From Teryima Ajijah, Jos
Northern Governors Forum (NGF) has banned open grazing in Nigeria and called on herdsmen to adopt modern practice of animal rearing.
The forum made the resolution early hours of Tuesday, in a communique issued by it Chairman, Simon Lalong, the Governor of Plateau State after a meeting.
According to the NGF chairman, the open grazing practice by herders in Nigeria is an outdated form of animal rearing, hence, the need to adopt modern practice to curtail the protracted clashes between herders and crop farmers in Nigeria.
“Northern Governors Forum notes with concern that the current system of herding conducted mainly through open grazing is no longer sustainable, in view of growing urbanization and population of the country. Consequently, the Forum resolved to aggressively sensitise herdsmen on the need to adapt new methods of herding by ranching or other acceptable modern methods,” it stated.
It solicited for funds from the federal government to help establish ranching to boost modern production of animals.
“Appeals to the Federal Government to support States with grants to directly undertake pilot projects of modern livestock production that will serve as springboard and evidence for breaking resistance to the full implementation of new methods of livestock production,” the statement added.
The forum tasked farmers who are illegally occupying government reserve forest across the country to desist from such acts.
It reiterated that it condemns every form of criminality whether from herders, hunters, or farmers occupying forest reserves illegally.
NGF also frowned at the recent eviction order issued by some South West governors to herders to leave their state, saying the action has generated tension in the entire country, which the governors are battling with, noting that the order is capable of rekindling another round of violence.
The forum cautioned Nigerians, particularly citizens of the northern part of the country to live in peace with one another, irrespective of state of origin.