Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, has supported the ban on open grazing which was announced by Southern Governors on Tuesday.
In a communique issued on Friday, May 14, at the end of their meeting held in Ogun State, the group called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to address the nation over the state of insecurity.
“Afenifere is in total support of the decision of Governors of the 17 states in Nigeria banning open grazing of livestock in any of the states that they control,” the communique said.
“Afenifere felt that although the declaration by the governors ought to have come long before now; given the atrocities that have arisen from open grazing, it is better late than never.”
The Afenifere group added that “despite various steps taken and appeals made by state governments and communities, herders continue to graze their cattle on farms of our people.
“When the farmers tried to protest, they (the farmers) are harassed, maimed, and sometimes killed. Our female folks are raped. This is a very important reason for the need to completely outlaw open grazing with severe penalties for any violator.”
The group said it was “delighted” that the idea of restructuring as a mechanism for preventing the breakup of Nigeria “is becoming more popular and winning converts on a daily basis.”
It said it has been advocating for a federal system for Nigeria since 1953.
“A Constitution based on Federalism was operating in the country until 1966; when the military consigned the Constitution into the dust bin,” the communique said.
“Since then, Nigeria has not been enjoying true federalism.
“We in Afenifere believe very strongly; that failure to practise federalism and increasing Unitarisation of the country were largely responsible for the travails Nigeria is suffering today; and will continue to suffer – unless Nigeria is restructured!
“We have no doubt about this at all.
“We are happy to note; that some who were either opposed to Restructuring or hesitant of it are now embracing it. We, therefore, demand that Restructuring should be effected NOW!”