17 governors in Nigeria have banned open grazing in their states. The decision was reached in a bid to curb the frequent grazing related conflicts in Nigeria.
As individual attempts failed in the past months, these 17 Nigerian governors formed a forum to jointly agree on a ban that would protect the citizens of their states.
The Forum of Southern Governors urged the federal government to support willing states governments to develop alternative and modern livestock management systems as a lasting solution to curbing grazing related conflicts in Nigeria.
The governors, who were united by their resolve to make Nigeria work, did not betray partisan sentiments but agreed among other issues that the President address Nigerians to restore the people’s confidence in his leadership.
Of the 17 southern states, 13 governors were in attendance at the meeting. They are Governor Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Dr Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), and Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos).
Others are Governor Godwin Obaseki of (Edo), Douye Diri (Bayelsa), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Willie Obiano ( Anambra) and Deputy Governor Akwa-Ibom State, Mr Moses Ekpo and his Imo State counterpart, Prof. Placid Njoku.
Meanwhile, human right lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has advised the Forum of Southern Governors to back their ban on open grazing with a legal instrument to enable the prosecution of offenders.
The senior advocate said, “I have read the resolutions and for me, the governours have done very well. They need to mobilise their northern colleagues, they need to walk their talk because if you expect that the president will act on this resolution, the governors may be wasting their precious time.”
“Each of the governors will have to make enabling laws to translate the decision in the communiqué to legal instruments,” he said, adding that governors would have to ensure state attorneys general come together and put in machinery for translating the resolutions into laws.
Falana also lauded the southern governors for demanding the restructuring of the country along with fiscal federalism.
“For the entire country, these resolutions will be very useful; they have come at the right time, not too late, the governors have now formally joined the campaign for restructuring,” the human rights lawyer said.
Between 2015 to 2018, over 2000 people have died in separate attacks by alleged herdsmen in Nigeria.