Governors of the 19 northern states of the federation have agreed and said that the current system of open grazing of cattle in the country was no longer sustainable.
They have called for intensive sensitization of herdsmen to adopt new methods of cattle grazing.
Likewise, the Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, who noted that the only way to stop frequent clashes between farmers and herders yesterday, is close to halting open grazing; he has promised to provide grazing areas for herders to stop nomadic herding.
Similarly, Igbo socio-political organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, described open grazing as an ill-wind that will do Nigeria no good.
The northern governors, in a virtual meeting proposed the method of ranching or other acceptable modern methods for cattle grazing; they also 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.
The communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, signed by the chairman and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, and Governor’s Director of Press and Public Affairs, Makut Macham reads:
“The Forum noted with concern the growing wave of insecurity in the country, particularly as it relates to circulation of unverified video clips on social media portraying violent attacks on persons in some parts of the country.
“Therefore, the Forum called on political leaders to segregate between criminality and social groups in their domains, with a view to treating criminals as criminals. The Forum reiterates that it condemns every form of criminality whether from herders, hunters, or farmers occupying forest reserves illegally.
“It noted with concern the tension generated by the eviction order issued to herdsmen in some parts of the country, expressing concern that this is heating the already fragile security atmosphere with threats of reprisals which the Northern governors are working assiduously to contain.
“The forum stressed 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 conflicts arising from these threats and suspicion for the sake of national unity.
“The Forum notes with concern that the current system of herding conducted mainly through open grazing is no longer sustainable, in view of growing urbanization and population of the country.
“It 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.
‘’It also resolved to engage elders and youths in a robust discussion to douse the tensed security environment in the north and called on all the citizens of the north to continue to live in peace with all Nigerians, irrespective of their origins and backgrounds.”