Monday, 02 August, 2021

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Southern Governors Declare: No More Movement Of Cattle On Foot In The South


Governors of Southern states in Nigeria have placed a ban on the movement of cattle by foot into and within the South.
The ban is part of the resolution made by the governors at their meeting in Asaba, the Delta State capital on Tuesday.

They also recommended that in deference to the sensitivities of various peoples, there is the need to review appointments in federal government agencies including security outfits to reflect the federal character as Nigeria’s overall population is heterogeneous.

The governors’ demands were contained in a twelve-point communique read by the chairman of the group and governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, after their meeting held at the Government House, Asaba, Delta State, on Tuesday.

The meeting was attended by the governors of the 17 southern states, except the governors of Cross River, Prof Ben Ayade and his Osun counterpart, Mr Gboyega Oyetola. Akwa-Ibom governor was represented by his deputy, Mr Moses Ekpo. The governor of Imo state was also represented by deputy, Prof Placid Njoku.

The communique expressed very grave concerns about the security challenges currently plaguing the nation. It strongly urged Mr President to address Nigerians on the challenges of insecurity and restore the confidence of the people.

The communique affirmed that the peoples of Southern Nigeria remained committed to the unity of Nigeria on the basis of justice, fairness, equity and oneness and peaceful co-existence between and among its peoples with a focus on the attainment of shared goals for economic development and prosperity.

It observed that the incursion of armed herders, criminals and bandits into the Southern part of the country had presented a severe security challenge such that citizens are not able to live their normal lives including pursuing various productive activities leading to a threat to food supply and general security.

It, therefore, resolved that open grazing of cattle be banned across Southern Nigeria, noting that development and population growth had put pressure on available land and increased the prospects of conflict between migrating herders and local populations in the south.

According to the governors, it had become imperative to enforce the ban on open grazing in the south as well as cattle movement to the South by foot, adding that the Federal Government should support willing states to develop alternative and modern livestock management systems.

The southern Nigerian governors agreed that the progress of the nation requires that urgent and bold steps be taken to restructure Nigerian.

This, they said, would lead to the evolution of state police, review of revenue allocation formula in favour of the sub-national governments and creation of other institutions which legitimately advance commitment to and practice of true federalism.

The meeting expressed concern about the continued gridlock on the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway and the chokehold it had exerted on the nation’s economy being the sole outlet from Apapa Wharf.

As a result, the meeting recommended the activation and establishment of ports in other states of the federation to create new jobs and promote socio-economic activities in the country.

The meeting expressed concern on the economic implications of another lockdown on the country and therefore suggested greater coordination and cooperation between federal and state governments in evolving strategies for dealing with the pandemic.

The full text of the communique reads as follows:

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE MEETING OF THE GOVERNORS OF SOUTHERN NIGERIA IN GOVERNMENT HOUSE, ASABA, DELTA STATE, ON TUESDAY, 11TH MAY, 2021

At its meeting held today, 11th May 2021, the Southern Governors Forum reviewed the situation in the nation generally and focused on the current security situation, agitations/restructuring. prospect for inter-state collaboration and partnerships as well as on the incidence of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Rising from the meeting, the Forum:

affirmed that the peoples of Southern Nigeria remain committed to the unity of Nigeria on the basis of justice, fairness, equity and oneness and peaceful co-existence between and among its peoples with a focus on the attainment of shared goals for economic development and prosperity:

ii) observed that the incursion of armed herders, criminals and bandits into the Southern part of the country has presented a severe security challenge such that citizens are not able to live their normal lives including pursuing various productive activities leading to a threat to food supply and general security. Consequently, the meeting resolved that open grazing of cattle be banned across Southern Nigeria;

iii) noted that development and population growth has put pressure on available land and increased the prospects of conflict between migrating herders and local populations in the South. Given this scenario, it becomes imperative to enforce the ban on open grazing in the South (including cattle movement to the South by foot): iv) recommended that the Federal Government should support willing states to develop alternative and modern livestock management systems;

v) agreed that the progress of the nation requires that urgent and bold steps be taken to restructure the Nigerian Federation leading to the evolution of state police, review of revenue allocation formula in favour of the sub-national governments and creation of other institutions which legitimately advance our commitment to and practice of true federalism;

vi) recommended that in view of widespread agitations among our various peoples for greater inclusiveness in existing governance arrangements, the Federal Government should convoke a national dialogue as a matter of urgency,

vii) recommended that in deference to the sensitivities of our various peoples, there is a need to review appointments into Federal Government Agencies (including Security Agencies) to reflect the federal character as Nigeria’s overall population is heterogenous; viii) resolved to foster cooperation among the Southern States and the nation at large;

ix) expressed concern on the continued gridlock on the Oshodi Apapa Expressway and the chokehold it has exerted on the nation’s economy being the sole outlet from Apapa Wharf. The meeting, therefore, recommended the activation and establishment of ports in other States of the federation to create new jobs and promote socio-economic activities in the country;

x) the meeting expressed concern on the economic implications of another lockdown on the country and therefore suggested greater coordination and cooperation between Federal and State Governments in evolving strategies for dealing with the pandemic;

xi) expressed very grave concern on the security challenges currently plaguing the nation and strongly urged that Mr President should address Nigerians on the challenges of insecurity and restore the confidence of our people; and xii) expressed gratitude to our host, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for his generosity and hospitality.

The communique was signed by Governors Akeredolu (Ondo), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Emmanuel Udom (Akwa Ibom), Willie Obiano (Anambra), Ben Ayade (Cross River), Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Hope Uzodimma (Imo), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Diri Duoye (Bayelsa), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun) and Nyesom Wike (Rivers).

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