Ali Ndume, a lawmaker and member of the Senate Committee on Army, on Thursday said the 17 governors in the South were playing to the gallery when they issued an unrealistic order banning open grazing in the region.
FIJ had reported that the ban on open grazing was among the resolutions the Southern Governors Forum came up with at a meeting in Delta State.
But speaking on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Tonight’, Ndume stated that the governors should have discussed the resolutions with the president in a closed session, instead of issuing a blanket statement to the media.
“The open grazing system, they said they banned it in all the South but the people cannot move without addressing how they will accommodate or look at the constitutional issues that will come as to freedom of movement which every individual is concerned with and how practical the implementation of the decision is,” he said.
“When leadership is playing to the gallery in very challenging situations like this, I feel concerned.”
While Ndume noted that the open grazing system, which involves Fulani herdsmen moving cattle around in search of pasture and water, needed to change as it often leads to clashes with farmers when the animals stray into farmlands, he said that the governors should have initiated solutions with implementation plans ranging from short to long term.
“The problem is not open grazing; the problem is what we are faced with in this country is the issue with insecurity… I don’t have a problem with the solutions they proposed; what I am saying is that they should be practical, realistic and honest and that is lacking the blanket statement.
“I agree that open grazing system is archaic and is not the way to go, but also saying that you have banned it just like that is also not the way to go. If you say you have banned their movement, then what is the implication? How do you implement that?” he asked.
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