Northern reps back decision to ban open grazing in the south - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE


Friday, 14 May 2021

Northern reps back decision to ban open grazing in the south

By Our Correspondent

Members of minority parties from the 19 northern states in the house of representatives, have backed the resolve by the governors in the southern region to ban open grazing and the movement of cattle by foot.

The governors of the southern region took the decision after a meeting in Asaba, Delta state capital, on Tuesday.

In a statement issued on Thursday and signed by Amos Gwamna, Kaduna; Solomon Maren, Plateau; Rimande Shawulu, Taraba; Mark Gbillah, Benue; Tajudeen Yusuf, Kogi, and Usman Sokodabo, FCT, respectively, the lawmakers said the ban will address the security challenges in the region.

The lawmakers also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to initiate the process of restructuring the country.

“We, members of the minority from the north, hereby call on President Buhari to heed the genuine advice of governors from the south and immediately address the nation to assuage frayed nerves,” the lawmakers said in a statement.

“The president should also put machinery in place for the commencement of the process of restructuring the nation and initiate a legislation to end open grazing, which has been at the centre of the lingering insecurity across the nation.

“In order to regain the confidence of majority of Nigerians, the president must begin to redress his skewed appointments, which have unfortunately divided the nation along ethnic and religious lines.

“We commend the governors for taking the bold move to speak against open grazing and other ills bedeviling the nation. Benue state had the foresight and enacted a law banning open grazing and was closely followed by Taraba state.

“Unfortunately, these states have not gotten the desired support from the federal government, thereby creating room for some elements to undermine the implementation of the law.”

The lawmakers said it is “anachronistic and archaic” to allow pastoralists to move cattle on foot in the 21st century, adding that Nigeria must not be left out in endorsing ranching and modern farming techniques.