From Gyang Bere, Jos
The Northern Governors Forum (NGF) has declared that the current system of open grazing was no longer sustainable and should be reviewed in view of increasing urbanisation and population growth of the country.
The forum also expressed concerns over growing insecurity in the country and called on political leaders to segregate between criminality and social groups in their jurisdiction with a view to identifying criminal elements and treating them as such. The governors condemned every form of criminality either from herders, hunters or farmers occupying forest reserve illegally in any parts of the country.
The forum stated this in a communique issued after a virtual meeting held on February 8 and signed by its chairman and Governor of Plateau State, Mr. Simon Lalong.
“The forum noted with concern the tension generated by the eviction order issued to herdsmen in some parts of the country and observed that this is heating the already fragile security atmosphere with threats of reprisals, which the northern governors are working assiduously to contain,” it said.
It stressed the urgent need for the larger Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) to meet and discuss the issue holistically with a view to resolving all areas of conflicts arising from these threats, for the sake of national unity.
According to the communique, the northern governors would aggressively sensitise herdsmen on the need to adopt new methods of herding by ranching or other acceptable modern methods.
It appealed to the Federal Government to support states with grants to undertake pilot projects of modern livestock production that would help launch the full implementation of new methods of livestock production and avert resistance through successes it would record.
The forum expressed concern on the sprouts of insecurity in the country, and the circulation of unverified video clips on social media, portraying violent attacks on persons in some parts of the country.
It said that the northern governors would engage elders and youths in discussions to seek solutions to security challenges in the north.
A four-man committee, to be headed by the chairman of the forum, was established to accomplish that task, the forum said.
The NGF called for restraint from leaders, including those in the southern part of the country where tensions are high.
It also called on all northern people to continue to live in peace with all Nigerians, irrespective of their origins and backgrounds.
The governors congratulated the new service chiefs on their recent appointments and promised to collaborate with them in enhancing the security of the nation.