Open Grazing: Southern senators laud govs over ban, say method outdated

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State governors from Southern Nigeria have been extolled for prohibiting open grazing in their respective domains.

Governors from the South-West, South-East and South-South geo-political zones met yesterday in Delta State and resolved to proscribe open grazing which has led to several clashes between farmers and herders.

In a communique read by its chairman and governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, the state helmsmen said the move became necessary because armed herders have presented a severe security challenge such that citizens are not able to live their normal lives including pursuing various productive activities leading to a threat to food supply and general security.

Applauding them for the resolution, the southern senators in a statement on Wednesday by its Chairman, Secretary-General and Publicity Secretary, Opeyemi Bamidele (APC-Ekiti), Matthew Uroghide (PDP-Edo), and Chukwuka Utazi (PDP-Enugu), said attaining food security status in the protectorate remained a mirage owing to the nefarious activities of the problematic pastoralists.

“At this critical point of our national life when the economy is bedevilled by galloping inflation, youth unemployment, and insecurity, food security is very crucial to mitigate the effects of these diverse evils on the citizens,” the statement read.

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It further noted that “available records have shown that attaining food security status would remain a mirage in the South” due to the “ravaging effect of outdated livestock grazing policy being unleashed on farmlands by some unscrupulous herders.

“Most appalling is the seemingly unabated kidnapping, raping and killing of our people by suspected herdsmen, who have become bandits heating up the system.

“With this uniform resolve by our governors to initiate no-open grazing policy, the region will return to its peaceful and agriculturally self-sufficient status it had assumed even long before Nigeria’s amalgamation in 1914,” the senators added.