Governor of Bayelsa State Senator Douye Diri has stated that the state will not revive any grazing routes in order to prevent violence between herders and farmers.
In response to President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent directive for states to reactivate cattle grazing routes across the country, Diri stated that Bayelsa would not consider such an idea after prohibiting open grazing.
During a media chat in Yenagoa on Saturday, the governor explained that, while he was not opposing the federal government’s decision to resurrect grazing routes, his administration had put in place a legal framework to prohibit open grazing and cattle movement on foot.
He also emphasized that the Southern governors had taken the same stance on the issue as part of efforts to reduce farmer/herder clashes throughout the country.
He maintained that his government could not afford to expose its citizens to the looming dangers associated with open grazing.
He said: “For us, there are no cattle grazing routes in Bayelsa State.
“Our people are traditionally and occupationally fishermen. The idea of cattle grazing routes in Bayelsa is very strange to us in this part of the country.
“There may be cattle grazing routes in the North but what is applicable in the North may not be applicable to us in the South”
“I don’t want to believe we are running a unitary system of government,” he said.
He, however, expressed his administration’s commitment to shift the state’s growth narrative, stating that media interaction was part of the commemoration of Democracy Day this year.
Diri stated that his administration’s urban regeneration program, along with other projects and policies, was part of a larger effort to give the state a new face and make it more appealing to investors.