Bayelsa State governor, Senator Douye Diri, has said the state will not resuscitate any grazing route in order to check herders/farmers clashes.
Diri, who was reacting to the recent directive by President Muhammadu Buhari for states to revive cattle grazing routes across the country, explained that Bayelsa would not consider such an idea after prohibiting open grazing.
Speaking during a media chat monitored by a local radio station in Yenagoa on Saturday, the governor explained that although he was not countering the federal government’s decision to resuscitate grazing routes, his administration had put in place a legal framework to ban open grazing and movement of cattle on foot.
He also emphasised that the Southern governors had adopted the same position on the issue as part of measures to check farmers/herders clashes across the country.
He maintained that his government could not afford to expose its citizenry to the looming danger associating with open grazing.
He said: “For us, there are no cattle grazing routes in Bayelsa State.
“Our people are traditionally and occupationally fishermen. The idea of cattle grazing routes in Bayelsa is very strange to us in this part of the country.
“There may be cattle grazing routes in the North but what is applicable in the North may not be applicable to us in the South.
“I don’t want to believe we are running a unitary system of government,” he said.
He, however, expressed his administration’s determination to change the developmental narrative of the state, saying the media interaction was part of activities to commemorate this year’s Democracy Day celebration.
Diri noted that the urban renewal programme among other projects and policies of his administration were part of the drive to give the state a new look and make it more attractive to investors.