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2 Factors That Could Make Southern Governors' Ban On Open Grazing of Cows To Be Ineffective

Many Nigerians have continued to react differently to the decision of Southern Governors to ban open grazing of cows across the region. It should be recalled that for a while now, there have been continued reports of violent conflicts between herdsmen and their host communities, leading to the loss of lives and properties worth millions of Naira. In a bid to end the incessant clashes between herdsmen and villagers, the Southern Governors resolved to outlaw open grazing of cows across the entire Southern region.

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Since the governors met in Asaba a couple of months ago, and resolved to outlaw the age-long practice, states in the region have begun to sign the anti-open grazing bill into law one after the other. There is no doubt that this development has been well-received by many people in the region. However, I am of the view that despite outlawing open grazing, the law could be ineffective as a result of the following 2 factors.

Image Credit: Social Media

1. The fact that states do not control police

Arguably, with states not in control of the police, it may be almost impossible for the Southern Governors’ ban on open grazing of cows to be effective. This is due to the likelihood that the police may not be responsible for its enforcement. Again, the regional security outfits or local Vigilante groups that the Southern Governors are likely to rely on for the enforcement of the anti-open grazing law, directly report to the police.

2. The lack of the federal government’s support to the ban on open grazing by Southern Governors

It is no longer news that the federal government is not in support of the anti-open grazing laws of the Southern Governors. Recall that Nigeria’s Minister of Justice, and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), had described the ban as an infringement on the constitutional rights of Herders.

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With the federal government seemingly not in support of the anti-open grazing laws, there are chances that the police, which is controlled by the federal government, could also adopt the position of the federal government, and kick against regional security outfits or local Vigilante groups, enforcing the ban, or be reluctant on issues relating to its enforcement.

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Considering the two factors discussed above, there are chances that the anti-open grazing laws of Southern states could be ineffective. Arguably, it may be almost impossible for regional security outfits and local Vigilante groups to effectively enforce the law without the support of the police. This could have a direct impact on the effectiveness of the Southern Governors’ anti-open grazing laws which many have seen as a lasting solution to the violence clashes between farmers and herdsmen in the region.

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