GOVERNOR Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has declared that the recent decision by the Southern Governors Forum to ban open grazing across the south of the country is irrevocable and will not be open to discussion.
Last week, the Southern Governors Forum met in Asaba, the Delta State capital and at the end of their meeting they issued a communique urging the federal government to urgently convoke a national dialogue to address the widespread agitations growing across the nation. They also called for restructuring of the country, the creation of state police forces to combat insecurity and the enforcement of a ban on open grazing across southern Nigeria.
Their stance has been praised by the Southern Senators’ Forum who said the unanimous agreement on open grazing would check those hiding under livestock husbandry to unleash terror including kidnapping and the killing of innocent people. Lauding the governors, the Southern Senators’ Forum asked them to swiftly follow up their resolutions by immediately approaching the leadership of the National Assembly with a view to working together.
However, several northern politicians like the senate president Senator Ahmad Lawan and former Nasarawa State governor Abdullahi Adamu have opposed the ban on open grazing. Senator Adamu is particular was scathing, accusing the southern governors of a betrayal of trust and of their oath of allegiance to the president of Nigeria.
Speaking in Bori, the headquarters of Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State, Governor Wike said the decision to ban open grazing is final. Dismissing all the objections, he told critics of the governors that no section of the country is inferior to others.
Governor Wike said: “We have taken a position and no going back. Enough is enough, we are not second class citizens of this country, we also own this country.”
Commenting on the local problems in Khana Local Government Area , the governor lamented the slow pace of the Ogoni environmental remediation. He charged the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project to relocate its operational office from Port Harcourt to Bori.