The Coalition of Northern Groups CNG, has kicked against the position of southern governors on the open grazing in region.
The group in a statement signed by its spokesperson Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, yesterday in Abuja, said CNG has taken particular note of the decisions taken by governors of the 17 states of southern Nigeria in Asaba, the Delta state capital, on Tuesday, May 12.
He said: “We note in particular that the governors’ decision to ban open cattle grazing, their renewed interest in the clamour for restructuring, and other issues which tend to create tensions around our coexistence as a nation’
‘As it is in our tradition, we have restrained from the flow of idle and unproductive engagements like the Asaba declaration and it is obvious that the northern leaders have lost the necessary courage to defend the rights and privileges of all northerners’
“The southern governors had unfairly profiled the entire business community of herders as the sole cause of the bulk of the security challenges in the region, while deliberately leaving out IPOB, ESN in the southeast, issues arising from the movement of Sunday Igboho in the West, and other vices of militant groups in the South-South.
“The southern governors typically neglected to acknowledge that just as the development and population growth has put pressure on available land and increased the prospects of conflict between migrating herders and the local populations, so also has the mass movement of millions of people from the South into the vast interior of the North and the continuous nature of this movement.
“The southern governors failed to hit nail directly on the head by not holding the total failure of the All Progressives Congress administration of responsible for the current national woes, rather than singling out a particular ethnic group for attack and irreverent treatment.
“It also exposed the total failure of the northern governors in the vital area of speaking up for the rights of northerners to be protected from illegal harassment where they earn their living; their rights to places of worship, and their rights to full protection when they live as minorities among other communities in Nigeria,” he said.
The group however, demands for urgent action to check the mass movement of millions of people from the South into the vast interior of the North, “as well as the permanent nature of this movements in view of the identified correlation between the current pervasive insecurity being felt across the North and the supply of arms and drugs by southern traders.