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Open grazing ban: Herder may migrate to North- Yahaya



Inuwa Yahaya

The ultimatum for the open grazing ban in Southern Nigeria expired on September 1, the Gombe State Governor, Inuwa Yahaya, has urged the President, President Muhammadu Buhari, to hasten up the implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Plan in the country.

Briefing newsmen after a meeting with the President at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday, Yahaya said the implementation would address the challenges of accommodation that might result from the mass return of herders back to the North following the ban.

He evinced the need to create the Wawa-Zange grazing reserve in the state to “accommodate the large number of herders that are likely to migrate to the North.”

“I believe that Mr President earlier in 2020, precisely in his 2020 January speech, acknowledged and approved that the National Livestock Transformation Plan will take off with a model from Gombe, the Wawa-Zange reserve.

“But so far, nothing serious has been done on that, and with the position taken by governors of southern parts of this country, there is the need for us to fast-track the process of building that place so that in the event our people move in multitudes to come back to resettle, we will have space for them.

“And we will avoid situations where there will be rancour and there will be no issues to do either with farmers/herders again or issues to do with the herders themselves having problems because they cannot have any space for them to stay.”

Yahaya also confirmed he requested funds from the presidency to implement the project, he said, “We’ve requested for funds. I believe that every other state will do so because you need the resources to implement and financial resources are scarce in the state.

“So, we’ve requested. But I will not tell you how much. But at least, we’ve submitted a proposal that is fully backed by a feasibility report that indicates what we require.”

Yahaya stressed the need to exploit the oil and gas deposits in the North saying that in doing so, “we will have balance. While oil and gas are discovered up North and there is oil and gas in the South, there will be balance.”

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