For being the first to openly reject the resolution of the 17 southern governors to enact anti-open grazing legislation in their respective states, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo on Friday called Governor Hope Uzodinma “a confirmed saboteur” who will “surely taste the retribution of God and wrath of the people”.
The Imo governor serving under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had declared that there is no law forbidding open grazing by cattle rearers in the South-East state, adding that his government was trying to regulate grazing activities through collaboration between the farmers and herders.
Naija News recalls that the 17 governors of the southern states had in a meeting held in Lagos on July 5, 2021, urged states in the region to ensure that the legislation against open grazing of cattle was put in place on or before September 1.
Following the governors’ resolution, Delta, Osun, Ondo, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, and Enugu state governments had moved to enact anti-open grazing laws. This is as the anti-open grazing law was already operational in Ogun, Abia, Oyo, Ekiti, and Ebonyi states prior to the resolution of the governors.
But Uzodinma, who spoke with newsmen on Wednesday after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said: “I don’t have any law in Imo State for anti-grazing.
“What we have done is that we are regulating grazing activities in Imo State under a partnership between our farmers and herders. They have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in my office and agreed to work together. And both parties are going about their businesses without interfering or causing any grievance or anger to each other.”
In its reaction, Ohanaeze disclosed that this position of Uzodinma has attracted scourge of hatred, plagues, and curses on his government, adding that Ndigbo would declare him the number one enemy of their race.
The Secretary-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, in a statement, said, “Our suspicion had been reinforced with the continued absence of Governor Hope Uzodinma in the meetings of Southern Governors in Asaba and Lagos, which was intentional and premeditated to ambush the resolutions of the Southern Governors, and he will never escape the venom of Ndigbo.
“He will surely taste the retribution of God and wrath of the people as a confirmed saboteur and this will serve as a warning to any Igbo Governor that will follow such decision. Such person will never escape the venomous actions of the people.”
Ohanaeze went on to advise Governor Uzodinma “to show repentance and rescind as he cannot afford to face the consequences of this decision.
“Uzodinma is now the tool our detractors is using to destabilize Southern Nigeria. If he continues, he will be excommunicated from any Igbo gathering and ceremonies from 1st September 2021.”