Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has said that the ban on open grazing by Southern state governors is irreversible.
Naija News had reported that the Presidency 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”.
Speaking on Monday at the 2021 Nigerian Bar Association (NBA-SPIDEL) annual conference in Ibadan, Akeredolu said the proposed plan to ban open grazing in the South would be legalised soon.
Akeredolu, however, berated the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, over his comment on the decision of the governors.
The governor also described Malami’s comparison of spare parts selling with cattle rearing as most unfortunate.
He said: “The southern governors at our meeting in Asaba took a decision. We want to say that the decision is irreversible and we are maintaining it.
“Although for one reason or the other, I couldn’t attend the All Progressive Congress (APC) Southwest leaders forum meeting, I am happy that meeting supported our position in that respect.
“The response of Attorney General of the Federation Abubakar Malami in an interview, for me is most uncalled for. That has shown his own mindset.
“We call on the federal government to come out and assist people in so many fields. Animal husbandry is another form of farming. If you are spending money on those who are involved in rice cultivation, why can’t we spend money on those who are involved in animal husbandry?
“The only way we can do that is to take them off this anachronistic way of having to herd cows from Kaura-Namoda to Lagos. It does not make sense. Not in this century.
“It is for us to encourage ranching. The federal government should assist those who want to establish ranches so that all these animals you want to ranch would come in trains and you bring them to ranch where they would be better fed and people would go there to buy.
“Ondo state would do ranching. The National Livestock programme is so important. States that are interested let them be involved in ranching and the federal government should support it.
“Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has been very forthright in the matter saying that he also supports the ban on open grazing in many ways without mincing words.
“You see a herder and how poor he looks and his herds is worth millions. Then there are some problems. He remains poor and herding animals that are worth millions. Which means he is being used by other people. It means the cows don’t belong to him. If they belong to him, he is a millionaire.
“It is time they found a new way of rearing these animals so that nobody starts trekking from Sokoto to Lagos looking for food.
“All these people, all the Bororos, we are not asking them to leave. What we are saying is that we are opposed to criminality and we would fight it with what we have. People would enter our forest, they would kidnap our people and we would just keep quiet? We would not accept it.”
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