GOVERNOR Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has accused his Kaduna State counterpart Nasir El-Rufai of acting in a manner unbecoming of a leader over his recent opposition to a ban on open grazing.
In May this year, the Southern Governors Forum met in the Delta State capital Asaba where among other things, it agreed to ban grazing. Since then, all 17 states in the forum have initiated plans to ban open grazing and in some states such as Ondo where the law is already in force, arrests have been made of those who have flouted it.
However, Governor El-Rufai described the anti-open grazing laws as unrealistic and un-implementable. He said that the anti-grazing laws being approved by the southern governors country would achieve little in bringing lasting solution to the herder-farmer crisis currently afflicting the nation.
Governor El-Rufai added: “What is unhelpful is to politicise the situation and pass legislation that you know that you cannot implement. So, we have taken a position and we are working round the clock to implement that position.”
In response Governor Akeredolu, said such a statement should not have come from a leader. He reiterated that the anti-open grazing law, especially in Ondo State, had come to stay and is the only solution to the ongoing murderous attacks by Fulani herdsmen.
Governor Akeredolu added: “It shall be zealously guarded and conscionably deployed to protect all residents of Ondo State, notwithstanding their ethnic and religious biases. From all indications, Governor Nasir El-Rufai, if he was properly quoted and his views not misrepresented, is struggling hard to export banditry to the south under an expressed opinion that is laced with mischief.
“Perhaps, it is apt to state clearly that the likes of Governor El-Rufai are already in a hysteric mode of escalating and indeed, externalising banditry, especially as the military onslaught against criminal elements and other terror variants suffices in the north. For emphasis, any such comment like that of the Kaduna governor, if indeed he made that statement, merely seeks to encourage anarchy under the guise of resentment of a law by affected stakeholders.”