Former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and other chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the South-West, have backed the decision by the governors of southern states of Nigeria to ban open grazing of cows in their states.
The South-West APC leaders after their meeting in Lagos attended by the Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun; Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Lagos former governor, Bola Tinubu; APC former National Chairman, Pa Bisi Akande and Ogun State former governor, Segun Osoba declared their support for the Southern Governors’ resolution to ban open grazing, call for the restructuring of the country, establishment of state police among others.
The 17 southern governors, RELIABLESOURCENG.COM reports, met recently in Asaba, Delta State, under the auspices of the Southern Governors Forum, led by the Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN and resolved to ban open grazing and movement of cattle by foot in their respective states.
The governors called for the restructuring of the country along fiscal federalism, devolution of powers and state police.
They also called on the President, Muhammadu Buhari, to address the nation and convoke a national dialogue to address widespread agitations amongst various groups in the region.
The governors’ resolution also known as the Asaba Accord has attracted some negative reactions, especially in Northern Nigeria, with some of the critics including Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN; Senate President, Ahmad Lawan; Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello; and Senator Ali Ndume from Borno South Senatorial District.
But Tinubu, Akande, Osoba, Gbajabiamila, and other APC leaders in the South-West on Sunday endorsed the Asaba Accord in a communiqué issued at the end of their meeting.
The communiqué partly read, “We endorse the position of the Southern Governors taken at their May 11, 2021 summit in Asaba, Delta State, regarding ranching. We do so because such a decision will lessen tensions between farmers and herders while also helping the long-term economic viability of both the farming and herding communities.
“We are mindful of the short-term dislocation this might cause but are also mindful that this position is in the best interests of all parties concerned.
“We, therefore, recommend that the federal and state governments cooperate fully with each other to enact the necessary measures to encourage this more effective and modern method of cattle-rearing so that both farmers and herders can pursue their livelihoods with greater productivity and in a more cooperative relationship that minimizes the friction between these two important pillars of our agricultural economy.”
Also, the APC leaders expressed “strong opposition to separatist agitations and hate speeches” while urging “those indulging in such to desist forthwith, they renew their belief in the unity, stability and sustainability of the country”.