Tinubu, Sanwo-Olu, others back calls for ban on open grazing

May 24, 2021
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National leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu and other southwest leaders of the party including Governor Sanwo-Olu, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and many others have backed Southern governors’ position on open grazing.

They made the call at a meeting hosted by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the State House in Marina, chaired by the former APC interim national chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.

Others are Governors of Ogun and Osun states, Prince Dapo Abiodun and Gboyega Oyetola, Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, former Ogun State Governor, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, Gen. Alani Akinrinade (rtd), and Chief Pius Akinyelure.

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Chief Akande, who spoke on behalf of the APC leaders, said the attendees endorsed the ban on open grazing, as the decision would lessen tensions between farmers and herders, while also helping the long-term economic viability of both the farming and herding communities.

He said the party leaders were mindful of the short-term dislocation the ban on open grazing might cause, but added the Southern Governors’ decision was in the best interests of all parties concerned.

The party leaders urged the Federal Government to provide short, medium and long-term finance through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for States and private individuals who may wish to set up ranches as part of the agricultural sustainability policy.

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“We recommend that the Federal and State Governments cooperate fully with one another to enact the necessary measures to encourage this more effective and modern method of cattle-rearing so that both farmers and herders can pursue their livelihoods with greater productivity and in a more cooperative relationship that minimises the friction between these two important pillars of our agricultural economy.”

The APC leaders expressed their concerns on security situation in the country, stressing that terrorism and criminality were threatening livelihoods of Nigerians adversely in many areas.

They urged the Federal Government to continue to allocate sufficient resources to enable the military and security agencies to tackle the security challenges.

The Southwest party leaders used the occasion to renew their call for restructuring and true federalism, where more power and resources are allocated to States to strengthen democratic governance and engender peace.

The communique reads in part: “For Nigeria to overcome the present challenges, we must do so with unity of purpose and action. The desire for peace and the chance for a prosperous and just society is universal and transcends all regional, religious or ethnic divisions. Sadly, many public figures have made statements that spark division and undermine the needed unity of purpose.

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“We urge government at all levels, security agencies, and public leaders across the country to do everything possible to prevent tension so that we sustain the necessary unity to defeat these challenges to our national security. All responsible Nigerians must speak and act in a manner that strengthens our common cause against these common threats to our collective peace, justice and development.

“We hold to the view that true federalism where more power and resources are allocated to the states will be an essential part in strengthening society and improving democratic governance so that we beat the present challenges but also engender durable peace and security. True federalism and the reallocation of resources and authority that comes with it will empower the states to solve localised issues before they spread and transform into national ones.”

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