By Lateef Adegbite
Those who think that the southern governors of Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Abia, Anambara, Eoyi, Enugu, Imo, Delta Akwa Ibom, Cross river,, Bayelsa, Edo and Rivers state , who belong to different political Caps did not do wide Consultation before banning open grazing in the region may have do think.
Investigations by The Value News shows the governors in their respective states of control made wide Consultation before they finally agreed to meet atAsaba, Capital of Delta state on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 to discuss it which has become a major problem and take a decision.
The aggrieved southern governors were said to have consulted some Fulani opinion moulders and Leaders, including the Leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria of Nigeria, MACBAN, in their respective states to call their members twho have taking advantage of the open grazing in the region to destroy crops planted in the farms , rape the female farmers found in the bush, abduct and kill innocent citizens to order but that was how far they could.
But Usma Ysuf, a Professor and for Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, had come out to tell Nigerians that’’ the southern governors did not consult with the Fulani Leaders’’ which many believe may not be true.
The southern governors may have proved that the era of shouting is over but time to bite which may have informed why they had adopted the policy that banned open graving in their region believed to have unruffled feathers in the north, even among the northern governors, particular, Nasir el-Rufai, a former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, during former Olusegun Obasanjo Presidency and now governor of Kaduna state, which is under the siege of Bandits.
Legal experts believe that for the ban on opening grazing in the southern part of Nigeria by the governors to carry the desired weight , the governors must initiate Executive Bill in their respective states which must be transmitted to their various states House of Assembly pass to be passed a Law to give it meaning.
. They noted that if this is not done before the governors start the implementation of the law the Cattle owners may cash in on the legal loophole to drag the governor of any of the southern states that dare to harass their cattles in the bush.
‘’I appreciate my Colleagues and the people of the southern part of Nigeria,for coming together, irrespective of their political divide to adopt ranching as the global best practice and the best practice in southern Nigeria’’, instead of open grazing, he had said.
The Benue state governor who could not hide his feelings had made it clear to those cares to listen that ‘’open grazing was no longer feasible in the country due to development and population growth’’. Ortom has every reason to support the southern governors’ decision to ban open grazing because he has succeeded in getting the state House of Assembly to pass a bill banning open grazing. It is not surprising why he is been fought both within and outside state , including Nasir el-Rufai, a former minister of the Federal Capital Territory,, FCT, and now governor of the north west of Kaduna state. Afenifere, the Yoruba socio-cultural Organisation appears to have thrown their weight behind the southern governors ban on open grazing.
The Group which rose from its meeting on Friday, May 14, 2021, in Ayo Adebanjo, the National Leader country home in Ogbo Ijebu, , Odogbolu Local government Area of Ogun state, did not surprise many when it declared its ‘’total support over the decision of the 17 southern governors banning open grazing of Livestock in the states under their control’’. The Organisation noted that the governors decision took longer in coming. The Group may have sent a message to those opposed to the decision that ‘’the declaration by the 17 southern governors that it ought to have come long before now, given the atrocities that have arisen from open grazing’’.
In supporting the southern governors’ decision to ban open grazing in the region, , the Organisation asserted that in several instances ‘’when the farmers, in the south west Geopolitical region had tried to protest , they have been harassed, maimed and sometimes killed by security operatives.
The rape of the female folks may have given Afenifere, under the acting leadership of Ayo Banjo, the ammunition, to support the governors’ action ‘’to completely outlaw open grazing with severe penalties for any violator’’.
Nyensom Wike, a former minister of State, Education, during Jonathan Presidency, had those aggrieved that the southern governors could jettison their party interest to come together to fight a common cause for the interest of the people of the region and those yet unborn that ‘’there is going back on the decision to ban open grazing across the region’’.
The radical Rivers state governor , who has become a pain on the neck of the Katsina state born Nigerian President had told those that cares to listen that the southern governors have taken step to fulfill the trust bestowed upon them by the people to protect their interest, noting that ‘’if anybody wants to die’’, he should go and hang himself on an electric pole.
He may have told his northern Counterparts and those who believe that Leadership is their exclusive preserve in this country that ‘’enough is enough’’. We are not second class citizens of this country. We also own this country and we must partake in what is happening in this country, he had said.
Ifeanyi Okowa, a Senator of Federal Republic of Nigeria, and now governor of Delta state, who had hosted the 17 southern states governors last Tuesday to take the historic decision to ban open grazing in the region had said that it was geared towards strengthening the unity of Nigeria. Okowa who spoke his mind in an event at the Asaba, on Saturday, May 15, 2021, said ‘’open grazing has caused ruptures across the region and the country in general’’.
The Yoruba socio-cultural Organisation which had been sitting on the fence over the years on the call for the restructuring of Nigeria by well- meaning Nigerians, including Enock Adeboye, the General Overseer of The Reddemed Christian Church of God,RCCG, appears to have woken up from their slumber as they have supported the 17 southern governors call on the Nigerian President to act fast and restructure Nigeria before it is too late.
The Group, which could no longer sit on the fence had appealed to the retired Army General ‘’ to save the country from being another Yugoslavia, Poland and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic , USSR, which had disintegrated by heeding calls for restructuring’’.
It maintained that the restructuring of the country ‘’is the only solution that could halt any form of disintegration for now’’. They have hit the nail on the head when they told the Nigerian President ‘to bury the idea of conducting the February 18, 2023, general elections in the country without first restructuring the country on the path of Fiscal Federalism.
