A Fulani group under the aegies of the Gan Allah Fulani Development Association (GAFDAN) has kicked against any attempt to ban open grazing in Southern Nigeria, as it said doing so will lead to a breakdown of peace in such states.
The 17 governors of southern states, under the auspices of the Southern Governors Forum (SGF) had, July 5, at their meeting in Lagos, unanimously agreed to effect a ban on open grazing in the region with September 1 given as the deadline for the ban to take effect.
But in a statement on Sunday and made available to Ripples Nigeria, GAFDAN described the ban as a ‘call to anarchy’ in the country, adding that the move was capable of frustrating the South’s chances of producing the country’s president in 2023.
The statement signed by National Secretary of the group, Ibrahim Abdullahi, said:
“The position of the forum is very unfortunate because you don’t stop a system unless you have provided an alternative to it.
“We are not against any new method of animal husbandry because we believe that the present system is outdated but then you don’t stop it overnight without providing alternative.
“So, the position of the governors is practically impossible under the present setup in Nigeria.
“The statement of the governors is more political than realistic. It is unfortunate that people can play politics with the livelihood of millions of Nigerians.
“If you stop open grazing in the South, you are simply saying that those people should move to the North or they should move to other parts of the country. What happens if those in the North also ask the Southerners to leave?
“Are we promoting unity or hatred? What the governors are saying is practically impossible and it does not promote the unity of this country.
“You don’t stop people’s means of living and expect peace to reign. So, the implication is that the unity of Nigeria is going to be in question.
“You don’t expect those that will be affected to return to the North and live in peace with people from the South living in the North”.