President Muhammadu Buhari in what is tantamount to defying Southern Governors’ ban on open grazing hinted that FG will revive cattle grazing routes and grazing areas, previously set across the country in the 1960s.
In an interview he granted to The Morning Show on ARISE TV, Thursday, Buhari said he had his people to dig up the files on the old grazing routes, apparently ,indicating that the nation have not heard the last on the issue in question.
His sentiment also indicated that the herdsmen are not on their own that the federal government are tacitly behind their antics, and this may have been the reason why Miyetti Allah has most vocal in support of the herdsmen.
It should be recalled that the southern governors had in May declared a ban on open grazing, to curb the incessant violent conflicts between herders and farming communities..
According to him ”I have asked to dig up gazettes of the First Republic. There are cattle routes and grazing areas. The routes and the areas are known. You have to stay there and if you allow your cattle to stray into another person’s farm you will be arrested.”
Nigeria’s Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, had opposed the southern governors’ decision to ban open grazing in their states.
Seventeen governors from southern Nigeria met resolved to ban open grazing and movement of cattle by foot in the region over cases of kidnappings and killings that have been traced to criminal elements amongst herders.
Chairman of the Southern Governor’s Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu, explained that the decision is not new as most of the governors have placed a ban on open grazing in their states before the meeting.
“We felt that – 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,” Akeredolu said.
Before the ban in the South, the 36 governors of the federation had earlier met and banned open grazing and that was why no Northern governor condemned the move by the southern governors.