Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has again stated that the Southern Governors ban of open grazing is irreversible.
In his speech at the 2021 Nigerian Bar Association (NBA-SPIDEL) annual conference in Ibadan, the Ondo state Governor disclosed that all governors were in agreement on full autonomy for the Judiciary and Local Governments administration.
Akeredolu also added that the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami’s response to the ban on open grazing is most uncalled for and has also shown his own mindset.
“The southern governors at our meeting in Asaba took a decision. We want to say that the decision is irreversible and we are maintaining it.
“Although for one reason or the other, I couldn’t attend the All Progressive Congress (APC) Southwest leaders forum meeting, I am happy that meeting supported our position in that respect.
“The response of Attorney General of the Federation Abubakar Malami in an interview, for me is most uncalled for. That has shown his own mind set.
“We call on the federal government to come out and assist people in so many fields. Animal husbandry is another form of farming. If you are spending money on those who are involved in rice cultivation, why can’t we spend money on those who are involved in animal husbandry.
“The only way we can do that is to take them off this anachronistic way of having to herd cows from Kaura-Namoda to Lagos. It does not make sense. Not in this century.
“It is for us to encourage ranching. The federal government should assist those who want to establish ranches, so that all these animals you want to ranch would come in trains and you bring them to ranch where they would be better fed and people would go there to buy.
“Ondo state would do ranching. The National Livestock programme is so important. States that are interested let them be involved in ranching and the federal government should support it.
“Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has been very forthright in the matter saying that he also supports the ban on open grazing in many ways without mincing words.
“You see a herder and how poor he looks and his herds is worth millions. Then there are some problems. He remains poor and herding animals that are worth millions. Which means he is being used by other people. It means the cows don’t belong to him. If they belong to him, he is a millionaire.
“It is time they found a new way of rearing these animals so that nobody starts trekking from Sokoto to Lagos looking for food.”
The Ondo state Governor also said that Malami’s comparison of spare parts selling with cattle rearing is most unfortunate.
“All these people, all the Bororos, we are not asking them to leave. What we are saying is that we are opposed to criminality and we would fight it with what we have. People would enter our forest, they would kidnap our people and we would just keep quiet? We would not accept it.”
On Judicial autonomy, Akeredolu said;
“Judiciary must be autonomous. Local governments in Ondo state cannot complain. I don’t even know how much they earn or how they spend their money. They have their JAC and I am not interested in how they spend their money”
He further stated that this is the right time for creation of state police as Governors are already preparing for it.