By Salim Yunusa
Meanwhile, Southern Senators’ Forum, members of the House of Representatives from the 17 southern states of the federation, the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and the Benue State Governor, Dr. Samuel Ortom, have hailed the governors decisions.
The Southern Senators’ Forum (SSF) praised the governors for banning open grazing of cattle and advocating the immediate restructuring of the Nigerian federation.
The senators said such deft and unanimous policy would help in reining in those hiding under cattle grazing to unleash terror on residents of the region.
A statement jointly signed by the SSF Chairman, Secretary-General and Publicity Secretary, Senators Opeyemi Bamidele (Ekiti), Mathew Urhoghide (Edo) and Chukwuka Utazi (Enugu), respectively and made available to journalists in Ado Ekiti yesterday, said the step taken by the governors would serve as a buffer to wanton destruction of farmlands, kidnappings and carnages.
The senators lamented how southern farmers were losing hundreds of millions of naira to the plundering of food crops through encroachments on farmlands and exposing the region to famine and acute food scarcity.
They said: “At this critical point of our national life when the economy is being bedevilled by galloping inflation, youth unemployment and insecurity, food security is very crucial to mitigate the effects of these diverse evils on the citizens.
“Available records have shown that attaining food security status would remain a mirage in the South owing to the ravaging effect of outdated livestock grazing policy being unleashed on farmlands by some unscrupulous herders.
“Most appalling were the seemingly unabated kidnapping, raping and killing of our people by suspected herdsmen, who have become bandits heating up the system.