In the month of August 2019, Ripples Nigeria embarked on a journey to appraise and rank the performance of Nigerian governors under the title ‘Ranking Nigerian Governors’.
From the outset, the ‘Top 5 and Bottom 5’ ranking appraised the performances of state chief executives according to policy initiatives and executed programmes, their inaction and gaffes, among other things.
The Ripples Nigeria ‘Ranking Nigerian Governors’ is primarily geared towards holding state chief executives in the country accountable and to see how governance at the second-tier of government impacts on the lives and wellbeing of Nigerians in the course of the month under review.
We are not shy to admit that governance, especially in our part of the world with its peculiarities, is no child’s play; we are, however, confident that Nigeria and its component states are blessed with human and material resources that are capable of being used to bring succour to citizens.
In December of 2020, we noted that the performances of Nigerian governors were abysmal, with nothing to write home about. During the cause of that month, insecurity in all its ramifications persisted, while the economic woes Nigerians were facing continued unabated.
For the month under review, January 2021, there were barely any significant changes in terms of insecurity and economic woes. However, there was a lone voice of reason — Abdullahi Ganduje— that brought assurance that there is still hope for the nation and that at this critical point in the history of the country, certain persons can be counted upon to speak the truth, however, unpopular it may be.
At a time the Nigerian nation is deeply divided on the issue of herdsmen crisis —alleged killings, kidnapping, raping and destruction of farmlands by herdsmen, and the heated rhetoric, arguments for and against open grazing in the Southern part of the country —Governor Ganduje, unexpectedly took an unpopular stand, calling for a ban on the movement of herdsmen and their cows from the Northern part of the country to the Middle Belt and the Southern part of the country.
“My advocacy is that we should abolish the transportation or trekking of herdsmen from the northern part of Nigeria to the Middle Belt and to the Southern part of Nigeria”, he said.
He equally reasoned that without a ban on the southward movement of herdsmen and their cattle, an end may not be in sight for the herdsmen/farmers crisis or even cattle rustling.
He said further: “There should be a law that will ban, otherwise we cannot control the conflicts between herdsmen and farmers and cannot control the cattle rustling, which is affecting us greatly.”
We note with satisfaction that Ganduje’s call for a ban on the southward movement of herdsmen and their cattle is not another empty talk or political statement, but one with corresponding action.
We acknowledge that Ganduje, to demonstrate that what he said is actually the solution, has gone ahead to create a better alternative for the herdsmen and their cattle with the establishment of a cattle colony in Samsosua forest at the state’s border with Katsina.
“We are building a RUGA settlement in Samsosua Forest, our border with Katsina and we have succeeded in curtailing the effect of banditry in that area.
“So, we are building many houses, constructing a dam, and establishing a cattle artificial insemination centre. We are establishing a veterinary clinic and already we have started building houses for herdsmen”, the governor was qouted as saying.
We also concede that the unpopular route taken by Ganduje may have served as the basis for the turnaround by the 19 Northern governors who later conceded that open grazing was no longer fashionable.
It is our belief that the very unpopular stand of Governor Ganduje, even at the risk of political backlash from the Northern establishment, is what the nation needs to not only overcome clashes between herdsmen and their hosts in the North-Central and Southern parts of the country, but also to help modernise and revolutionise the scattered business in the country.
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