The Presidency has condemned the Southern Governors’ proposed plan to enforce the ban on open grazing.
In a statement on Monday by the Presidential Spokesman, Garba Shehu, the Presidency said the plan by the governors to ban open grazing in the Southern part of the country is of “questionable legality”.
According to the presidency, the resolution reached in Asaba, Delta state capital, will not solve the farmer-herder clashes.
Shehu asserted that Buhari had earlier approved the rehabilitation of grazing reserves, adding that the clashes between the farmer and herders will be addressed with the President’s approval.
The Presidential aide said despite the negative effects of COVID-19 on the economy, federal funding for the project, which had been delayed, is now being partly unlocked.
Shehu noted that the governors’ action during the recent meeting in Asaba, Delta state is a violation of the constitutional right of Nigerians to live and do business in any part of the country, irrespective of such citizen’s state of origin.
He added that the process for achieving full actualisation of the modern reserve system in consenting states should take off in June.
The statement reads: “The President had approved some specific measures to bring a permanent end to the frequent skirmishes as recommended by Alhaji Sabo Nanono, the Minister of Agriculture in a report he submitted and the President signed off on it back in April, well before the actions of the Southern Governors Forum which attempts to place a ban on open grazing and other acts of politicking intended by its signatories to demonstrate their power.
“It is very clear that there was no solution offered from their resolutions to the herder-farmer clashes that have been continuing in our country for generations.
“But the citizens of the southern states – indeed citizens of all states of Nigeria – have a right to expect their elected leaders and representatives to find answers to challenges of governance and rights, and not to wash their hands off hard choices by, instead, issuing bans that say: “not in my state.”
“It is equally true that their announcement is of questionable legality, given the Constitutional right of all Nigerians to enjoy the same rights and freedoms within every one of our 36 states (and FCT) -regardless of the state of their birth or residence.
“Fortunately, this declaration has been preempted, for whatever it is intended to achieve and Mr. President, who has rightly been worried about these problems more than any other citizen in consultation with farmers and herders alike, commissioned and approved an actionable plan of rehabilitating grazing reserves in the states, starting with those that are truly committed to the solution and compliant with stated requirements.
“With veterinary clinics, water points for animals, and facilities for herders and their families including schooling – through these rehabilitated reserves, the Federal Government is making far-reaching and practical changes allowing for different communities to co-exist side-by-side: supporting farmers to till their fields, herders to rear their livestock and Nigerians everywhere to be safe.”