Worried by unabated kidnapping and festering banditry threatening the peace of the nation, All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders in the Southwest met in Lagos on Sunday to deliberate the way forward.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu hosted the meeting, which was held behind closed doors for about five hours, at the State House in Marina. APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, which was chaired by the former APC interim national chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.
Others were Governors of Ogun and Osun states, Prince Dapo Abiodun and Gboyega Oyetola, Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, former Ogun State Governor, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, Gen. Alani Akinrinade (rtd), and Chief Pius Akinyelure.
Governors Kayode Fayemi and Rotimi Akeredolu though members of the APC were conspicuously absent.
Coming out of the meeting, the APC leaders strongly condemned separatist agitations and hate speeches, avowing their belief in the unity, stability and sustainability of the country. They also threw their weight behind the position of Southern Governors on open grazing taken during a summit held on May 11, 2021 in Asaba, Delta State.
Akande Speaks For APC Southwest Leaders
Chief Akande, who spoke on behalf of the APC leaders, said the attendees endorsed the ban on open grazing, as the decision would lessen tensions between farmers and herders, while also helping the long-term economic viability of both the farming and herding communities.
He said the party leaders were mindful of the short-term dislocation the ban on open grazing might cause, but added the Southern Governors’ decision was in the best interests of all parties concerned.
The party leaders urged the Federal Government to provide short, medium and long-term finance through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for States and private individuals who may wish to set up ranches as part of the agricultural sustainability policy.
He said: “We endorse the position of the Southern Governors taken at their summit in Asaba regarding ranching. We do so because such a decision will lessen tensions between farmers and herders while also helping the long-term economic viability of both the farming and herding communities. We are mindful of the short-term dislocation this might cause but we are also mindful that this position is in the best interests of all parties concerned.