Southern governors to present Asaba resolution to Buhari after France trip
The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has pleaded with the southern governors over their ban on open grazing urging the federal government to assist state government in establishing model ranches.
The General Secretary of MACBAN, Baba Ngerzema in an interview with The PUNCH on Sunday demanded the establishment of two or three models of ranches as part of measures to put an end to open grazing.
Ngerzema said the governors should consider the plights of pastoralists that would be affected by their declaration, saying some of them were born and brought up in those Southern states.
He said, “For the interest of peace and unity of the country, the Southern governors should consider the plights of the pastoralists as bonafide citizens while agitating for the anti-open grazing policy because some of these herders are born and brought up in those states.
“In order not overheat the already fragile security situation of the country, let them all temper justice with mercy.
“We call on state governments to unify purposes in their desire for peace.”
He said MACBAN was never opposed to settlement of pastoralists throughout the country but that there must be a model of settlement for the pastoralists to see and emulate.
He regretted that there was no attempt by past administrations to modernise the animal husbandry practice in the country.
He added, “The pastoralists we have are those that practise the primitive system they inherited as the only option available for them.
“This system is no longer sustainable considering the growing population that poses too much demand on the land that doesn’t increase at all.
“The pastoralists are also bonafide citizens whose rights and privileges deserve protection.
“The Federal Government must also come up with a policy to address the issue for the unity of the country. Each state government in the North should be assisted by the Federal Government to establish two or three models of modern settlements( ranch ).”
Meanwhile, Southern governors are set to meet President Muhammadu Buhari after his return from France to present the 12 point resolution agreed on at their meeting in Asaba, Delta state recently.
According to Punch, a top government official in Delta State disclosed that the forum would definitely meet with the President, but the time the meeting will hold has not been revealed by them. But it is sure that the meeting with the President will hold.”
When contacted the Ondo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr Donald Ojogo, said the Chairman of the SGF and Ondo State Governor Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, had stated that the forum would meet with the President.
Ojogo said, “He (Akeredolu) has stated this already that the forum will meet the President and present the issues raised.”