Southern Governors have banned open grazing and movement of cows by foot in 17 Southern States of the Federation.
This was the outcome of a meeting that lasted for almost two hours at the Delta Government House in Asaba on Tuesday.
They noted development and population growth had put pressure on available land and increased the prospects of conflict between migrating herders and local populations in the South.
A communiqué read by chairman of the Forum and Ondo Governor, Rotimi Akerdeolu said: “Given this scenario, it becomes imperative to enforce the ban on open grazing in the South (including cattle movement to the South by foot); recommended that the Federal Government should support willing States to develop alternative and modern livestock management systems.”
They also challenged the Federal Government to urgently restructure the nation to address the rising agitations and insecurity across the Federation.
The Governors urged the Federal Government to convoke a national dialogue to douse agitations amongst various ethnic groups for inclusion in governance.
They said “urgent and bold steps” be taken to restructure the Federation leading to the evolution of State police, review of revenue formula in favour of States and creation of other institutions to advance true federalism.
They called on President Muhammadu Buhari to address Nigerians over the worsening security situation in the country so as to restore confidence amongst peoples of Southern Nigeria.
The Southern Governors vowed to keep the unity of Nigeria on the basis of equity, justice and peaceful co-existence.
The communiqué also resolved to foster cooperation amongst the Southern States.
It expressed concern over the gridlock on the Oshodi/Apapa expressway and recommended the establishment of ports in other States of the federation to promote socio-economic activities in the country.
It expressed alarm over the implication of another lockdown, urging better coordination between federal and State governments in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Imo Governor Hope Uzodimma, his Akwa Ibom counterpart and Emmanuel Udom, were represented by their deputies, Prof Placid Njoku and Moses Ekpo respectively.
Present at the meeting were Governors Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti); Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Godwin Obaseki (Edo); Dapo Abiodun (Ogun); Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos).
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Others were: Douye Diri (Bayelsa); Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi ( Enugu), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Rotimi Akerodolu (Ondo), Willie Obiano (Anambra) and David Umahi ( Ebonyi).