Uzodinma breaks from southern governors agreement on anti-open grazing

Uzodinma breaks from southern governors agreement on anti-open grazing

With just one day to the September 1, 2021 target set by the 17 southern governors for states in the region to enact anti-open grazing legislation, Go

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With just one day to the September 1, 2021 target set by the 17 southern governors for states in the region to enact anti-open grazing legislation, Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State has become the first governor from the region to go against the agreement reached with his colleagues.

The governor yesterday declared that there is no law forbidding open grazing by cattle rearers in the state.

Uzodinma argued that though there is presently no anti-grazing law in the state, his government was trying to regulate grazing activities through collaboration between the farmers and herders.

The 17 governors of the southern states had in a meeting held in Lagos on July 5, 2021, urged states in the region to ensure that the legislation against open grazing of cattle was put in place on or before September 1.

Following the governors’ resolution, Delta, Osun, Ondo, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, and Enugu state governments had moved to enact anti-open grazing laws. But before the resolution of the governors, the anti-open grazing law was already operational in Ogun, Abia, Oyo, Ekiti, and Ebonyi states.

But in sharp contrast with the agreement reached by the southern governors, Uzodimma said: “I don’t have any law in Imo State for anti-grazing. But what we have done is that we are regulating grazing activities in Imo State under a partnership between our farmers and herders. They have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in my office and agreed to work together. And both parties are going about their businesses without interfering or causing any grievance or anger to each other.”

He also said that the Igbo people are now ready to play national politics by belonging to the party at the centre, saying this would play out with the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Anambra State.

Speaking as Chairman of the APC campaign Committee for the November 6, 2021 gubernatorial election, Uzodinma stated that the Igbos would the election to confirm their readiness to play national politics and be part of the government at the center.

He said: “You know our President. You know him (Mr. President), he will only encourage you. He doesn’t interfere. We are in charge of the campaign. I’m the Chairman of the Council. And the good news is that the political leadership in Igbo land has resolved to be part of the federal government, to participate at the national level, to leave the provincial championship to national championship.

“So, what we have decided to do is to ensure that we embrace the ruling party, the APC. And we are taking the message to Anambra. And by the grace of God, Anambra people will buy the message and Igbo land will be recovered”.

The governor also disclosed that the President has intervened in some ecological problems facing the state as three contracts for the control of erosion would soon be awarded.