Insecurity: Southern Governors Ban Open Grazing of Cattle Across the Three Regions, Call on FG to Convoke a Confab Now.

By Ayo Kehinde




Rising from a meeting in Asaba, the Delta State capital on Tuesday, governors of the Southern region of the country asked the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency convoke a national confab on the state of the nation with a call on the all governors in the region to ban open grazing of cattle.

The meeting which was attended by governors of the three geo-political zones of South-south, Southwest and Southeast, exhaustively deliberated on the agenda comprising, “the current security situation, agitations/restructuring, prospect for inter-state collaboration and partnerships as well as n the incidence of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

At the end of the one-day meeting, the governors issued a three-page communique. They reaffirmed the unity of Nigeria, “on the basis of justice, fairness, equity and oneness and peaceful co-existence and resolve to ban open grazing of cattle across southern Nigeria, including cattle movement to the south”, following the “incursion of armed herders, criminals and bandits into the southern part of the country. They also recommend that the Federal Government support willing states to develop alternative and modern livestock management systems; restructure the country leading to the evolution of state police and review of the revenue sharing formula; convoke a national dialogue”, following widespread agitations among Nigerians and reflect the Federal Character principle in appointments into federal agencies including security agencies. Finally, they urged President Buhari to address the nation”

See below full text of communique signed by Governors Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state, Dr Victor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia; Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom; Host governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta; Willie Obiano of Anambra; Diri Duoye of  Bayelsa; Ben Ayade of Cross Rivers; Dave Umahi of Ebonyi; Godwin Obaseki of Edo; John Olukayode Fayemi; Ifeanyi Ugwuayi of Enugu; Hope Uzodinma of Imo; Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos; Dapo Abiodun of Ogun; Isaika Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun; Oluwaseyi Abiodun Makinde of Oyo and Ezenwo Nyesom Wike of Rivers:



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;
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;
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);
recommended that the Federal Government should support WILLING States to develop alternative and modern livestock management systems;
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;
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;
recommended that in deference to the sensitivities of our various peoples, there is need to review appointments into Federal Government Agencies (including Security Agencies) to reflect federal character as Nigeria’s overall population is heterogenous;
resolved to foster cooperation among the Southern States and the nation at large;

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;
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;
expressed very grave concern on the security challenge 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
expressed gratitude to our host, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for his generosity and hospitality.

Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN
Governor, Ondo State

Dr. Victor Okezie Ikpeazu, Governor, Abia State;  Chief Emmanuel Udom, Akwa Ibom State

Chief Willie Obiano, Governor of Anambra state;  Senator Diri Duoye; Governor, Bayelsa State

Prof. Ben Ayade Senator, Governor of Cross Rivers State;  Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa  State Governor, Delta State

Engr. Dave Umahi, Governor fo Ebonyi State; Godwin Obaseki; Governor, Edo State

John Olukayode Fayemi; Governor of Ekiti State;  Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi;  Governor, Enugu State

Senator Hope Uzodimma; Governor of Imo State;  Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Governor, Lagos State

Dapo Abiodun, Governor of Ogun State;  Isiaka Adegboyega Oyetola Governor, Governor of Osun State

Oluwaseyi Abiodun Makinde, Governor of Oyo State;  Ezenwo Nyesom Wike; Governor, Rivers State