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ACF Agrees As Northern Governors State Stance On Open Grazing In Nigeria

Following the increasing number of Nigeria’s urban population, the current system of herding through open grazing is no longer sustainable, the Northern governors have said.

The governors spoke during an emergency meeting held virtually on Monday to discuss issues affecting the region and the country.

In a communiqué released in Jos on Tuesday after the meeting by the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and the Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, the governors expressed concern over the tension generated by the eviction order issued to herdsmen in some parts of the country.

They noted that the situation was heating the already fragile security atmosphere “with threats of reprisals which the Northern governors are working assiduously to contain.”

They also stressed the urgent need for the Nigerian Governors Forum to meet and discuss the issue holistically with a view to resolving all areas of misunderstanding and conflicts arising from the threats and suspicion for the sake of national unity.

Part of the communiqué read, “Consequently, the forum resolved to aggressively sensitise herdsmen to the need to adapt new methods of herding by ranching or other acceptable modern methods.

“It appeals to the Federal Government to support states with grants to directly undertake pilot projects of modern livestock production that will serve as springboard and evidence for breaking resistance to the full implementation of new methods of livestock production.

“The Forum resolved to engage elders and youths in a robust discussion with a view to dousing the tense security environment in the North. Accordingly, a four-man committee was put in place to be headed by the chairman of the Northern Governors Forum.”

The communiqué called for restraint from leaders, including those in the Southern part of the country, ‘where passion is high’ and urged ‘all the citizens of the North to continue to live in peace with all Nigerians, irrespective of their origins and backgrounds.”

Meanwhile, the pan-Northern socio-political organisation, Arewa Consultative Forum on Tuesday backed the regional governors’ assertion that open grazing was no longer sustainable.

The National Publicity Secretary of the ACF, Emmanuel Yawe, told one of our correspondents in an interview that the northern body supported the governors.

“We support the stand of northern governors,” the ACF spokesman said.

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