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Tinubu, APC leaders endorse open grazing ban, call for federalism

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Tinubu Federalism open grazing APC herders farmers



The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, and other leaders of the party in the southwest have backed the southern governors’ decision to ban open grazing in their region.

There have been palpable tensions in the south of Nigeria following clashes between farmers and some criminal Fulani herdsmen who have been linked with killings and abduction of innocents indigenes of their host communities.

In a meeting of all APC leaders which included Tinubu, South-West APC governors; and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, amongst others, the party said the decision will lessen tensions between herders and farmers.

The statement read partly: “We hold to the view that true federalism where more power and resources are allocated to the states will be an essential part in strengthening society and improving democratic governance so that we beat the present challenges but also engender durable peace and security. True federalism and the reallocation of resources and authority that comes with it will empower the states to solve localized issues before they spread and transform into national ones. In addition to mitigating political competition for control of the national government, greater federalism will empower grassroots economic development and political reforms that will stand as bulwarks against the terrorism and criminality now experienced in too many parts of the nation. A hallmark of this enhanced federalism will be the establishment of state police forces.

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“We endorse the position of the Southern Governors taken at their May 11, 2021 summit in Asaba, Delta State, regarding ranching. We do so because such a decision will lessen tensions between farmers and herders while also helping the long-term economic viability of both the farming and herding communities. We are mindful of the short-term dislocation this might cause but are also mindful that this position is in the best interests of all parties concerned. We, therefore, recommend that the federal and state governments cooperate fully with each other to enact the necessary measures to encourage this more effective and modern method of cattle-rearing so that both farmers and herders can pursue their livelihoods with greater productivity and in a more cooperative relationship that minimizes the friction between these two important pillars of our agricultural economy.”

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The party “also thank traditional rulers for their important role in the polity and appeal to them to keep intervening to maintain peace and stability.”

In addition, they urged the “Federal Government to provide, through the CBN, short, medium and long term financing for states and those who may wish to set up ranches as part of the agricultural sustainability policy.”

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Meanwhile, the APC leaders added that “We hold to the view that true federalism where more power and resources are allocated to the states will be an essential part in strengthening society and improving democratic governance so that we beat the present challenges but also engender durable peace and security. True federalism and the reallocation of resources and authority that comes with it will empower the states to solve localized issues before they spread and transform into national ones. In addition to mitigating political competition for control of the national government, greater federalism will empower grassroots economic development and political reforms that will stand as bulwarks against the terrorism and criminality now experienced in too many parts of the nation. A hallmark of this enhanced federalism will be the establishment of state police forces.”

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