The Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams, has insisted that the people of the South-west are against the Federal Government’s plan to revive grazing routes in the region.
Naija News recalls that 17 southern governors had after a meeting in Delta State imposed a ban on open grazing in the region.
But President Muhammadu Buhari had directed states to revive cattle grazing routes across the country.
The president stated this during an interview with Arise Television which was aired on Thursday.
He disclosed that he has asked Nigeria’s Attorney General, Abubakar Malami to begin the process of recovering land from persons who have converted cattle grazing routes for their personal use.
Buhari said the grazing routes were designated in the 1st Republic when “Nigerians use to obey laws” but those routes had been converted.
“What I did was ask him to go and dig the gazette of the 1st Republic when people were obeying laws,” he said.
Many Nigerians including governors from northern and southern parts of the country have kicked against the federal government’s plan.
Undeterred, the federal government has begun tracing and recovering stock routes, popularly called grazing routes for herders to graze their cattle.
Although some of the routes are believed to have been encroached upon due to human activities, the government had embarked on a process of identifying monuments along the routes in order to get them back as locations for cattle grazing.
But speaking to The PUNCH on Saturday, Gani Adams insisted that open grazing only leads to clashes between farmers and herdsmen.
According to the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) factional leader, if the government encourages anything that will create insecurity, then, they have hidden agenda towards Southerners.
Gani Adams warned that President Buhari will be “creating an unnecessary tension” in the region if he goes ahead with the move to revive grazing routes.
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.