The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike has pledged his loyalty to his people once again and vowed to do whatever it takes to protect his people and solve the farmer-herder crisis irrespective of criticisms from some groups. Recall that Southern Governors had a meeting few days ago in Asaba, Delta State on how they can keep the South safe, especially by tackling insecurity problems in the South. One of the major crisis that they addressed during the meeting was how to resolve the farmer-herder crisis.
During the meeting, the Governors decided to place a ban on open grazing across the Southern Nigeria in order to resolve the conflicts between the host communities and the herdsmen. Some of these herdsmen have been accused of perpetrating different crimes like armed robbery, abduction, rape and murder in the past and In order to tackle these challenges, the Governors prohibited open grazing across Southern Nigeria.
However, this decision attracted lots of criticisms from some individuals or groups of people. For instance, the National Secretary of Miyetti Allah Kautat Hore, Mr. Alhassan told Sahara Reporters that the Southern Governors are confused. He said the ban on open grazing is just an empty policy which can never be implemented. A former Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Usman Yusuf also said that the Southern Governors did not consult with the Fulani before making the law.
Governor Wike has reacted to all these criticisms during a civic reception organized in his honor by the Ogoni Ethnic Nationality of Rivers State in Bori. Governor Wike said he has been in Government for some time now and nobody can cow him. He said ‘they know their government cannot cow me. I will say what I will say and I will do what is right for my people. Nobody will do me anything. I will die the day God says it is my day. Nobody can take my life when it is not time for me to die…’
He continues that ‘…let me use this opportunity to say, all those who are saying why should Southern Governors ban grazing –I have taken further steps to fulfill what the Southern Governors said in Asaba. If anybody wants to die, go and die and hang yourself on electric pole…’ He said that he has taken a position and there is no going back.
“Enough is enough, we are not second class citizens of this country. We also own this country and we must partake in what is happening in this country.” Governor Wike vows to implement the ban on open grazing in his state in order to protect the interest of his citizen and he will not bow to any oppression. He says that Southerners are not second class citizens in this country and should not be treated as if they are.