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Northern governors admit open grazing, no longer sustainable

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The Northern Governors’ Forum says the current system of open grazing, operated by herders in the country, is no longer sustainable.

The forum made this known in a statement issued by its chairman and governor of Plateau, Simon Lalong.

According to the communique, the northern governors will aggressively sensitise herdsmen on the need to adopt new methods of herding by ranching or other acceptable modern methods rather than to continue with open grazing.

It said that the northern governors would engage elders and youths in discussions, to seek solutions to security challenges in the north.

“In view of that, a four-man committee, to be headed by the Chairman of the forum, was established. The Forum condemns every form of criminality whether from herders, hunters, or farmers occupying forest reserves illegally.

“Also, it noted with concern the tension generated by the eviction order issued to herdsmen in some parts of the country. It observed that this is heating the already fragile security atmosphere with threats of reprisals, which the Northern Governors are working assiduously to contain,’’ the statement read in part.

Lalong also called for restraint from leaders, including those in the Southern parts of the country where tensions are high. He also called on all northern people to continue to live in peace with all Nigerians, irrespective of their origins and backgrounds, NAN reports.

Only about a week ago, the Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, had reiterated the need to ban cattle movement from the north to the southern part of the country in order to put a stop to farmers and herders’ clashes.

The governor had, while on a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari in Daura, Katsina State, proposed that a law be made to stop such movements.

“My advocacy is that we should abolish the transportation or trekking of herdsmen from the northern part of Nigeria to the Middle Belt and Southern part of Nigeria. There should be a law that will ban open grazing, otherwise we cannot control the conflicts between herdsmen and farmers and cannot control the cattle rustling which is affecting us greatly,” he had said.

 

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