While I commend the Southern governors for finally having the courage to meet as a block and agree on certain resolutions, I am highly disappointed in them for recommending another conference or dialogue regarding issues that have already been discussed and agreed.
For the purpose of those who do not know, the 2014 national conference addressed all conflict areas that would have naturally been settled before people came together to live as one nation. Specifically, the issue of open grazing was extensively deliberated and a way forward was agreed.
Farmers were represented at that conference, herders were represented and all other interest groups. On assuming office, Buhari vowed not to touch the document and said that it will be allowed to gather dust in the national archives.
One had expected that the governors would have been bold enough to tell Buhari to implement the recommendations contained in that document, rather than calling for another conference.
As regards the issue of open grazing of cattle, this was what was agreed by all parties at the conference as contained in the final report;
c. Phase out cattle routes and grazing reserves in the long term to lay emphasis on ranching.
d. Bring cattle rustling under control by better policing because it is a disincentive to ranching. In the meantime, States which have large livestock populations should endeavor to
maintain grazing reserves.
e. The traditional institutions should be primarily responsible
for the Conflict Resolution between the Herdsmen and
Farmers, and also their respective Associations. Where
resolutions failed, then the Alternative Dispute Resolution
(ADR) Centre should be their last resort.
f. Ensure humane handling of animals being transported to and
from markets. Fine for any act of cruelty to livestock, should
Why Buhari is not interested in the implementation of the resolutions in that document is best known to him and his party.
One had expected that on assumption of office, a President will set up a credible committee that will have a holistic look at all the recommendations, propose a phased implementation approach and advice government accordingly.
But for someone to just condemn a document that he hasn’t even studied and vow not to implement it is to say the least, absolutely ridiculous and at best, deviously sinister.
Today, the country is faced with several problems whose solutions are laying fallow in the conference report. The governors would have had the courage to tell Buhari to his face that he should look at the conference report instead of seeking another conference.
Eventually, he will have to swallow his pride, dust up that document and look at it critically. Before his very eyes, the country is collapsing.