Governor Rochas Okorocha was conspicuously missing at the South East Governors’ forum in Enugu when the zone met yesterday to tackle the issue of ranching.
Governors from South East Nigeria have risen from an emergency meeting in Enugu over the federal government plot to compel States to donate land to herders for the purpose of ranching.
The Governors met in Enugu late Sunday evening with Governors Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu and Dave Umahi present while Abia and Anambra States where represented by their deputies. The Governor of Imo State , Rochas Okorocha was absent and did not send any representative.
The President-General Ohanaeze who was also present at the meeting presented the template for reconstruction to the Governors of the zone.Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, was absent and was not represented by his deputy.
The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, presented the association’s template on restructuring to the governors at the meeting, which ended late on Sunday evening.
Addressing journalists after the parley, the Chairman of the South-East Governors Forum, Umahi, disclosed that the governors had agreed that ranching would not be allowed in the zone.
Umahi explained that the reports that some South-East states had made land available for the establishment of ranches, based on a request by the Federal Government, were not true.
The Ebonyi State Governor stressed that while the Federal Government had not asked for any land for ranches, the governors would not accede to such a request, should it be made.
“No land in the South-East has been donated for ranching. We have not donated any land; we have not been asked to donate and we are not going to donate.
“Ranching is not approved by the South-East governors in the South-East,” Umahi declared.
The governors, in the same vein, condemned the recent killings in Plateau State, and demanded “justice for Plateau people.”
The governors, however, raised the alarm over what they described as challenges posed by the movement of herdsmen in the South-East.
They agreed to meet with heads of federal security agencies over the development.
The proposed ranching by the federal government has been overtaken by controversy since its introduction, as most state are or the few that the federal government is inactive scheme to grab land for herdsmen.