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Southern Senators Back Govs’ Ban On Roaming Cattle

BEVERLY HILLS, May 13, (THEWILL) – The Southern Senators Forum (SSF) has lent its support to the decision by the Southern Nigerian governors to ban open grazing across their 17 states.

The forum, however, called on the governors to swiftly follow up on their resolutions by immediately approaching the leadership of the National Assembly with a view to working with the two arms of the Parliament “to ensure that their well-articulated positions on the state of the nation, especially as it relates to restructuring, state policing and the jettisoning of archaic traditional grazing methods, which fall short of global best practice standard and a potential threat to national cohesion and peace, are thoroughly and decisively addressed through the ongoing constitutional review exercise.”

SSF, consisting of senators of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as well as their counterparts in the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Young People’s Party (YPP), commended the governors for taking a firm position on burning national issues, including the call for the restructuring of the nation and the banning of wandering cattle.

The SSF, in a statement, jointly signed by its Chairman, Opeyemi Bamidele (Ekiti); Secretary General, Matthew Urhoghide (Edo); and Publicity Secretary, Chukwuka Utazi (Enugu); hailed the governors for ruminating on the expediency and the need for speedy restructuring of the highly lopsided Nigerian nation, saying this would also help to remove the venom that had permeated the land on account of the alleged neglect of certain sections of the country.

The SSF stated that the ushering in of equality, equity and justice in the way the country was being run would wipe out ethnic tension, restore peace and stability and ward off agitations for secession, now gaining traction across the land.

The Southern senators also stated that the deft and unanimous policy of the ban on open cattle grazing would help in reining in those hiding under cattle grazing to unleash terror of kidnapping and killing on the residents of the region.

They said it would serve as a buffer to wanton destruction of farmlands, kidnappings and carnage.

The senators lamented how the Southern farmers were losing billions of naira to plundering of food crops through encroachments on farmlands and exposing the region to famine and acute food scarcity.

They said: “At this critical point of our national life when the economy was being bedevilled by galloping inflation, youth unemployment and insecurity, food security is very crucial to mitigate the effects of these diverse evils on the citizens.

“Available records have shown that attaining food security status would remain a mirage in the South owing to the ravaging effect of outdated livestock grazing policy being unleashed on farmlands by some unscrupulous herders.

“Most appalling were the seemingly unabated kidnapping , raping and killing of our people by suspected herdsmen, who have become bandits heating up the system.

“With this uniform resolve by our Governors to initiate no-open grazing policy, the region will return to its peaceful and agriculturally self -sufficient status it had assumed even long before Nigeria’s amalgamation in 1914.”