The Chairman of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Chief Audu Ogbe has thrown weight behind Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje’s call and urged the Federal Government to stop herders from West African countries from entering Nigeria.
The ACF chairman stated this in a statement on Monday in Kaduna. According to him, the call made by the Kano State Governor would help to tackle open grazing and former/herder conflicts.
He noted that Nigeria should seek an amendment to Article 3 of the ECOWAS protocol, “especially as regards free movement of cattle and other livestock without a special permit.
” If it is done, we have over five million hectares of land in old grazing reserves left, enough to accommodate over 40 million cows if well grassed and watered.”
Ogbe also said Northern States Governors should look at the viability of those spaces to develop ranches for lease to Nigerian herders so that the matter of open grazing can be put to an end.
“Thereafter, any herders found roaming can be penalised and our ECOWAS neighbours can find ways to deal with their own issues the way they deem fit.”
He as well advised Nigeria to seek support from Africa Development Bank, the World Bank, European Union, Kuwait Fund or any source willing to support the initiative.
Ogbe stresses that taking to abuses, suspicion and threats “will only produce grief and disaster.”
He noted that no one will accept the attitude of some herdsmen who trespasses into farms with their cattle, eat up the crops and rape or kill anyone raising objections.
He emphasized that banning open grazing alone would not end the crisis, as most of the violent herders were from neighbouring countries, who have no regard for boundaries, whether State or regional. He added those were the herdsmen that must be stopped.
Recall that the Governors in the southern region had last week bam open grazing in the region after its meeting held at Asaba, Delta State.
However, Professor Usman Yusuf had condemned the decision of the Southern Governors Forum on the ban, arguing that the decision of the Southern Governors Forum cannot be justified under the Land Use Act. He added that such divide-and-rule tactics will lead to the further polarization of the masses.