Delta State chapter of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) has backed Southern Governors on restructuring and ban on open grazing of cattle in the Southern part of the country.
ALGON chairman in the state, who is also the Chairman of Ika North East Local Government Area, Mr. Victor Ebonka, while briefing journalists at the monthly meeting yesterday, lamented that Southern farmers were losing millions of naira to the plundering of food crops through encroachments on farmlands and exposing the region to famine and acute food scarcity.
He urged the governors to match their resolutions with actions, saying: “enough is enough of these criminal herdsmen who have been terrorising our people.
“We are tired and sick of the activities of these killer herdsmen. Our farmers now find it difficult to go to the farm for fear of being raped, killed or kidnapped. Our rural dwellers can no longer sleep with their two eyes closed for fear of being attacked by these ravaging armed herdsmen.
“We, therefore resolved in our meeting to enforce the ban on open grazing in our various local government areas. We have asked our council chairmen to liaise with relevant authorities and ensure the immediate enforcement of the ban.
“Open grazing is no longer acceptable to us as a people. Those who trade in cows should devise a better and modern method of keeping their cattle. We shall no longer tolerate open grazing in our communities.
“We also back our governors on the call for a national dialogue, restructuring, respect for Federal Character among other resolutions reached by our Governors,” they said.
Also former Delta State Governorship aspirant on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Sunny Onuesoke, has commended the decision of 17 Southern Governors in Nigeria to ban open cattle grazing and recommendation for the activation and establishment of ports in other states of the federation to create new jobs and promote socio-economic activities in the country.
Chief Onuesoke, while addressing journalists at Asaba International Airport on his arrival from Abuja yesterday said the Governors decision is a step in the right direction and the best ever, advising that they should back the prohibition of open grazing with the necessary laws in their respective domains and put up formidable structures for strict enforcement.
“Bravo to the Governors!!! Enough is enough. This a good move for the seventeen governors to unite against a common enemy. Unity is the key. Unity among the governors is what is needed to send strong signals to the Federal Government. No need for divisions along party line this time. No sabotage. No one should go and play good boy in Aso Rock again. Put the interest of your people first.
“This decision if implemented will end the brazen kidnapping and killings by herdsmen in our communities. The movement of cows should only be done by trucks. This will reduce killings significantly. All Middle belt governors should come together and do likewise as a clear recipe to save the soul of Nigeria,” he advised.
The PDP Chieftain however disagreed with the clause in the communiqué seeking for help from the federal government to promote livestock businesses, stressing that it should be absolutely states in partnership with private organisations.
“This is commendable, but I disagree with the clause of seeking for help from the federal government to promote livestock business. Cattle rearing business is not bigger than crude oil licenses given to private organizations. Let every state handle theirs according to their capability. This idea of government this and government that, should be ruled out. All that are needed from government is guide lines and security,” he disclosed.
Onuesoke, who equally commended the Governors call for revitalisation of the ports in the South-South, said if that was implemented it will not only create employment, it would generate economic well-being in the South South of Nigeria and reduce insecurity to the barest minimum
He advised that for the Governors to sustain the good work of this gathering , the lawmakers from the states of the 17 governors should form a joint legislative assembly and put this decisions into law and then form a joint security outfit.
“Furthermore, the Governors should include non-politicians into their meetings especially some traditional rulers and past governors. If not every meeting, but include them at least in one meeting in a year. I think we can learn something from it for continuity sake,” he advised.