Open Grazing: “Southern Governors Building Ethnic Monsters,” Say Northern Elders
The Southern Governors have been accused by the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) of building ethnic monsters in a bid to whip up sentiments in the country.
This was stated on Tuesday by Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, spokesperson of NEF.
Some days ago, Southern governors decided to ban open grazing and movement of cattle by foot in the region.
Reacting to the resolutions, Baba-Ahmed stated that the resolutions by the southern governors is an attempt to split the north and subject its people to humiliation and attacks.
“It is now clear that elected people who swore to protect the constitution and protect the unity and integrity of Nigeria have decided to surrender to deeply divisive or out rightly irredentist and secessionist tendencies and movements,” Baba-Ahmed said.
“Governors are building ethnic monsters and hiding behind them to whip up sentiments in a crude attempt to extract concessions no one is in a position to give or guarantee.
“A desperate but futile attempt is being made to split the North along lines that suit people who ignore its complexities and plurality when it is convenient to lump all Northerners and submit them to humiliation or attacks.
“In the South East, governors are yielding their political turf and mandates to secessionists, criminals and subversives who think they can exterminate federal presence and northerners from the region, and achieve dubious political goals related to 2023, or break away from the country.
“In the South West, elected leaders and pampered ethnic bullies are closing ranks to provide a front that apes the do-what-we-want-or-we-leave-the-country strategy of the marginalized leaders of the South East.
“The South South is squeezed between fear and uncertainty, and its leaders are gambling that they can benefit from further weakening the federal administration and the North if it rides along with the rest of the South.
“The forum supports a citizen-driven national dialogue and a campaign to get the government to accord its outcome the respect it deserves.
“For the record, the Forum restates its support for a programmed transition that will eliminate open grazing and the establishment of productive, safe and sustainable options in managing our huge national asset in animal husbandry.
“This cannot be achieved with threats and harassment, but with commitment and collaboration involving all governments and stakeholders.”