Open Grazing No Longer Sustainable, Northern Govs Admit

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The Northern Governors Forum has admitted that following Nigeria’s increasing urban population, the current system of open grazing of cows is no longer sustainable.

The governors, during an emergency meeting which they held virtually on Monday to discuss issues affecting the region and the country expressed concern over the tension generated by the eviction order issued to herdsmen in some parts of the country.

In a communiqué released in Jos, Plateau State capital, yesterday by the Chairman of the forum and Plateau State Governor, Mr. Simon Lalong, the governors said the tension has aggravated the security crisis with threats of reprisals which the Northern governors are working assiduously to contain.

They also stressed the need for the Nigerian Governors’ Forum to meet and discuss the issue holistically with a view to resolving the misunderstanding and conflicts arising from these threats and suspicion for the sake of national unity.

It stated: “Consequently, the forum resolved to aggressively sensitise herdsmen on the need to adopt new methods of herding by ranching or other acceptable modern methods.

“It appeals to the federal government to support states with grants to directly undertake pilot projects of modern livestock production that will serve as springboard and evidence for breaking resistance to the full implementation of new methods of livestock production.

“Forum resolved to engage elders and youths in a robust discussion with a view to dousing the tensed security environment in the North. Accordingly, a four-person committee was put in place to be headed by the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum.”

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It called for restraint from leaders, including those in the South “where passion is high” and urged “all the citizens of the North to continue to live in peace with all Nigerians irrespective of their origins and backgrounds.”

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