Following the increasing number of Nigeria’s urban population, the current system of herding conducted mainly through open grazing was no longer sustainable, the Northern governors have said.
The Northern state governors spoke during an emergency meeting which they held virtually on Monday to discuss issues affecting the region and the country.
In a communiqué released in Jos on Tuesday after the meeting by the Chairman of Northern Governors Forum and Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, the Governors expressed concern over the tension generated by the eviction order issued to herdsmen in some parts of the country.
They noted that the situation was heating the already fragile security atmosphere with threats of reprisals which the Northern Governors are working assiduously to contain.
They also stressed the urgent need for the Nigerian Governors Forum to meet and 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.
Part of The Communiqué read, “Consequently, Forum resolved to aggressively sensitise herdsmen on the need to adopt new methods of herding by ranching or other acceptable modern methods.
“It 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.
“Forum Resolved to engage elders and youths in a robust discussion with a view to dousing the tensed security environment in the north. Accordingly, a four-person committee was put in place to be headed by the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum.”
The communique equally called for restraint from leaders including those in the Southern parts of the country “where passion is high” and urged “all the citizens of the north to continue to live in peace with all Nigerians irrespective of their origins and backgrounds”.