El-Rufai opens up on anti-open grazing law, knocks Southern governors

September 21, 2021
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The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has disagreed with governors from the South over the anti-open grazing law, adding that only ranching can put an end to the farmers/herdsmen crisis in the country.

The governor, who disclosed this on Tuesday when he visited the National Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja, said the anti-open grazing law canvassed by his colleagues from the Southern part of the country cannot be implemented.

He added that the Kaduna State government would require at least N114 billion to put together 14 ranches to fully settle herdsmen and their families in the state.

Several governors in the Southern part of the country had signed the anti-open grazing law they agreed to put in place during their July 5 meeting in Lagos.

READ ALSO: Gov El-Rufai panics as Kaduna Assembly removes Majority Leader

El-Rufai stressed that though the ranching system was the ideal solution to the frequent clashes between farmers and herdsmen in the country, it cannot be done overnight.

He said: “The Northern State Governor’s Forum has already taken a position that open grazing is not a sustainable way of livestock production. And we must move towards ranching.

“But moving towards ranching cannot be done overnight. We have to have a plan; we have to have resources and we have to implement it sensibly. It is not a matter of populist legislation or saying tomorrow this or that. It is not a solution. We have taken a position as northern state governors and we are implementing that.

“What is unhelpful is the politicizing of the situation and passing legislation that you know that you cannot implement. In my state, for instance, we are developing a huge ranch to centralize the herders. And that is the solution, a long time. But can it be done overnight?

“This project we are doing will cost us about N10 billion. The CBN is supporting us with about N7.5 billion. And it will take about two years to do.

“We will be settling about Fulani herders’ families. And I hope that they will see that there are alternative ways of producing livestock instead of running up and down with cattle going to people’s farms to cause all kinds of problems. We want to solve the problem.”

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