Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has become the first governor from the region to go against the agreement reached with his southern counterparts.
Newsmen reports that it is just six days to the September 1, 2021 target set by the 17 southern governors for states in the region to enact anti-open grazing legislation.
The governor yesterday declared that there is no law forbidding open grazing by cattle rearers in the state.
Uzodinma, who spoke with newsmen yesterday after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja, argued that though there is presently no anti-grazing law in the state, his government was trying to regulate grazing activities through collaboration between the farmers and herders.
The 17 governors of the southern states had in a meeting held in Lagos on July 5, 2021, urged states in the region to ensure that the legislation against open grazing of cattle was put in place on or before September 1.
Following the governors’ resolution, Delta, Osun, Ondo, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, and Enugu state governments had moved to enact anti-open grazing laws. But before the resolution of the governors, the anti-open grazing law was already operational in Ogun, Abia, Oyo, Ekiti, and Ebonyi states.
But in sharp contrast with the agreement reached by the southern governors, Uzodimma said: “I don’t have any law in Imo State for anti-grazing. But what we have done is that we are regulating grazing activities in Imo State under a partnership between our farmers and herders. They have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in my office and agreed to work together. And both parties are going about their businesses without interfering or causing any grievance or anger to each other.”
He also said the recent sit-at-home order given by the Independent People Of Biafra (IPOB) was not carried out in the state, saying people went about their normal businesses.
He further disclosed that the Igbo people are now ready to play national politics by belonging to the party at the centre, saying this would play out with the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Anambra State.