Southern Governors Ban On Open Gazing And Call For Restructuring, A Time Bomb

 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.

Open Grazing In Southern Nigeria

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.

Adebanjo: Supports 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’’.

Wike:No going Back On Ban On Open Grazing

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.

Bello: Supports Restructuring Of Nigeria

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.

Osun Youths Protest, Call For A yORUBA nATION

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.

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