Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN on Wednesday explained why the 17 southern governors agreed on outlawing open grazing of cows in the southern part of Nigeria.
Mr Akeredolu, who doubles as the chairman of the Southern Governor’s Forum, said open grazing is causing a lot of problems between the herders and farmers, arguing that those in the business of animal husbandry must embrace modern ways of animal rearing.
Recall that all the 17 southern governors, at a meeting in Asaba, Delta state on Tuesday, called for a national dialogue and also announced that a ban has been placed on open grazing in the region.
Speaking on the issue during a monitored programme on Channels Television on Wednesday, Akeredolu said the decision is not new and most of the governors have placed a ban on open grazing in their states before the meeting.
“This message is not new. We looked at what is happening in our respective states. Most of the states have passed laws on open grazing. Virtually all of us have passed that law.
“We felt that … this open grazing must stop. It is causing a lot of problems particularly between the herders and the farmers. Whether we like it or not, times have changed and this must change. We must adopt a modern system of animal husbandry.
“In this day and age, they cannot continue taking cows by foot from Kano to Port Harcourt,” he said.
The governor said the Federal government needs to throw its weight behind state governments that want to set up ranches, noting that this will benefit the herders who are exposed to dangers as they roam with their cattle.
“At the meeting, we referred to what Governor Ganduje said. It was clear that he is also against open grazing. He says it does not augur well and the herders also do not benefit from it. There is no development, they are exposed to dangers.
“That why we suggested that the Federal Government should intervene to help these herders. The Federal government should give money for ranches to be created. That is why it is part of our recommendation that states who want to create ranches be supported,” Akeredolu who is also the Governor of Ondo State said.
The decision of the Southern Governors to ban open grazing comes three months after the Nigerian Governors Forum did the same.
In February 2021, the Nigerian Governors Forum, representing all 36 states in the country, said it had reached a consensus on the “need for the country to transition into modern systems of animal husbandry that will replace open, night, and underage grazing in the country.”