The Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF), has called for an end to open grazing, saying the current system of herding conducted mainly through open grazing by Fulani herdsmen, is no longer sustainable in view of the growing urbanization and population of the country.
The NSGF which held an emergency virtual meeting presided by the Chairman and Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong on Monday, said insecurity issues affecting the North and Nigeria in general is worrisome and calls for new ways of doing things.
The Forum added that it will aggressively sensitise herdsmen on the need to adopt new methods of herding by ranching or other acceptable modern methods instead of allowing them to roam around the country in search of pastures.
The governors appealed to the Federal Government to support states with grants to directly undertake pilot projects of modern livestock production that will serve as a “springboard and evidence for breaking resistance to the full implementation of new methods of livestock production.”
The Forum also expressed concerns over the tension generated by the eviction order issued to herdsmen in some parts of the country, saying that it is heating up the already fragile security atmosphere.
They also opined that there were already threats of reprisals in the North and that they are working assiduously to contain such threats, and to urgently meet to discuss the issue holistically with a view to resolving all areas of misunderstanding and conflicts arising from these threats and suspicion for the sake of national unity.
“We call for restraint from leaders, including those in the Southern parts of the country where passions are high.
“Similarly, we call on all the citizens of the North to continue to live in peace with all Nigerians irrespective of their origins and backgrounds.
“We also urge political leaders to segregate between criminality and social groups in their domains with a view to treating criminals like criminals, while we condemn every form of criminality whether from herders, hunters, or farmers occupying forest reserves illegally,” the Forum