Nigeria: Insecurity - Southern Governors Ban Open Grazing, Ask Buhari to Address Nigerians

The 17 governors in the Southern part of the country, under the aegis of the Southern Nigeria Governors Forum, have resolved that open grazing of cattle be banned across Southern Nigeria.

The Forum also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately convoke a national parley on restructuring and address the nation over the worsening state of insecurity across the country.

Moreover, the governors expressed very grave concern "on the security challenge currently plaguing the nation and strongly urged President Buhari to address Nigerians on the challenges of insecurity and restore the confidence of our people."

Rising from their meeting at Government House, Asaba Tuesday, the Southern Governors Forum observed that the incursion of armed herders, criminals and bandits into the Southern part of the country had presented a severe security challenge.

In a communiqué jointly signed by 15 governors present at the over four hours crucial meeting, the governors reviewed the situation in the nation, focusing on the current security situation and noted that the "citizens are not able to live their normal lives including pursuing various productive activities leading to a threat to food supply and general security."

They noted that the development and population growth have put pressure on available land and increased the prospects of conflict between migrating herders and local populations in the South.

"Given this scenario, it becomes imperative to enforce the ban on open grazing in the South (including cattle movement to the South by foot)", the forum restated.

The Southern Nigeria Governors Forum presided by Chief Rotimi Akeredolu, Governor of Ondo State, rather recommended that the federal government should support "WILLING" States to develop alternative and modern livestock management systems.

The governors affirmed that the people of Southern Nigeria remain committed to the unity of Nigeria but on the basis of justice, fairness, equity and oneness and peaceful co-existence between and among its peoples with a focus on the attainment of shared goals for economic development and prosperity.

"The forum also recommended that the federal government should convoke a national dialogue as a matter of urgency in view of widespread agitations among our various people for greater inclusiveness in existing governance arrangements.

"Review of revenue allocation formula in favour of the sub-national governments and creation of other institutions which legitimately advance our commitment to and practice of true federalism", the governors parley proffered.

"In deference to the sensitivities of our various people, there is a need to review appointments into Federal Government Agencies (including Security Agencies) to reflect the federal character as Nigeria's overall population is heterogenous," the governors noted.

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