We Won’t Give Out Our Land For Ranching — South East Governors

The Governors said this after their meeting at the Enugu State Government House, Enugu on Sunday evening.

Governors of the South-East States have said no land would be made available for the establishment of cattle ranches in the zone.

The Governors said this after their meeting at the Enugu State Government House, Enugu on Sunday evening.

The meeting was attended by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State and the Deputy Governors of Abia and Anambra States.

The Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, was absent and was not represented.

The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, presented the association’s “template on restructuring” to the governors at the meeting.

Addressing journalists after the meeting, Umahi, the Chairman of the South-East Governors Forum, said they agreed that ranching would not be allowed in the zone.

He said the reports that some South-East States had made land available for the establishment of ranches, based on a request by the Federal Government, were not true.
He said while the Federal Government had not asked for any land for ranches, the governors would not accede to such a request, should it be made.

He said: “No land in the South-East has been donated for ranching.
“We have not donated any land.
“We have not been asked to donate and we are not going to donate.
“Ranching is not approved by the South-East governors in the South-East.”

The governors also condemned the recent killings in Plateau State, demanding “justice for Plateau people”.

They raised the alarm over what they described as challenges posed by the movement of herdsmen in the South-East.

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They agreed to meet with heads of federal security agencies over the development.

Reading from a communiqué adopted at the meeting, Umahi said: “The South-East Governors Forum commiserates with the Governor of Plateau State and the people of the state for the recent killings.

“We condemn the killings and join other regions to demand justice for the Plateau people.

“South-East governors have noticed increased challenges in the movement of herdsmen from one state and region to another with the resultant effect of massive destruction of farmlands with attendant clashes with farmers.

“South-East governors have been spending huge funds in settling farmers whose farms and crops are destroyed – we, therefore, request an emergency meeting in the South-East with federal security chiefs, farmers and herdsmen to stop the movements and prevent clashes.”

Following the presentation by Ohanaeze, the South-East governors restated their demand for restructuring.

Umahi told newsmen from the communique: “Ndigbo’s Stand on Restructuring of Nigeria was presented to the South-East Governors Forum by the Ohanaeze President, based on the resolutions arising from the Awka enlarged Igbo meeting.

“He (Ohanaeze President) also laid down the template for the governors. The Forum thanked Ohanaeze on a job well done and reiterated its earlier stand that restructuring is the only way forward for Nigeria.

“The Forum also decided that the governors should take a studied look at the template of restructuring and will make its final stand clear by the next meeting of the Forum.”

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