We Reject Grazing Zones in Yorubaland, South-West Nigeria -COYN

Conscience of Yoruba Nation, a pan-Yoruba group and an affiliate of Afenifere has rejected in its entirety, the idea of grazing zone in Yorubaland, South-West Nigeria.

A statement issued by the convener of the group, Otunba Adekolejo Kole Omololu declared that grazing zone would not be welcome within Yoruba territory.

President Bola Tinubu had recently directed state governors to create grazing zones across the nation to put a stop to farmer-herder clashes in the land.

COYN, however, in a swift reaction kicked against the idea, saying it’s not only ineffective, but suicidal.

“In regards to the recent instruction of our president of Nigeria, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to the state Governors to provide land for grazing to herders in attempt to curtail the incessant Farmer Herders Crisis that is ravaging the country. Members of COYN hereby reject this proposition of PBAT on this subject. Grazing zones as a proposal to combat the farmers herders crisis has proved ineffective in the middle belt of the country. Benue state banned open grazing and provided ranches yet the crisis in Benue has continued. In Plataeu State and Nasarawa, lands were donated by the President Buhari administration but this did not stop the continued Farmers -Herders clashes. Southern Kaduna is another example of cases of failure of the grazing reserves: they have the longest record since the 1960 grazing reserve act where the former Northern region let the herders lease land for grazing, the reserve land subsequently becoming disputed land, leading to further conflicts till today and continued killings in the region”, the group maintained.

“We are also dismayed that the President did not recommend any investigation into the offending herders who are interfering with agricultural practices in affected regions such as the South-West of Nigeria. As the chief law enforcement officer of the country, we urge the president to look into farm security initiatives for farmers whose lives are endangered everyday by herders who are often armed and has been confrontational in their encounters with farmers, leading to their murdering of many farmers in cold blood”, COYN added.

“We propose that the president set up a committee to investigate the causes of the incessant farmers -herders crisis and why existing remedies in other regions of the country with adequate land mass for ranching has failed. Mandating State Governors to give land as grazing zone appears to be a repeat of same ineffective strategies that have plagued the country since 1960s.

“We urge the State Governments of the Southwest to double their efforts in Animal husbandry to meet the demands of the citizens.

“COYN continues to believe in the unity of Nigeria under a federal system based on equity and fairness.

“We also believe in the capacity of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to solve the problems bedevilling Nigeria”, Otunba Omololu concluded.