A pan-Fulani group, the Gan Allah Fulani Development Association (GAFDAN), has cautioned Southern governors against banning open grazing in September.
Naija News reports that the Southern governors had come out with some serious resolutions at a meeting held in Lagos on Monday.
The resolutions include the September 1 deadline to end open grazing in the southern part of the country and the rotation of the presidency to the South in 2023.
In an interview with Nigerian Tribune, the National Secretary of GAFDAN, Ibrahim Abdullahi, described the open grazing deadline handed down by the Southern governors as a call for anarchy
He said that the Southern Governors Forum failed to consider the implications of their decision on open grazing, adding that their decision is a factor capable of frustrating the prospect of the south producing the next president.
Abdullahi condemned the intimidation tactics employed by the governors in their bid to get power to return to the South in 2023.
He said: “You don’t just play politics. Some people want power to return to their region and they believe that the only way to go about it is to intimidate others. You want power to return to the South and you are driving people, about 17 million voters (Fulani), away. This step will definitely jeopardise the chances of the South to produce the next president come 2023.
“The position of the forum is very unfortunate because you don’t stop a system unless you have provided an alternative to it. We are not against any new method of animal husbandry because we believe that the present system is outdated but then you don’t stop it overnight without providing alternative. So, the position of the governors is practically impossible under the present setup in Nigeria.
“The statement of the governors is more political than realistic. It is unfortunate that people can play politics with the livelihood of millions of Nigerians. If you stop open grazing in the South, you are simply saying that those people should move to the North or they should move to other parts of the country. What happens if those in the North also ask the Southerners to leave?
“Are we promoting unity or hatred? What the governors are saying is practically impossible and it does not promote the unity of this country.”
He stated that Benue State had not experienced peace since the government there banned open grazing, a decision which, he said, led to the displacement of the entire Fulani cattle herders.
He warned that peace would “definitely elude” any state that takes such a decision.
“You don’t stop people’s means of living and expect peace to reign. So, the implication is that the unity of Nigeria is going to be in question. You don’t expect those that will be affected to return to the North and live in peace with people from the South living in the North. It is double standard.
“It is a call for anarchy. If the governors had provided alternative and set aside an area to practise ranching, it would have been better. The present situation does not favour herders themselves and then for you to start a thing without providing alternative is wrong. This is a call for anarchy,” he noted.