Presidency hits back at Southerners over ban Open Grazing

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Olusola Bello

The Presidency has faulted the recent resolutions of the Southern Governors, including the ban on open grazing in the entire southern part of the country.

The President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement on Monday,  believes the Governors have failed to provide any solution to the lingering crisis between farmers and herders in the country.

The crisis has led to destruction of lives and farms and it is now having repercussion on the livelihoods of the citizens currently. The Herders/ farmers clash has resulted in shortage of food items and this has consequently led to the prices of few available farm produces such as yam, Garri, Tomatoes, and a lot of other ingredients to now be on the rise.

 

He said: “It is very clear that there was no solution offered from their (the Governors’) resolutions to the herder-farmer clashes that have been continuing in our country for generations,” he said.

Shehu added, “But the citizens of the Southern States – indeed citizens of all States of Nigeria – have a right to expect their elected leaders and representatives to find answers to challenges of governance and rights, and not to wash their hands off hard choices by, instead, issuing bans that say: “not in my State”.

The President’s spokesman who was reacting to the statements of the Southern Governors over the  issue of Open Grazing noted that his principal had approved a number of specific measures to bring a permanent end to the frequent skirmishes as recommended by the Minister of Agriculture, Sabo Nanono, in a report he submitted.

State Governors in the South had resolved to ban open grazing and movement of cattle by foot in the region following a meeting held on May 11 in Asaba, the Delta State capital.

They had called for the restructuring of the country along with fiscal federalism, devolution of powers, and state policing, as well as asked President Muhammadu Buhari to convene a national dialogue to address the agitations by various groups in the region.

Reacting to the series of calls made by the Governors, Shehu explained that the President has expressed a strong resolve to address the conflicts of herders and farmers in a sustained and lasting manner.

He was hopeful that this would lead to the emergence of a permanent solution to the frequent clashes between both parties, as well as the associated problem of the gun-wielding killer herdsmen.

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