- Again, Reject Open Grazing
By Segun Amure
Southwest governors on Saturday gathered in Ibadan, Oyo State to discuss insecurity, statutory rights of states to forest reserves and the role of the media in combating issues besetting the region.
Chairman of the Southwest Governors’ Forum and Ondo Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, said that the forum and the traditional rulers in the region supported the decision of the National Economic Council (NEC) which gives state governments statutory jurisdiction over forest reserves.
Akeredolu also noted that cattle breeding must be done in line with the global practice of creating ranches.
Also, the governors rejected open grazing and urged the federal government to fashion out ways to support animal husbandry in the county.
Speaking further, the governor called on journalists and media platforms to practise responsible journalism and nip fake news in the bud in their reports.
Akeredolu said: “The meeting was called by the Chief of Staff but unfortunately the Chief of Staff and the Heads of Security agencies have been at the airport in Abuja for long until they have to resign to fate following the fact that the weather could not allow them to fly.
“The weather was not favorable for them to fly. They got across to us and apologized,” Governor Akeredolu explained.
”We believe that the time is now for the government to support cattle breeding. One of the ways to support cattle breeding is to change the ways and means the cattle breeders are adopting now.
“We must have ranches. We agreed that the issues that are encouraging open grazing in this modern time must be looked into by the state and the federal government.
“And just like the government has been supporting farmers, the government must also fashion out ways of supporting animal husbandry.”
Akeredolu said the meeting also focused on the need to stop fake news, calling on journalists to assist the Governors and the country by practicing responsible journalism.
“We zeroed in on the issue of fake news. And that you need to assist us, as journalists, and assist the country. When there is a political clash, you don’t say it’s herdsmen’s clash.
The governor said: “Journalists have a duty to practice responsible journalism. You know what fake news did to us during #Endsars. Fake news will not help us. It will pour Petrol in the fire.”
Dignitaries present at the meeting are: Engr. Seyi Makinde, Governors of Ekiti State, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, Osun State, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola and the Ogun State governor Prince Dapo Abiodun.
Traditional rulers at the meeting include; Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Olugbo of Ugbo, Oba Fredrick Akinruntan Obateru, Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Salisu Adetunji, and the representative of the Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Michael Adeniyi Sonariwo.
Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Mr. David Folawiyo and heads of other security agencies in Oyo State and the Southwest were also present at the meeting.