Hope Uzodimma becomes first Southern Governor to reject Anti-Open grazing Law
Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has become the first governor from the region to go against the agreement reached with his colleagues just six days before the September 1, 2021 deadline set by the 17 southern governors for governments in the region to implement anti-open grazing laws.
The governor said on Wednesday that there is no regulation in the state prohibiting cattle herders from grazing their animals in the open.
Uzodinma told reporters after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja on Wednesday that, while the state does not have an anti-grazing law, his government is attempting to regulate grazing activities through partnership between farmers and herders.
In a conference held in Lagos on July 5, 2021, the 17 governors of southern states urged states in the region to ensure that legislation prohibiting open grazing of cattle was in place by September 1.
Delta, Osun, Ondo, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, and Enugu state governments enacted anti-open grazing legislation in response to the governors’ resolution. The anti-open grazing law was already in effect in Ogun, Abia, Oyo, Ekiti, and Ebonyi states prior to the governors’ resolution.
In stark contrast to the southern governors’ agreement, Uzodimma stated, “I don’t have any anti-grazing law in Imo State.” But what we have done is that we are regulating grazing activities in Imo State under a partnership between our farmers and herders. They have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in my office and agreed to work together. And both parties are going about their businesses without interfering or causing any grievance or anger to each other.”