By Newsie ED:-
The spokesperson for the Northern Elders Forum, (NEF), Dr Hakeem Baba Ahmed has spoken in support of the Southern Governors call to ban open grazing.
Speaking in an interview as a guest on city talks with Reuben Abati, Baba Ahmed declared that open grazing should stop. He also blamed the failure of both the leadership and the unfortunate short-sighted Fulani’s and other people who own cattle as the reason why open grazing has not being stopped.
Baba Ahmed noted that before now, the northerners and the Fulani’s had substantially agreed that open grazing is outdated and outmoded.
The NEF spokesperson stated that the meeting with the 17 Southern Governors in Asaba Delta state on the 12th May, 2021 is quite significant.
While he described it as a bipartisan meeting, Baba Ahmed also said that the decision of the resolution adopted will give the northern governors and the Federal government the impetus to insist and assist in domesticating open grazing.
The NEF spokes man stated that the Southern governor have the right to demand that the whole nation should see open grazing as a national issue that we must all collaborate to ensure that it is stopped.
He pointed out that farmers and herders clash is not only peculiar to southern region but has being part of the norther region for a long time.
Contrary to the general notion that all cattle belong to the northerner, however, 60 to 70 percent of cattle belongs to the southern people of Nigeria.
He argues that the idea of the decision by the 17 southern Governors is good, but it has to be handled with extreme care.
Baba Ahmed recommends that the resolution has to be interrogated within the context of the constitution.
He mentioned that assuming the law gives credence to the ban, what happens to the people who earn their livelihood from other parts of the country? He asked.
He asked, “If the Nigerian constitution supports you in abridging the rights Nigerians to move wherever they go?
“Do you consider when the decision will be implemented?
“If it is implemented, what happens to thousands of Fulani and other people who are in the southern part of Nigeria?
“How do they repatriate them?
“How do they remain safe”
“We don’t have to engage in a panic decision,” he said.
He admonishes that a systemic transition from open grazing to a settled form of grazing that allows people to own cattle, should be organized.
Beyond the resolution the Sothern Governors adopted, Baba Ahmed is of the view that it is politically motivated and these governor from the southern part of the country are canvassing for the transfer of power of the Presidency to the south.
In his view, he stated that 90 percent of the resolution is targeted at the weaknesses and problems of the Buhari led administration.
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