Anti-open Grazing: Ohanaeze Warns Uzodimma Against Backing Out Of Agreement

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…..Buhari’s order on grazing reserve dangerous, activist

Abuja – The Chidi Ibe-led Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has warned Imo State governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma, on the dangers of withdrawing from the ban on open grazing initiated by the Forum of Southern Governors. The group said the governor has attracted a scourge of hatred to his government as a result of the controversial comment.

The 17 governors of the southern states had in a meeting held in Lagos on July 5, 2021, urged states in the region to ensure that the legislation against open grazing of cattle was put in place on or before September 1.

But Uzodimma during the week reportedly declared that there is no law forbidding open grazing by cattle rearers in the state.

“I don’t have any law in Imo State for anti-grazing. But what we have done is that we are regulating grazing activities in Imo State under a partnership between our farmers and herders. They have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in my and agreed to work together. And both parties are going about their businesses without interfering or causing any grievance or anger to each other,”the governor said.

The statement attracted the wrath of the Igbo apex socio-cultural group. In a statement signed by its Secretary General, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, the Igbo group said: “Our suspicion had been reinforced with the continued absence of Governor Hope Uzodinma in the meetings of Southern Governors in Asaba and Lagos, which was intentional and premeditated to ambush the resolutions of the Southern Governors. He will never escape the venom of Ndigbo, as he will surely taste the retribution of God and wrath of the people as a confirmed saboteur and this will serve as a warning to any Igbo governor that will follow such a decision. They will never escape the wrath of the people.”

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has been advised against giving an order that could polarize the country

This advice was given by a renowned socio-political activist and critic, Chief Adesunbo Onitiri following the President’s directive for the recovery of 368 grazing fields in 25 states.

According to Chief Onitri, the directive would cause an avoidable clash between the President and the state governors.

“I beg to disagree with the recent Grazing Reserve Order of Mr President when considered alongside with the plea of Mr President with the Service chiefs not to make him fail in his governance.

“Any sane mind will find these two conflicting stand points very absurd. The Land Use Act which is part of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and which President Buhari swore to uphold firmly placed administration of land in the purview of state governors.”