Since the Southern Governors began meeting at intervals to deliberate on issues that are affecting the region in general, the Governors have been able to reach some agreements on how to go about certain issues. As the number one citizen of their respective states, the Governors are saddled with the responsibility to manage the affairs of their states, and ensure the protection of the lives and properties of their people.
The issues of "Open Grazing" has raised a lot of arguments between different regions in Nigeria. The Southern Governors forum are against open grazing because of the conflicts between farmers and herdsmen within the country. (Photo Credit: Afrikinfo). However, some Northern groups (Including Miyetti Allah) and leaders have refused to accept this decision taken by Southern governors concerning the Anti-Open Grazing law.
The executive governor of Sokoto State, Governor Aminu Tambuwal has reacted to the recent pronouncement by the federal government regarding the review of the grazing routes across the country. Recall the issue of open grazing has been a major concern in the national polity as a cross-section of Nigerians from the southern region have continued to voice out their disagreement over the policy.
Photo Credit: Thisday Ebonyi State Governor has become one of the most vocal politicians under this political dispensation. He is always in the news for one reason or the other as he never shies away from wading into important matters. And of late, he is becoming known for taking unpopular decisions that are contrary to the preferences of his Governor colleagues in the South.
Nigeria is more divided during this period than before. President Muhammadu Buhari also acknowledged this in his Independence Day speech on Friday, October 1, 2021, when he said, "This is the most challenging period for Nigeria since the civil war." There are some important issues dividing the northern and southern regions of the country at this time.
Open Grazing:Why Pro-Buhari group criticized Southern Govs saying illiterate herder do not carry gun
Despite that many of the Southern Governors in Nigeria have banned open grazing in their states and expressed readiness to enforce the ban, some groups especially in Northern Nigeria are still kicking against it. Photo Credit: Vanguard Out of the 17 Southern Governors, more than 10 of them have banned open grazing insisting that ranching is the way to go.
The issue of Open Grazing has been leading to various reactions from many politicians and political groups in Nigeria. Most Southern Governors have opposed Open Grazing and have vowed not to accept it in their States. Nevertheless, One of the umbrella bodies of herdsmen in Nigeria, the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, says herders won’t support any southern candidate who is against open grazing should he or she run for president in 2023.
Open grazing is a system of nomadic cattle rearing whereby herdsmen move from place to place in search of good pasture for their cattle. However, open grazing as a system of livestock rearing has been disputed in recent times following the alleged clashes between herdsmen and villagers. This has led to the loss of lives and property and also caused serious security challenges in most regions of the country especially the southern region.
Open Grazing: You Will Have To Kill Me First Before Having An Open Grazing In Benue- Gov. Ortom Tells Buhari
If there is any state Governor in Nigeria who stands his ground when it comes to raising a voice against an unpopular policy of the federal government, it is Samuel Ortom of Benue state. Ortom is one of the most troubled state governor in Nigeria having presided over a state that is being ravaged by herdsmen attack.
It was recently alleged that the federal government gave the Ebonyi State governor, Dave Umahi ₦6 billion for ranching. But the Ebonyi State governor came out today and made it clear that he did not receive any money from the federal government for ranching and that he is not ready to accept any money from the federal government.
Why Southern Governors Should Reverse Its Decision On Open Grazing Ahead Of The 2023 General Election
The issue of Open Grazing between Southern Governors and Northerners have led to various debate. Northeners have asked Southern Governors to accept open grazing in their states but most Southern Governors have rejected the call for open grazing. Photo Credit: Punch Newspapers Nevertheless, One of the umbrella bodies of herdsmen in Nigeria, the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, has said that herders won’t support any southern candidate who is against open grazing should he or she run for president in 2023.
Myetti Allah leaders at a recent media function (Photo Credit: BBC) The debate on the ban on open grazing by Fulani herdsmen has been raging since May 11, 2021, when the Southern Governors Forum decides to put a stop to the archaic animal husbandry practice.
Open Grazing: 'They Are Busy signing Laws They Cannot Implement' - El-Rufai slams Southern Governors
Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai has slammed the 17 governors that represent the South over their decision to ban open cattle grazing in the region. According to the El-Rufai, the governors are busy signing laws that are difficult to implement. The governor made this statement during a visit to the headquarters of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja, on Tuesday.
The ban on Open Grazing which was decided by the 17 governors in the Southern part of the country is yet to be fully implemented by all the states in the region. Recall that the 17 Southern governors in a meeting on 5th July, in Lagos, agreed that Open Grazing should be banned in the region to stop the incessant clash between herdsmen and farmers and also reduce attacks from killer-herdsmen in the region.
A lot of people have called on both State and Federal Government to build ranches so that herders can take their cattle there to graze on grasses, without disrupting other activities. The issue of open grazing has been a subject of discussion for some time now and this was the major cause of the Farmer-Herder clash as herders kept taking their cattle to other people's farmland which led to the destruction of crops.
The governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, has revealed that members of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria are cooperating with the Ondo state government on programmes implemented following the ban on open grazing in the state. During his interview with Ruben Abati on Arise News, Akeredolu stated that the concerned individuals should know that the Ondo State government is not taking the issue lightly.
The Executive Governor of Rivers State Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has signed into law bills on Value Added Tax (VAT) collection, Open Grazing prohibition, Child’s Rights Amendment and Resident Registration in the state. Speaking on the Open Grazing prohibition in the state, Governor Wike, informed newsmen that the ban, will stop conflict between herders and farmers, as it has been a major issue in some part of the country.
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has vowed to defend his state against every attempt to impose open Grazing on the people by the Federal government of Nigeria. Ortom made this known in during a Channels Television breakfast program ‘Sunrise Daily’ earlier Today against the recent development of the federal government’s ordering for the review of Grazing Reserves in 25 states of the country, Gov.
The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) Zonal Secretary for South-West, Maikudi Usman, while pleading for more time to enlighten its members, on how they would be breeding cattle in one place rather than encroaching on farmlands in Lagos State, disclosed that, the best way to breed cattle was to move them from one place to another.
Open Grazing by Fulani herdsmen has been the major cause of insecurity in Nigeria in recent times. It has all along been there but it grew worse from 2015 till date. Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, while seeking for a permanent solution drawing from perhaps the failures of several peace meetings, enacted a law to ban open grazing in his state with the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, 2017.