Garba Shehu clarifies presidency’s stance on open grazing

Garba Shehu, Senior Special Adviser on Media to President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that the president wants ranching and an end to open grazing.

This was stated by Garba Shehu when he featured on a programme on Arise Television on Tuesday night.

Shehu said the objective of the southern governors who want a ban on open grazing and the president are the same.

The spokesman made the clarification following a statement he issued on Monday where he said the governors’ proposed plan to enforce the ban on open grazing is of “questionable legality” and a show of power.

The statement evoked reactions from Nigerians — with some condemning it.

Rotimi Akeredolu, Ondo governor, said Shehu’s statement is not from the presidency.

“His pronouncement betrays dubiety and mischief,” Akeredolu had stated.

While speaking on the programme, Shehu faulted how the governors in the south are going about their decision to ban open grazing.

“The objectives of the southern governors and the president are basically the same. The only difference is their approach. The president wants to see an end to open grazing, he wants to see ranching and he wants it in a way that is organised and he has a plan for it and this plan will take off in June,” Shehu said.

“All of these attacks that are coming – people are just in the mood to exchange blows, when you read the statement, the president seeks to end the roaming of herders across the land, he wants them confined to specific places where their cattle have the greens and water.

“This is their basic need. The president is saying ‘ok, this is the plan’ for states that are willing. People are talking about seizure of land, a particular governor is even warning, saying ‘president, keep out of my state, don’t come here with this thing.’ What is all these about? I think there should be respect for the president, there should be respect for common sense.

“Nobody is forcing anybody to do what they don’t like. The statement said states that are willing and meet the basic requirements. The president seeks to end whatever they call it – archaic, old-fashioned, yes it is. We need to replace it with something new.

“The problem is when you say you slam a ban and you don’t say what next, what are the options, what are the alternatives going forward. Let’s work together. The president and the governors seek the same objective.”


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