Members of Nigeria’s House of Representatives from the 17 southern states of the federation have unanimously supported resolutions of the Southern Governors’ Forum on the ban on open grazing, demand for true federalism, restructuring as well as the worsening insecurity in the country.
The MPs stated their position in a statement signed by 21 lawmakers on behalf of their colleagues.
Senators from southern Nigeria had earlier on Wednesday, also expressed their support for governors from their various geopolitical zones.
The governors on Tuesday, after their meeting in Asaba, the Delta State capital, announced a ban on open grazing in all the 17 Southern states.
They also recommended that the Federal Government should support willing states to develop alternative and modern livestock management systems.
“Against this backdrop, the members of the House of Representatives from the South, without regard to any other affiliations, firmly support our governors on the immediate ban on open cattle grazing across the Southern Nigeria,” the statement by the MPs from Southern Nigeria reads.
“We hold that such is a sure step towards checking the infiltration of bandits, armed herders and terrorist elements which has heightened security challenges with escalated killings and bloody attacks on innocent citizens, while crippling social life, economic activities and food production in the region.
“We therefore support the recommendation that the Federal Government should provide alternative and modern livestock management that does not constitute a security and economic challenge to the nation.
“The platform of Southern members in the House of Representatives also support our governors’ restatement of the demand for true federalism through restructuring that will lead to the devolution of power, creation of state police, review of resource control and revenue allocation formula, as well as strict adherence to federal character principle in federal appointments in the shared interests of the federating states.
“As lawmakers, we affirm that such is the only guaranteed way to ensure fairness, justice, equity to engender national stability, productivity and peaceful co-existence and we support an urgent national dialogue in that regard.
“We caution certain individuals kicking against such devolution of power and review of revenue control and allocation formula, to desist from their vested parochial interest and note that such reviews are the only way to stabilize our nation engender regional or state productivity and healthy development at all levels.”
By Abel Ejikeme