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Northern governors declare open grazing outdated

NEWSMAN, Abuja – Northern Governors’ Forum has agreed that the current system of herding conducted mainly through open grazing is no longer sustainable and called for intensive sensitization of herdsmen to adopt new methods in carrying out their trade.

”Open grazing by herdsmen is obsolete”, It should end, they declared.

Northern Governors Forum in a meeting held virtually on Tuesday agreed in line with the position of Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, who said herders should embrace ranching and stop herding their cows from the North to the South is search of pasture.

The Senate has warned that should farmers-herders conflict be allowed to fester, it could lead to ethno-religious war and famine.

North’s governors, according to the meeting communiqué issued by its chairman, Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong, have decided to sensitise herdsmen on the need to adopt ranching and other acceptable modern methods.

They said the current system of herding conducted mainly through open grazing is no longer sustainable in view of growing urbanication and population of the country. Consequently, the Forum resolved to aggressively sensitise herdsmen.

They appealed to the Federal Government to support States with grants to directly undertake pilot projects of modern livestock production that will serve as springboard and evidence for breaking resistance to the full implementation of new methods of livestock production.

Also, they resolved to engage elders and youths in a robust discussion with a view to dousing the tensed security environment in the north. A four-man Committee to be headed by Lalong was raised to work out the plan to educate herders.

The forum called for restraint from leaders, citizens of the North including those in the South, where passion is high to continue to live in peace with all Nigerians, irrespective of their origin and background.

 However, the forum urged political leaders to differentiate between criminality and social groups and treat criminals as criminals, The Nation reported.

“The Forum condemns every form of criminality whether from herders, hunters, or farmers occupying forest reserves illegally”, they noted with concern the tension generated by the eviction order issued to herdsmen in some parts of the country as heating up the already fragile security atmosphere with threats of reprisals which they are working assiduously to contain.

‘‘There was the urgent need for the Nigerian Governors Forum to meet and discuss the issue holistically with a view to resolving all areas of misunderstanding and the conflicts arising from these threats and suspicion for the sake of national unity.

“On its quest to acquire COVID-19 testing mobile vehicles, the governors received briefing on the procurement of the vehicles which was still ongoing with the first batch about to be received. Accordingly, the Forum resolved to revalidate all requests made by member States in 2020”.

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