The Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams, says the people of the South-West geopolitical zone are against the Federal Government’s move to recover grazing routes for herders to graze their cattle in the country.
According to him, the government of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), will be “creating an unnecessary tension” in the region if it goes ahead with the move.
Adams, who spoke in a chat with The PUNCH on Saturday, also alleged that the Federal Government is driving the country to a point of anarchy through its unpopular policies and actions.
The PUNCH had reported that the President in a recent television interview supported open grazing and directed the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), to produce a gazette which delineated grazing routes in all parts of the country in the First Republic.
Some human rights activists including Femi Falana (SAN), subsequently kicked against the move, saying grazing routes existed only in Northern Nigeria and not in the southern part of the country.
Although some of the routes are believed to have been encroached upon due to human activities, The PUNCH found out that the government had embarked on a process of identifying monuments along the routes in order to get them back as locations for cattle grazing.
Speaking with The PUNCH on Saturday, Adams said grazing routes “cannot work because the entire Southern Nigeria has spoken and we are against open grazing; the governors in the region have banned it already and lawmakers have started enacting laws in their state assemblies to ban it.
“The Federal Government should recognise that we have three tiers of government and should not create an impression that every law is in the hands of the Federal Government. The issue of open grazing should be a state law and a local government law because it is about the security of the state.
“Open grazing has been constituting security threats and has caused a lot of deaths of citizens and this is giving Nigeria a very bad image before the international community. The Federal Government should go against anything which threatens lives and property of Nigerians. If it encourages anything that will create insecurity, then, those in government have hidden agenda towards Southerners.”
“The Federal Government is driving the country to the point of anarchy and political instability by confronting the southern governors on the ban of open grazing. Open grazing is an insecurity of the highest order in the country.
“I don’t know why the President is bringing up an old law that was not even reflected in the 1999 Constitution. It is impossible for him to bring it up now. We will take a necessary position if that happens,” he added.