Governors of the six Nigerian South-west states and the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) have agreed to ban all forms of open grazing in the region.
The decision followed Monday’s meeting between the southwest governors and the leadership of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria as well as security chiefs.
In a report shortly after the meeting in Akure, the Ondo State capital, Seyi Makinde, the Governor of Oyo state said: “Collectively, we resolved to ban open grazing in all parts of the South-West.”
Other governors in attendance were Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Mohammed Abubakar of Jigawa State, and Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State.
“Today, the South West governors held a security stakeholders’ meeting in Ondo State. The meeting was attended by our brother governors from Kebbi and Jigawa States; security chiefs, South-West zone led by the AIG Zone 11 and leaders from the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria,” Makinde said.
“Collectively, we resolved to ban open grazing in all parts of the South-West. In Oyo State, we already have a law against open grazing which will continue to be implemented by our security agencies.
“I restated that we will not permit criminality as a response to criminal actions. Instead, we will continue to support our security agencies to do their duties. Also, we will work with our people to face our common enemies – the criminals; kidnappers, armed robbers and bandits.”
The meeting between the governors and the leadership of MACBAN became necessary following a heated exchange between northern and southern stakeholders as a result of the vacation order Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu gave to herders operating illegally in the state’s forest reserves.
Open grazing had been responsible for clashes between herders and farmers in the southwestern region as well as the northern part of the country.
By Abel Ejikeme