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Ondo governor, Akeredolu rejects Buhari’s directive on open grazing

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Ondo State governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has rejected President Muhammadu Buhari’s call for governors in Nigeria to allow grazing routes for Fulani cattle rearers.

President Buhari had last week reacted to Southern governors’ ban on open grazing in their region, citing concerns on insecurity largely carried out by the Fulani herders.

Buhari directed States across the Federation to revive cattle grazing route, a development being rejected by governors of the Southern part of Nigeria and some of their northern counterparts.

While granting an exclusive interview on Arise Television, on Thursday last week, Buhari disclosed that he has directed the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami to begin the process of recovering land from persons who have converted cattle grazing routes for their personal use.

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Buhari said, grazing routes predated his administration, stating that when there was grazing route in the 1st Republic, “when Nigerians use to obey laws”, there wasn’t clashes, but the routes have now been converted into personal use of some Nigerians.

“What I did was ask him to go and dig the gazette of the 1st Republic when people were obeying laws,” he said.

But Ondo State governor in his lecture to mark June 12 in Akure, the Ondo State capital argued that things have changed saying the first Republic gazetted grazing routes were no longer in tandem with the realities on ground.

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“Where we are now, the Dome, something was here before, so now are we going to bring it back and reinstate what was here before?” Akeredolu asked rhetorically.

“Or where the Deji of Akure’s Palace is now, you say that it is a grazing route and we have to remove the palace for grazing route? We can’t do that now.

“Things are changing and there has to be a paradigm shift.

“Ethiopia has about 200 million cattle and you won’t see them on the streets. They are located in the hinterlands designated for grazing.”

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CAPITAL POST also reported that governor Diri Duoye of Bayelsa State had in similar vein, rejected the directive on grazing route, saying it was strange to the people of Bayelsa.

Speaking at a press briefing to commemorate his Democracy Day in Yenagoa, the State capital on Saturday, the governor said, Bayelsans are predominantly farmers and fishermen, insisting that what they have is water and not land for use of cattle grazing.

He said, he has adopted the Southern governors’ resolution on ban of open grazing, noting that in Bayelsa State, cows are not allowed to move from one place to the other.

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