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Akeredolu replies El-Rufai, accuses him of exporting banditry to southern region

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ONDO State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has accused Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai of exporting banditry to the southern region of the country.

Akeredolu said this in a statement by his Commissioner for information and Orientation Donald Ogogo on Wednesday.

The Chairman of the Southern Governors Forum (SGF) said that El-Rufai’s statements merely sought to encourage anarchy under the guise “of resentment of a law by affected stakeholders.”

He noted that El-Rufai should not be condemning the decisions to ban open grazing after some states in the North, including Kaduna, had banned inter-border movement of cattle.

“In these days and times, anyone who makes statements such as that allegedly made by the governor belongs to a class of an unenviable ilk masquerading as leaders,” he said.

“There is no wisdom in condemning/banning open grazing, prohibiting inter-border movement of cattle in the North, including Kaduna, with an accompanying disapproval of a Law that gives bite to same, in another part of the country.

“Perhaps, it is apt to state clearly that the likes of Governor el-Rufai are already in a hysteric ‘mode’ of escalating and indeed, externalising banditry, especially as the military onslaught against criminal elements and other terror variants suffices in the North.”

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He emphasised that the statement was a cleverly crafted path towards replicating in the South, the most despicable situation in the North that Nigerians of goodwill daily prayed to overcome.

While stating that the anti-grazing law had come to stay, especially in Ondo State, Akeredolu vowed that it would be zealously guarded and religiously deployed to protect all residents of the state regardless of their ethnic and religious biases.

El-Rufai had during a recent interview with journalists faulted the anti-grazing laws being enacted by state governments, especially those in the southern part of the country.

He said that banning open grazing was not the solution to perennial clashes between herders and farmers in the country.

He warned states against politicising the matter, saying they should not make legislation they would not be able to implement.

He stated that although open grazing was outdated, the only solution was ranching which required a huge financial investment.

Vincent Ufuoma is a reporter with The ICIR. He is a lover of God, truth, knowledge and justice.

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