Igbo elders tackle South East governors, others over non-passage of anti-grazing laws

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The Igbo Elders Consultative Forum has decried the delay by some states in the South East to pass their anti-open grazing laws, as resolved by the recent meeting of the Southern Governors’ Forum. It vowed that no antics would make the region give out its ancestral land for grazing.The group cautioned the five governors in the zone against striking any deal with the Federal Government in respect of leasing land for cattle grazing, stating that such agreement will never be honoured once the chief executive leaves office.

The elders reaffirmed Ndigbo’s commitment to an indivisible Nigeria, but refused to be enslaved in a country that they have citizenship rights.

Besides, the forum expressed concern over alleged plot by some persons to scuttle the resolution of the southern governors that the 2023 presidency be zoned to the South, backing sanctions against any Igbo son and daughter “that are associated with this deceit and betrayal of people’s will and popular desire.”

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Addressing journalists yesterday in Abuja, chairman of the forum in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and former Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, noted that the decision of the southern governors to ban open grazing was a demonstration of their determination to enthrone democracy, rule of law and good governance for enthronement of a conducive, stimulating and challenging business environment, as well as an orderly society where security of life and property irrespective of ethnic, religious and occupational differences is supreme.

Ezeife submitted that, “it is expected that every state in the South East should not only pass the anti-open grazing law within this period, but also put in place appropriate mechanisms for immediate implementation, otherwise the laudable objective of enacting the law for the purposes of minimising conflicts between famers and herders, as well as promoting ranching and other modern pastoral methods, will be defeated.”

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He continued: “Our people have stated clearly that our ancestral land should never be given to anybody and there is no grammar in governance that can make it happen. Anybody who wants to waste money should give money to incumbent governors, but when those governors go, nobody will follow the agreement reached. Therefore, our governors are warned. Reluctance or even arrogant refusal to comply with that decision is considered as a coup against the masses of Southern Nigeria.

“While we commend Enugu and Abia States for their efforts to empanel legislation on anti-open grazing, we urge the other states in the South, especially the South East and other lgbo-speaking states of the South South to put in place, necessary machinery to comply with the southern governors’ resolution or be liable for aborting the popular will and desire of our people.”

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