From Left: Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo; Dapo Abiodun of Ogun, Akwa Ibom Deputy Governor, Moses Ekpo; Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra, Douye Diri of Bayelsa, Ebonyi’s David Omahi, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, Chairman, Southern Governors Forum and Govenor of Ondo, Rotimi Akeredolu; Senator Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, Nyesom Wike of Rivers, Babajide Sanwolu of Lagos, Enugu State’s Ifeanyi Ugwanyi, Imo Deputy Governor, Placid Njoku; Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde and Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia in a photograph after Southern Governors meeting at Government House, Asaba. Tuesday

*** Urge Governors to work with NASS for Maximum Results

By Henry Umoru

SENATORS from the Southern part of the country, under the aegis of Southern Senators Forum, SSF have thrown their weights behind the Southern Governors on the total ban of Open Grazing of cattle in the southern part of the country.

According to the Senators, the move by the governors will help nip in the bud,  herders-farmers clashes and senseless kidnapping as well as continued killings, kidnapping, raping, and destruction of property of people of southern extraction.

The lawmakers who hailed the step taken by the Governors stressed that it would serve as a buffer to wanton destruction of farmlands, kidnappings, and carnages. Ekiti, on Wednesday, applauded, even as they lamented how the Southern farmers were losing Hundreds of millions of Naira to plundering of food crops through encroachments on farmlands and exposing the region to famine and acute food scarcity.

A statement jointly signed by the SSF Chairman, Secretary-General and Publicity Secretary, Senators Opeyemi Bamidele (Ekiti), Matthew Urhoghide (Edo), and Chukwuka Utazi (Enugu), respectively and made available to Journalists in Abuja Wednesday, the Southern Senators have urged the governors to work in synergy with the Senators in order to achieve maximum result.

Bamidele, Urhoghide, and Utazi saluted the Governors for ruminating on the expediency and the need for speedy restructuring of the highly lopsided Nigerian nation, saying this will also help to remove the venom that had permeated the land on account of alleged neglect of certain sections of the country.

According to the  SSF leaders,  ushering of equality, equity, and justice in the way the country is being run will wipe out ethnic tension, restore peace and stability and ward off agitations for secession that are now gaining traction across the land.

The Southern Senators Forum comprises Senators from the southeast; South West; and South-South.

Recall that the Southern Governors  Forum (SGF), had at its meeting held in Asaba, Delta State Capital, on Tuesday, unanimously passed a verdict prohibiting open grazing in the region to checkmate herders-farmers clashes and senseless kidnapping as well as killings of Nigerian citizens of southern extraction.

The statement read, “As insecurity continues to take a toll on the country and subjecting many to kidnapping and killing, the Southern Senators Forum (SSF), has commended Governors from the region for outrightly taking a firm position on burning national issues, including banning open grazing of cattle.

“The Senators submitted that such deft and unanimous policy would help in reining in those hiding under cattle grazing to unleash terror of kidnapping and killing on the residents of the region.

“Southern Governors  Forum (SGF), had at its meeting held in Asaba, Delta State Capital, on Tuesday, unanimously passed a verdict prohibiting open grazing in the region to checkmate herders-farmers clashes and senseless kidnapping as well as killings of Nigerian citizens of southern extraction.

According to them, “At this critical point of our national life when the economy was being bedeviled by galloping inflation, youth unemployment, and insecurity, food security is very crucial to mitigate the effects of these diverse evils on the citizens.

“Available records have shown that attaining food security status would remain a mirage in the south owing to ravaging effect of outdated livestock grazing policy being unleashed on farmlands by some unscrupulous herders.

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“Most appalling were the seemingly unabated kidnapping, raping, and killing of our people by suspected herdsmen, who have become bandits heating up the system.

“With this uniform resolve by our Governors to initiate no-open grazing policy, the region will return to its peaceful and agriculturally self-sufficient status it had assumed even long before Nigeria’s amalgamation in 1914.

“Finally, the Southern Senators Forum encouraged the Governors to swiftly follow up on their resolutions by immediately approaching the leadership of the National Assembly with a view to working  with the two arms of the parliament to ensure that their well-articulated positions on the state of the nation, especially as relate to restructuring, State policing and the jettisoning of archaic traditional grazing methods, which fall short of global best practice standard and a potential threat to our national cohesion and peace, are thoroughly and decisively addressed through the ongoing constitutional review exercise.”

Vanguard News Nigeria

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