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Northern Nigeria Will Exploit Oil And Gas To Achieve Balance With The South — Gombe Governor



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Following the deadline of the open grazing ban in the South, Governor Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State has stressed the need to exploit the oil and gas deposits in the North in order to achieve a balance.

According to Yahaya, this is necessary so “we will have balance. While oil and gas are discovered up North and there is oil and gas in the South, there will be balance.”

The governor also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to hasten the implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Plan as herders might have to return to the North.


Speaking on Wednesday after a meeting he had with the President at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Yahaya said the implementation would address the challenge of accommodation that might result from the mass return of herders back to the North following the ban.


He said there is a need to develop the Wawa-Zange grazing reserve in the state to “accommodate the large number of herders that are likely to migrate to the North.”


Speaking on the purpose of his visit, the governor said, “We discussed the issue of Wawa-Zange grazing reserve. I think it is the largest grazing reserve that is gazetted in the whole of Nigeria totalling 144,000 hectares.


“I believe that Mr President earlier in 2020, precisely in his 2020 January speech, acknowledged and approved that the National Livestock Transformation Plan will take off with a model from Gombe, the Wawa-Zange reserve.


“But so far, nothing serious has been done on that, and with the position taken by governors of southern parts of this country, there is the need for us to fast-track the process of building that place so that in the event our people move in multitudes to come back to resettle, we will have space for them.


“And we will avoid situations where there will be rancour and there will be no issues to do either with farmers/herders again or issues to do with the herders themselves having problems because they cannot have any space for them to stay.”


Asked whether he requested funds from the President to implement the project, Yahaya said, “We’ve requested for funds. I believe that every other state will do so because you need the resources to implement and financial resources are scarce in the state.


“So, we’ve requested. But I will not tell you how much. But at least, we’ve submitted a proposal that is fully backed by a feasibility report that indicates what we require.”


In May, the governors of the Southern region, in a meeting in Asaba, Delta state capital, resolved to ban open grazing and the movement of cattle by foot.


The decision of the governors stirred mixed reactions as some Nigerians commended them for the initiative, while some disagreed, including Abubakar Malami, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF).


Meanwhile, SaharaReporters recalls that the Ondo State chapter of the South-West Security Outfit, codenamed Amotekun Corps, on Wednesday seized many cows within Akure metropolis for flouting the state anti-grazing law.


SaharaReporters gathered that the seizure caused heavy vehicular traffic along the Arakale/NEPA Road in the state capital on Tuesday evening as Amotekun operatives conveyed the cattle to their headquarters in Alagbaka.


The seizure of the cows came a few hours after Governor Rotimi Akeredolu signed the anti-open grazing bill into law.


Akeredolu had signed the bill on Tuesday after it was passed by the State House of Assembly.


The governor said the move was in line with the resolution of the Southern governors that all states in the region should make a law prohibiting open grazing before September 1.


Akeredolu described the law as a welcome development that would prevent “needless instances of skirmishes” in the state.

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