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17 Southern governors ban Open Cattle Grazing

Southern Governors are like Nnamdi Kanu, Sunday Igboho – Sani Yabagi
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki (left); Dapo Abiodun of Ogun; Akwa Ibom Deputy Governor, Moses Ekpo; Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra; Douye Diri of Bayelsa, Ebonyi counterpart David Omahi; Dr. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti; Chairman, Southern Governors Forum and Governor of Ondo, Rotimi Akeredolu; Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta; Nyesom Wike of Rivers; Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos; Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwanyi; Imo Deputy Governor, Placid Njoku; Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde and Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia after Southern Governors’ meeting at Government House, Asaba. - Tuesday, 11th May, 2021
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After individual attempts to address menace of open grazing in Southern states, the Forum of Southern Governors in one voice, on Tuesday, announced a ban on open grazing in all the 17 Southern states. They recommended that the Federal Government should support willing states to develop alternative and modern livestock management systems.

 

They also called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to as a matter of urgency and importance, address Nigerians on the frightening state of insecurity across the nation and convoke a national dialogue.

 

The governors, who were united by their resolve to make Nigeria work, did not betray partisan sentiments, but agreed among other issues that the President address Nigerians to restore the people’s confidence.

17 Southern governors ban Open Cattle Grazing
17 Southern governors ban Open Cattle Grazing

Of the 17 southern states, 13 governors were in attendance at the meeting. They are Governor Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Dr Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), and Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos).

 

 


Others are Douye Diri (Bayelsa), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), David Umahi (Ebonyi), and Willie Obiano (Anambra). Imo and Akwa Ibom states were represented by their deputy governors, while Osun and Cross Rivers states were absent at the meeting.

 

In a resolution after the meeting, the forum explained rationale for the ban on open grazing, stressing that, “development and population growth has put pressure on available land and increased the prospects of conflict between migrating herders and local populations in the South. Given this scenario, it becomes imperative to enforce the ban on open grazing in the South, including cattle movement to the South by foot.”

 

The Guardian learnt that the governors collectively identified the incursion of armed herders, criminals and bandits into the Southern part of the country as being at the root of the “severe security challenge such that citizens are not able to live their normal lives in the region.

 

In a 12-point communiqué read by the Forum’s Chairman, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, at the end of its four hours meeting, the Southern Governors expressed displeasure with the worsening state of insecurity and noted that the situation revolves around agitations over restructuring, but affirmed that that the peoples of Southern Nigeria remain committed to the unity of Nigeria.

 

The governors stressed that the unity of the country should be “on the basis of justice, fairness, equity and oneness and peaceful co-existence between and among its peoples with a focus on the attainment of shared goals for economic development and prosperity.

 

 


“The progress of the nation requires that urgent and bold steps be taken to restructure the Nigerian federation to berth evolution of state police, review of revenue allocation formula in favour of the sub-national governments and creation of other institutions, which legitimately advance commitment to and practice of true federalism.

 

“The FG should convoke a national dialogue as a matter of urgency, based on the widespread agitations among various peoples for greater inclusiveness in existing governance arrangements.

 

“The meeting noted that in deference to the sensitivities of our various peoples, there is need to review appointments into Federal Government agencies, including security agencies to “reflect federal character as Nigeria’s overall population is heterogeneous.”

 

 


While the governors resolved to foster cooperation among the Southern states and the nation at large, they expressed concern over the continued gridlock on the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, particularly the “chokehold it has exerted on the nation’s economy being the sole outlet from Apapa Wharf.

 

“The meeting, therefore, recommended the activation and establishment of ports in other states of the federation to create new jobs and promote socio-economic activities in the country.”

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