

The Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun has ordered the security agencies in the state to investigate the recent clash between herdsmen and farmers in the Yewa area of the state that led to the loss of life and destruction of properties.

He has also set up a Special Task Force that will maintain a presence in all areas of the state prone to herders/farmers conflict to maintain peace and quickly respond to any form of violence or crimes.

In a press statement issued by his chief press secretary, Kunle Somorin, the government is immediately setting up a joint security patrol team/task force involving all security agencies in the state to not only deal with the situation but to also nip in the bud any threat to violence or criminality.

“Our first priority in Ogun State is the safety of lives and properties of everyone, and we will not compromise on that,” he said

The governor who gave the order in Abeokuta at the end of the state Security Council meeting, also directed that those behind the recent violence in Eggua in Yewa North area local government area of the State should be brought to justice.

“We will not condone any act of criminality in the state no matter who is involved. The police and other security agencies have been directed to go after the perpetrators of this act and bring them to book. ”

“We will not allow anybody to disrupt the peace in Ogun State, and anyone who tries to test our resolve to maintain peace in our state will have himself or herself to blame”,

While commiserating with the family of the deceased, Governor Abiodun also expressed his sympathy to those who lost their farmlands as well as cows during the unfortunate incident.

“Our State is known for being a haven of peace, security, and harmonious relationship amongst people of different ethnic groups whether citizens or settlers who consider the State their home. This is a long and cherished tradition that we are proud of and which this Administration is committed to sustaining.

“We, therefore, condemn in strong terms the recent unfortunate violence orchestrated by certain elements by whipping up and capitalising on divisive ethnic sentiments to perpetuate an agenda that is inimical to public security and safety,”

While recalling the efforts of the state government to ensure the sustenance of the age-long peaceful co-existence between the local farmers and the herdsmen, the governor has convened an expansive stakeholders’ meeting to hold next week, involving farmers, herdsmen, and other stakeholders to bring about a lasting peace.

“Our hearts go out to the family of the deceased and those who lost their properties in the needless violence. This Administration is determined to end this unfortunate cycle of violence and we are hopeful that all the inclusive Stakeholders’ meetings will identify specific and practical initiatives that will achieve the desired end.

“In the meantime, all residents of the State are enjoined to continue to go about their lawful businesses and report any strange movements or threats to peace in their neighborhoods to the security agencies who have been put on red alert to respond swiftly and act decisively”, the statement concluded.

We Are Not Interested In Profiling Hausas Or Fulanis But Criminal Elements, Says Abia Gov

A boy stands while his cattle is grazing near some farms in the outskirts of Sokoto State. PHOTO: AFP

 

Abia State governor Okezie Ikpeazu says the state government is not interested in profiling any tribe but clamping down on criminal elements violating open grazing law in the state.

Ikpeazu disclosed this on Wednesday during an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily. He also explained why open grazing is banned in the state.

“Abia State was one of the first states that came out with legislation banning open grazing and our argument is that Abia State is perhaps the smallest state apart from Lagos in land area in Nigeria and we have a lot of minerals and crude oil beneath the soil.

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“God did not endow us with sufficient land to permit open grazing and leaving our land for cattle grazing.

“Our interest is not to generally profile the Hausas or the Fulanis, we are interested in the criminal elements,” Ikpeazu said.

According to the governor, the problem of farmer-herders clashes can be solved after proper diagnosis and when the Federal, State and local governments come up with a joint policy to tackle the problem.

“Nigeria is supposed to do a proper diagnosis of the problem and treat it accordingly. We are not diagnosing the problem properly; we are just diverting the attention of serious-minded people in this country.

“We have people who are interested in creating anarchy and confusion so that opportunist anarchists like ISIS who are interested in destabilising the country will come in.

“The Federal government down to the local government should come on one page and have a policy dealing with criminal elements wherever they may be found irrespective of the state of origin or background.”

It will be recalled that Southeast governors recently announced that they have banned open grazing and the movement of cows by foot in the region in a bid to tackle the security challenges confronting the zone.

Chairman of the Southeast Governors’ Forum and Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi disclosed this on Monday during the inauguration of the All Progressives Congress in Abakaliki.