Discordant tunes have continued to trail President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive on the revival of grazing routes with state governments across the country taking different positions on the president’s pronouncement.
The president, in an interview with Arise Television last week, said approval had been given for the reclamation of grazing routes as a way out of the perennial farmer-herders conflicts.
Buhari’s directive was rooted in the First Republic concept in which there were designated routes where herders moved cattle in different parts of the country.
The move has generated mixed feelings among Nigerians. While some supported the move, which they said would end the protracted farmer-herder clashes, governors, socio-cultural groups, farmers, and other stakeholders from southern Nigeria opposed it.
The 17 governors of southern Nigeria banned open grazing in the region while they maintained that there is no grazing route in the area.
Speakers of the southern states’ Houses of Assembly also endorsed the resolutions of the governors at the Asaba meeting.
However, some states in the northern part of the country have declared their support for the presidential directive, with some of them saying they have taken steps, prior to Buhari’s statement last week, to go back to the abandoned old way.
Katsina reclaims over 2,000km of cattle routes
In Katsina State, the special adviser to the governor on livestock and grazing reserves, Dr. Lawal Bagiwa, said the state had reclaimed its cattle routes before the president’s order.
“We already have a committee here, which has already worked by remarking the routes, which have been gazetted,” he said.
He added that the state had already reclaimed over 2,000 kilometers of cattle routes across the state, which were marked out by beacons.
Dr Bagiwa said the government had earmarked and gazetted 123,000 hectares of land for grazing reserves.