WITHOUT obfuscations, recent position of All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders from Nigeria’s South-West, including their state governors on the party’s platform, urging separatist agitators to turn new leaf in renewed belief in national unity, stability and sustainability teed off from previous calls from similar interest groups.
Speaking through a nine-point communiqué after their May 21 meeting at State House, Marina, Lagos, which was read by former Interim National Chairman of APC, Chief Adebisi Akande, they not only endorsed southern governors’ ban on open grazing, but also reiterated true federalism and reallocation of resources as limpid compass to steer Nigeria out of present troubled waters, by tracking localised complexities from spreading or transmogrifying into national nightmares.
THERE are at least three resplendent sub-themes that fatten the call to a sanguine national theme. First, it takes courage on the part of leaders of the ruling party from South West to defy the political correctness in not jolting their overlords at Abuja.
Two, it still takes even greater pluck for them to come up with that position at a time separatist agitation is taking root in their zone. Yet, they did not stop at just scattershot endorsement but charted new economic templates with which federal government could provide short, medium and long-term financing for states and those wishing to set up ranches through Central Bank as part of its agricultural sustainability policy.
ALTHOUGH conspicuous absence of Governors Kayode Fayemi and Rotimi Akeredolu of Ekiti and Ondo States, respectively, nearly robbed some ‘gloss’ off the meeting, in similar way as skepticism over what political chestnuts that former Governor of Lagos State, Ahmed Bola Tinubu may have sown in it as its convener, by way of hijacking the forum to ‘anoint’ his candidates for the forthcoming council polls in the state, it is gratifying that what came out of the meeting was a departure from noisome can of cankerworms which politicians hurl at the nation whenever they gathered.
Where their positions do not translate to red herring or ethnic agenda, it may still be tantamount to running with hare while hunting with hound. But APC chieftains from South West reached out for higher, collective ideals this time around.
HENCE, in rooting for calls such as made by APC top shots from South West, we are not unaware that apple carts may yet be upstaged when the chips are down so that their position get stuck in charring throats of previous familiar spirits.
We know that it may yet winnow into goatskin bag of real Lords of Manor who are already taunting southern governors’ ‘temerity’ like a mocking cemetery that knows that no matter current ululation pitch, the sick child will ultimately end up in a corner of its flatulent womb. But the fact that politicians of the calibre of those in the meeting defied the odds and stood up to be counted, even if they later prove flukes or paper tigers, should not be dismissed with a wave of hand.
LITTLE wonder, as tongues wagged over whether, with his absence at the meeting, Akeredolu was setting the tone for eventual disowning of the southern governors’ declaration against open grazing – which for all intent and purpose could be called his brainchild by virtue of his position as their chairman – he used his dismissal of presidency’s position on the issue as a personal opinion of President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman, Garba Shehu to correct any negative message he may have sent.
That he was not intimidated by prospects of a spat or row with Shehu and his masters notches his damage control to higher rungs. Little wonder also that Tinubu promptly cleared the air by telling journalists that he has not endorsed anyone for the July 24 local government elections.
THIS, therefore, ensconces that timely intervention from those least expected to do so under present milieu beyond traditional shenanigans and flaks that may have sullied it as a product of fair weather politics.
WE are also behind this position because it is in the best interest of all parties concerned, herders and farmers as well as governments at all levels.
NATIONAL Light equally notes with significant concern the security situation in the country when terrorism and violent criminality threaten many areas to adversely affect lives and livelihoods of too many innocent and peace-loving Nigerians while mindful of the resource and other constraints facing the nation. But federal government should continue to make the necessary expenditures and allocate sufficient resources to enable security agencies tackle the difficult security challenges confronting the nation.
YET, for Nigeria to overcome these challenges, commitment should be expedited to unity of purpose and action, rather than inflammatory incendiary tunes, through burning desires for peace in a prosperous and just society which is regrettable lost on many public figures whose stock in trade is provocative utterances that spark division and undermine the needed unity of purpose.
WE, therefore, recommend that the federal and state governments cooperate fully with each other to enact the necessary measures to encourage more effective and modern method of cattle-rearing so that both farmers and herders can pursue their livelihoods with greater productivity and in a more cooperative relationship that minimises the friction between these two important pillars ofagronomy.