Open grazing or movement of cows by foot in Southeast remains banned, Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi has announced.
Although Umahi did not say if there was an extant law that makes movements of cattle by foot an offence in the zone, he claimed that ”in our forests today, we have kidnappers, herdsmen, cultists, and all sorts of criminals.”
He spoke on Monday just as the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) said its Eastern Security Network (ESN) would commence full enforcement of Nigeria’s Anti-Grazing Law in the Southeast in less than two weeks.
They were reacting to the incessant clashes between herders and farmers in virtually all parts of the country.
Last weekend, Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje openly declared his support for a ban of open grazing by advocating a federal law on that. Less than 10 days ago, the Nigerian Governors’ Forum(NGF) and Miyatti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria(MACBAN) agreed that open grazing should be put to an end.
Umahi, at a meeting in Abakaliki with the All Progressives Congress (APC) stakeholders, said: ”We are living in a dangerous time.
“In our forests today, we have the kidnappers, herdsmen, cultists, and all sorts of criminals. Anybody staying in the forest is taking a risk, when we say that people should move out of the forests, it is for their safety and security. I support that kidnappers, herdsmen, cultists, and bandits should be flushed out of our forests.
”Governors of the Southeast have been calling on our leaders to speak out on the security of the zone and unity of Nigeria.
“Recently, I read on paper where someone said he was giving the governors of Southeast seven days to ban open grazing, the governors of Southeast had banned open grazing and movement of cows by foot into Southeast.”
Umahi, who is also the Chairman of the Southeast Governors’ Forum, cautioned people against instigating crises through the dissemination of fake videos alleging the killing of herdsmen by IPOB in the Southeast.
“What our people must know is that security is not political, what is demanded of the leaders is to put up programs that favours the people and foster national unity,” he said.
Earlier yesterday, IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, said in a statement that his outlawed organisation was determined to wage war against killer herdsmen in the Southeast.