Awka – The Community Newspaper Publishers Association of Nigeria, CONPAN, has lauded the Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF) in its resolve to address open grazing by Fulani herdsmen, which it said is a major cause of herders/farmers clash across the country.
The Northern States Governors Forum at an emergency virtual meeting on Monday, to discuss issues affecting the region and the nation in general, had noted with concern, the tension generated by the eviction order issued to herdsmen in some parts of the country and condemned every form of criminality whether from herders, hunters, or farmers occupying forest reserves illegally.
The meeting presided over by its Chairman and Governor of Plateau State, Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong, also expressed concern that this is heating the already fragile security atmosphere with threats of reprisals, stressing the urgent need for the Nigerian Governors Forum to meet and discuss the issue holistically with a view to resolving all areas of misunderstanding and conflicts arising from these threats and suspicion for the sake of national unity.
It was of the opinion that the current system of herding conducted mainly through open grazing is no longer sustainable in view of growing urbanization and population of the country and resolved to aggressively sensitize herdsmen on the need to adapt new methods of herding by ranching or other acceptable modern methods.
Reacting to the NGSF’s position on Tuesday, the National President of CONPAN, High Chief Monday Wehere, observed that the unchecked issue of open grazing has threatened the unity of the nation due to the growing population cum urbanization of the country.
Aligning himself with the outcome of the NSGF’s meeting, the CONPAN Chief Executive joined the Governor’s Forum in condemning the growing wave of insecurity in the country particularly as it relates to circulation of unverified video clips on social media by fake news paddlers where they portray purported violent attacks on persons in some parts of the country.
Wehere sued for collaboration between the Northern States Governor’s Forum and Community Newspaper Publishers Association of Nigeria, CONPAN, adding that his group remains the easiest means for the Governor’s Forum to disseminate Government programs and policies to the grassroots.
On the Committee set up by the Forum to review other issues of interest to the region and the nation by extension, High Chief Wehere said it is timely even as he urged the Committee to be proactive by doing the needful before the next meeting scheduled for the end of February in Kaduna so that their reports will be deliberated upon.
“It is also important like the meeting emphasized, that political leaders segregate between criminality and social groups in their domains with a view to treating criminals as criminals,” he said.
Charging his members to always show patriotism and display professionalism while discharging their legitimate functions, the CONPAN boss however expressed concern on the tension generated by the recent purported eviction order issued to herdsmen in some parts of the country, warning his association members to always distance themselves from the fake news paddlers and work towards disseminating programs and policies of the government to the most remote areas.