Ban On Open Grazing, Restructuring Will Strengthen Nigeria’s Unity – Says Okowa

Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on Saturday said the decision of Southern states’ Governors to ban open grazing and call for restructuring was geared towards strengthening the unity of Nigeria.

The Governor made the comment on Saturday at an event in Asaba.

The Southern Governors had met on Tuesday in Delta state to discuss critical issues, including the farmer-herder crisis which has caused ruptures across the country.

A former Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Usman Yusuf had criticised the move by the Governors to ban open grazing, saying they did not consult with Fulani leaders.

On Friday, Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, while appearing on Channels Television’s Politics Today, also said Governors should be careful in how they approach the issue of restructuring.

But Okowa, who had hosted Tuesday’s meeting, said the Southern Governors were only re-echoing the voices of their people.

“We thank all our brothers in the south for coming together to speak for our people. The things that we’ve said are not new. It’s just the voice of our people that we have continued to echo.

“But unfortunately I read in the papers that somebody says we ought not to talk about certains things, being elected people. If the voice of your people has been heard madly and they’ve continued to talk and you are an elected person and you shy away from giving further voice to their voices, then you ought not be in the position that you occupy.A file photo of Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa. Photo: Twitter-@IAOkowa

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“We reaffirmed that as a people, as elected Governors, we believe in the unity of our country. But we also went forth to advance the need for certain things to be done in order to give strength to that unity. That cannot be a reason for us to be vilified, obviously not.

“We talked about restructuring, which has been on the table for so long. Both the voices of the PDP and the APC itself have endorsed restructuring. And restructuring is all-inclusive and all-encompassing. We may have different views, different approaches to the restructuring, but when we sit on the table in dialogue, we will be able to agree best what is good for Nigeria and what is good for the component parts of Nigeria.”

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