The governors of 17 states in Southern Nigeria have resolved to ban open grazing of cattle in their states.
This was part of the 12 resolutions reached by the governors at their Tuesday meeting in Asaba, the Delta State capital.
Open grazing of cattle has often caused conflicts between host communities and migrant herders, leading to several deaths in many states.
Some of the herders have also been accused of committing other criminal acts like armed robbery, kidnappings, and murder.
Following the incessant conflict, the southern governors held a four hours meeting in Asaba on Tuesday.
This newspaper obtained a 12-point communique read by its Chairman, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, at the end of the meeting where they agreed that open grazing should be banned.
They “affirmed that the people 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.”
The governors said 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.
They, therefore, 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).”
Also, they recommended that the federal government should support states to develop alternative and modern livestock management systems.