The Northern Elders Forum, NEF, Arewa Consultative Forum and the Middle Belt Forum, including the Ohaneze Ndigbo , which have been at the forefront for the restructuring of the country the since the agitations from the various ethnic nationalities to go their separate ways stated over the last five years appear to have intensified their Crusade for the restructuring of the country.
Okowa the Delta state govrnor, had said that’’ restructuring is what is good for Nigeria and what is good for the Component parts of the counry’’. Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi state and one of the arch supports of the retired Army may have shocked Nigerians when he supported the southern governors’ demand for the restructuring of the country.
He had had said his mind: Let us restructure and allow the younger generations take over the Leadership of the country. Even el-Rufai, was reported to have said that that any person above 65 years should no longer be allowed to rule Nigeia describing Buhari who is in his late 70s as’’ too good as he cannot sack non-performing public officials’’ compared to him who can sack at any time.
Barely one week that the southern states governors came out with the earth shaking decision that have beome the talk of Nigerians in different parts of the country, the Yoruba ethnic nationality may have sent a signal to other ethnic nationalities that they are tired of being part of Nigeria. The people may have been guided by the Lord Lugard 1914 arrangement that any ethnic nationality is free to pull out from the Nigerian Community after one hundred years of staying together with other ethnic groups as a nation.
On Saturday, May 15, 2021, scores of Youths from Osun state, which may have had the support of the Leadership of Afenifere , under the aegies of Omo duduwa United had gathered at 27 bridge in the African area, Ossogbo, the state Capital to agitate calling for the Yoruba nation.The protesters who were said to have matched from November 27 bridge through Ogo-Oluwa, Aregbe junction, Fakunle, Ola-Iya to Odi-Olowo areas had carried placards and banners heading to Nelson Mandela Freedom Park and Old garage. Although, there were presence of Policemen, Department of State Security , DSS operatives in most of the streets in the City including the Omotekun, and other local security operatives on ground, they never harassed the protesters who were said to have conducted themselves in very decent manner.
Even when the south east Youths have not Contemplated of holding rallies for the actualization of Biafra, Yemi Osinbajo, a Professor of Law and the country’s Vice President had dragged Chris Ngige, minister of Labour and Productivity and other Chieftains of the All progressive Congress, APC, to the south east last April to region to the Youths. He has advised the elites to talk to the Youths’’ in order to preserve the unity of the country’’. He was to have made it clear to the people that the country cannot afford another war ‘’.
Many had expected to go round the other five Geo-political regions in the country to address the Youths with the Chieftains of the party but he never did. The question on the lips of many people was whether that what is happening the north east stats Borno and Yobe where the government had mobilised Operation Hadi Kai, with the support of the Multinal Joint Task Force, MNJTF, which is a creation of Nigeria, Niger, TChad and Cameroont o confont the Islamic Fundamentalist Group , BokoHaram and the Islamic State of West African Province, ISWA, is not more war a war. This is because th Nigerian AirFoce , are also involved in prosecuting the ant-Jihadist war in the region.
What is happening in the north east is not different from what is happening in the north west states of Zamfara, Kaduna and the north central state of Niger, where Bandits are making life miserable for the people.
In spite of the tension in the two regions, the government have not found it necessary to militarise the regions to cage the youths or armed herdsmen but have militarized the south east , thus putting the people in a state of confusion.
Mnay believe that Hope Uzodimma, a Senator of Federal Republic of Nigeria and governor of Imo state, may have created the impression that the state is on fire that may have given theUsman Alkali Baba, the Inspector Genral of Police, IGP, to deploy thousands of police in to the south east states, particular, Imo, to put the members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOD, and the astern Security Network, the armed wing under close watch and also protect all the national assets in the region.
While Nigerians, including the 17 southern states are calling on their Buhari, to restructure the country, he was said to have travelled to Paris, Capital of France, to attend the African Finance Summit. The trip would take him away from the country for four days in order to have talks with Emmanuel Macron, the Frennch President.
He may have been forced to attend the meeting because of the issues to be discussed at the Summit which has to do with ‘’ the reviewing of the African economy following shocks from the Asian country of China emerged coronavirus, popular, COVID 19 Pandemic, and getting relief , particular, from increased debt burden on countries’’.
The Nigerian President who is battling to fix the country’s battered economy and contain the activities of the Islamic Fundamental Group, BokoHaram, and Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP, insurgents may have seen the Summit as an opportunity to meet the major players in the global finance institutions an other world Leaders who are expected to collectively ‘’discuss external funding, debt treatment for Africa and private sector reforms’’.
There are indications that he had in mind to take advantage of the four-day Paris Summit, to discuss the world Leaders, particular,’’ the growing insecurity threats in the Sahel and the Lake Chad regions’’ and solicit for their support. Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, said the Summit would also give him the opportunity to discuss other pertinent issues with the world Leaders that has to do with political relations, economic ties, Climate Change and partnership in checking spread of COVID, with more research and vaccnes.
The worry of many was that Bhari and the top government officials on the trip, including Geofrey Onyeama, minister of Foreign Affairs, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, minister of Finance Budget and National Planning and Babagana Munguno, a retired Amy General and National Security Adviser may have created the impression that all is well in the country, when it is actuall burning.