The All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders in South West Nigeria on Sunday met in Lagos to deliberate the way forward over the unabated kidnapping and festering banditry threatening the peace of the nation.
The closed-door meeting which lasted about five hours was hosted by the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu. It was attended by the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the former APC interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
Others who attended were the Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, former Ogun State Governor, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, Gen. Alani Akinrinade (rtd), and Chief Pius Akinyelure.
Coming out of the meeting, the APC leaders strongly condemned separatist agitations and hate speeches, avowing their belief in the unity, stability and sustainability of the country.
They also threw their weight behind the position of Southern Governors on open grazing taken during a summit held on May 11, 2021, in Asaba, Delta State.
Addressing the press, Chief Akande, who spoke on behalf of the APC leaders, said the attendees endorsed the ban on open grazing, as the decision would lessen tensions between farmers and herders.
He said that it would also help the long-term economic viability of both the farming and herding communities.
Akande said the party leaders were mindful of the short-term dislocation the ban on open grazing might cause, but said that the Southern Governors’ decision was in the best interests of all parties concerned.
The party leaders urged the Federal Government to provide short-, medium- and long-term finance through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for states and private individuals who might wish to set up ranches as part of the agricultural sustainability policy.
”We endorse the position of the Southern Governors taken at their summit regarding ranching. We do so because such a decision will lessen tensions between farmers and herders while also helping the long-term economic viability of both the farming and herding communities.
”We are mindful of the short-term dislocation this might cause but we are also mindful that this position is in the best interests of all parties concerned.
“We recommend that the Federal and State Governments cooperate fully with one another to enact the necessary measures to encourage this more effective and modern method of cattle rearing.
”This is so that both farmers and herders can pursue their livelihoods with greater productivity and in a more cooperative relationship that minimises the friction between these two important pillars of our agricultural economy,” Akande said.
The APC leaders expressed their concerns on the security situation in the country, saying that terrorism and criminality were threatening livelihoods of Nigerians adversely in many areas.
They urged the federal government to continue to allocate sufficient resources to enable the military and security agencies to tackle the security challenges.
The South-West party leaders used the occasion to renew their call for restructuring and true federalism, where more power and resources will be allocated to states to strengthen democratic governance and engender peace.
He said that true federalism will empower states to solve localised issues before they transform into national problem.
Akande said that aside mitigating political competition for control of power, federalism will empower grassroots economic development and political reforms that will stand as bulwarks against terrorism and criminality. (NAN)