South-East elders rap governors over delay in anti-grazing law passage

The Igbo Elders Consultative Forum has criticized what it called “tactical delay” or the outright reluctance of some states in the South-East to pass the anti-open grazing law as resolved by southern governors.

In a statement Monday, the forum also warned that “recalcitrant” states should be held responsible for non-compliance and for “aborting the popular will and desire of our people.”

The statement was signed by the forum’s chairman and former governor of Anambra State, Chukwuemeka Ezeife (Okwadike), and Secretary, Prof Charles Nwekeaku.

“While we commend Enugu and Abia states for their efforts to empanel legislation on anti-open grazing, we urge the other states in the south, especially in the South East and other Igbo-speaking states of the South-South to put in place necessary machinery to comply with southern governors’ resolution or be liable for aborting the popular will and desire of our people,” the forum said.

The forum commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his recent visit to the South East and his expression of surprise at the agitation for secession by some sections of the region, saying it is a sign that there could be a rethink about the treatment of Ndigbo in his administration.

The forum called for dialogue as a means of resolving the crisis in the South East and condemned militarisation of the zone, adding that restructuring was the best way to save the country from disintegration.

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