The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Cross River state and Governor Ben Ayade-led government are at each other’s throat over the governor’s stance on the anti open grazing law advocated by Southern governors.
The governor had, last Thursday, said he would not sign the anti open grazing law, saying the law might lead to war.
Ayade had described herdsmen as his brothers who must be allowed to continue their businesses, saying instead of anti open grazing law, he would rather come up with Open Grazing Management Law to accommodate the interest of both herdsmen and farmers.
But the PDP, in a press release in Calabar, weekend, signed by the state publicity secretary, Prince Mike Ojisi, said Ayade’s stance on the anti-open grazing was a “canonisation of incompetence.”
The party said, “In the jamboree-making press conference, Ayade described Fulani herdsmen as his brothers, stating that it was morally and ethnically unacceptable to prohibit a trade that existed before he was born.
“To say that the above statement from Governor Ayade is utterly insensitive, inciting, nauseating, and sickeningly unbecoming would be an understatement.
“The PDP Cross River state condemns in strong terms such reprehensible statement from the governor, who ordinarily should always stand and protect the interest of his people first, before trying to sound politically correct- just to massage the ego of the hegemonic Fulani Herdsmen.
“With the statement, one may be tempted to question the governor’s state of mind. How can the governor quickly forget the many atrocious act of these Fulani herdsmen against farmers and helpless villagers in various communities across the Nation?
“Governor Ben Ayade should be advised that he’s inviting anarchy and gradually digging the mass grave of our people.
“The good people of Cross River state have spoken elaborately loud against open grazing typified by Fulani herdsmen. We hereby call on the governor to expeditiously sign into law the Anti-open grazing bill as Cross River state cannot afford the luxury of war and anarchy.”
Reacting to PDP’s release, the senior special assistant to the governor on print media, Chidi Onyemaizy, in another press statement, said the governor was not endorsing “the destruction of crops of farmers by some errant herders in the course of grazing their animals.”