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The Chairman, Senate Committee on the Army, Senator Ali Ndume, has opposed the decision of southern governors to ban open grazing of cattle.
Recall that the Southern Governors Forum (SGF), had at its meeting held in Asaba, Delta State Capital, on Tuesday, unanimously prohibited open grazing in the region in order to checkmate herders-farmers clashes.
The governors had “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,” a communique issued at the end of the meeting read.
“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.
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.” the communiqué had read.
However, while adressing journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, Ndume, who represents Borno South in the Senate, said Nigeria’s security problems is not about open grazing.
The lawmaker said: “The governors are deviating from the matter. The problem is not about open grazing. The problem is security. Most of the insecurity problems confronting Nigeria is not in the bush
“We have four different types of security challenges. We have the insurgency in the North East, IPOB through the Eastern Security Network is creating insecurity in the South East, there is banditry in the North West.
“It is only in the North Central that we have issues of farmers-herders clashes. There is less problem in the South – West except for the clashes between the herdsmen and the farmers and the agitators for the Yoruba nation.
“Similarly, in the South – South, they are trying to instigate the avengers but so far the area is peaceful. The issue of insecurity is unique to each zone.” he said.