Anglican Bishop: Criticisms against open grazing ban selfish, primitive

The Northern Governors Forum says the current system of open grazing, operated by herders in the country, is no longer sustainable.

The Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Oru in Imo State, Rt. Rev. Geoffrey Chukwunenye, has hit out at those criticising the southern governors’ ban on open grazing and support for restructuring, saying that such criticisms were selfish and primitive.

The cleric added that people who were criticising the ban on open grazing by the governors did not consider the interest of the nation and the reality on the ground.

Presenting his presidential address/charge to the 1st session of the fifth Synod of the Diocese of Oru on Saturday, at the Cathedral Church of Emmanuel, Mgbidi, Oru West council area of the state, Bishop Chukwunenye commended the governors for coming together in the first place to deliberate on the issues bothering their citizens.

According to him, the ban and its full implementation would be a major step towards “solving more than 80% of the prevailing insecurity problem in the country.”

His words, “The problem of this nation is that we don’t tell ourselves simple truth. We’ve always taken decisions based on selfish, tribal and religious sentiments.

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“Anyone criticising that decision to ban open grazing is doing so purely based on selfishness. Such persons did not take the interest of this nation at heart and the reality on ground. Anyone criticising that decision doesn’t mean well for this country.

“The only criticism the southern governors might have is that they’re coming together a little too late. This ought to have been implemented for a long time ago.

“Let them sit up so as not to create impression that their action was a political gimmick.

“Open grazing is a primitive way of rearing animals. It’s a practice done when the world was in darkness. Every aspect of agricultural practice in the world has been mechanized for increased production per limited land space including cattle rearing.”

The cleric noted that in all the greatest world producers of cattle such as India, Brazil, USA, amongst other countries, open grazing or nomadic cattle rearing is a taboo in such countries.

“Nigeria is ranked a distant 14th, according to the Food and Agricultural Organization cattle inventory, producing only 1.4 percent of the global requirement and yet, the problem fomented in Nigeria by cattle rearers is not reported in the leading cattle rearing countries of the world. If cattle rearers in Nigeria under the umbrella of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) are not pursuing a hidden agenda, they should abandon the primitive nomadic method and adopt the modern and best global practice of cattle rearing on ranches which does not cause any friction between them and other farmers whose crops are also required to measure the gross domestic products of the country.

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“My own concern is that the southern governors should mean business and work their talks.

“I know they’re not in control of security apparatuses in their states, but if they’re serious, they can arrest insecurity situation in their various states permanently with their regional security outfits such as Amotekun and Ebubeagu.”

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