El-Rufai hits Southern Govs, says anti-open grazing law not implementable

September 21, 2021

Governor Nasir El-Rufai

Kaduna Governor Malam Nasir El-Rufai has criticised the approach adopted by his southern colleagues in handling the open grazing crisis.

He insisted that the anti-open grazing law being passed by some Southern States is not implementable.

He also condemned the politicisation of the matter, saying that enactment of populist legislation by the States “is not a solution”.

El-Rufai, who spoke on Tuesday with newsmen after a visit to the National Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja, said that ranching and not open grazing is the solution to the ongoing farmer/herder clashes.

According to him: “Northern States Governors Forum has already taken a position that open grazing is not a sustainable way of livestock production. And we must move towards ranching.

“But moving towards ranching cannot be done overnight. We have to plan, we have to have resources and we have to implement it sensibly. It is not a matter of populist legislation or saying tomorrow this or that. It is not a solution.

“What is unhelpful is the politicizing of the situation and pass legislation that you know that you cannot implement.”

Explaining steps taken by his administration to address the issue, El-Rufai said he has embarked on construction of a ranch that will take care of over 1,500 Fulani families at the cost of N10 billion.

“My State, for instance, we are developing a huge ranch to centralise the herders. And that is the solution. But can it be done overnight? No,” he said.

“I hope that they will see that there are alternative ways of producing livestock instead of running up and down with cattle going to people’s farms to cause all kinds of problems. We want to solve the problem.”

Shedding more light, the Governor said: “We need billions of Naira. This is just one ranch that is causing N10 billion. I have 14 grazing reserves in Kaduna State and I will like to convert them into ranching. Do I have 14 times 10 billion naira? I don’t have.

“If the Federal Government will give me N140bn, I will convert the other thirteen into ranches and make sure that nobody comes out with a cow or sheep in Kaduna State because I will have enough ranches to take care of everybody. That is the solution. You can legislate but let us wait and see. And I wish them the best of luck.”

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