HURIWA backs Southern Governors on ban on open grazing


Prominent civil rights advocacy group,  Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has thrown her weight behind several landmark decisions adopted by Governors of Southern Nigeria which the Rights group said are strategic towards sustainable development and promotion of enduring constitutional democracy in the country.

HURIWA said the essence of having a unified approach by the Southern Governors is to ensure that Nigeria does not slide into one man’s dictatorship which is exactly what President Muhammadu Buhari wants to achieve seeking to appropriate ancestral lands of different ethnicities to be awarded freely to his Fulani kinsmen to carry out their private business.

In a statement signed by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, the Rights group said the decision of the Southern Governors to give an implementable deadline for the enforcement of the ban on open grazing of cows is worthwhile.

The Rights group said the arbitrary, unilateral and unconstitutional move by President Muhammadu Buhari to violate the extant Land Use Act of 1978 just to carve out lands from all over the country for unbridled open grazing by private owners of cows who are mostly Muhammadu Buhari’s kinsmen was an affront to the principles of federalism and the clear provisions of the Land Use Act.

The Rights group argued that the Southern Governors stand their ground and resist any attempt no matter how brazen by President Muhammadu Buhari to illegally annex the ancestral lands of their states and their native peoples, a presidential action that is a variant with the provisions of the LAND USE ACT without due process.

HURIWA recalled that Southern Governors under the umbrella of the Southern Governors’ Forum has set September 21, 2021, as the deadline for the promulgation of anti-open grazing law among its member states.

The governors took the decision on Monday during a closed-door meeting in Lagos State.

The Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, who read the communique shortly after the meeting, said the members have jointly agreed on the date.

The governors, who warned the security agencies in the country not to operate in their various states without permission from the governor in charge, also insisted that President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor must emerge from the region.