The Governor of Cross-River State, Prof. Ben Ayade, has vowed not to sign the Anti-Open Grazing Bill into law in the state.
Southern governors agreed to ban open grazing and had given a timeline for laws to be enacted to that effect.
Some governors in the south had already signed the bill into law, while those that are yet to do so have such bills at different stages of legislation.
But speaking at a media conference in Government House Calabar, Governor Ayade stated that it is insensitive to shut down the herdsmen just because they don’t have the funds to set up confined grazing, adding that if he agrees to the Southern Governors’ orders, it will lead to anarchy in Cross-River State.
“Even though Southern Governors’ Forum has made it clear that all Southern Governors must pass the Anti-open Grazing Law, Cross River has not, and I have not because I have to find a solution, I cannot ask my Herdsmen, brothers, whether of Northern or Southern parts of the country to shut down their trade and stay confined whether they have a pasture or not.
“If indeed open-grazing is coming with severe consequences, we should come together and look for a solution, we must find a way to create a balance between the herders and the farmers, and that’s the essence of being a leader,” he said.