Leaders and governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the south-west region have condemned separatist tendencies and violence in various parts of the country.
The leaders expressed concerns over the insecurity situation in the country and asked the government to protect the victims.
Those in attendance included APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu; former interim national chairman of the party, Bisi Akande; former Chief of Army Staff, General Alani Akinrinade; and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and his counterparts in Ogun and Osun States, Dapo Abiodun and Adegboyega Oyetola, also attended the meeting.
They met at a meeting held on Sunday at the Lagos House in Marina.
Briefing reporters at the end of the meeting, Akande noted that they have endorsed the position of the southern governors to ban open grazing and movement of cattle by foot.
As part of efforts to address the crisis between herders and farmers and douse the tension, the leaders asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to give support to those who want to set up ranching.
They also urged the Federal Government to consider the option of true federalism that would give more powers to the state governments.
True federalism, according to the APC leaders and governors, will help the states to better protect their territories.
“We endorse the position of the Southern Governors taken at their summit in Asaba regarding ranching.
“We do so because such a decision will lessen tensions between farmers and herders while also helping the long-term economic viability of both the farming and herding communities,” Akande told reporters.
He added, “We are mindful of the short-term dislocation this might cause but we are also mindful that this position is in the best interests of all parties concerned.
“We recommend that the Federal and state governments cooperate fully with one another to enact the necessary measures to encourage this more effective and modern method of cattle-rearing so that both farmers and herders can pursue their livelihoods with greater productivity and in a more cooperative relationship that minimises the friction between these two important pillars of our agricultural economy.”
Prior to the meeting, there have been calls for secession in parts of the country recently, especially in the south-west and south-east regions.
While some agitators held rallies to demand Yoruba nation in the west, others in the east have renewed their call for Biafra nation.
At a rally held on Saturday in Akure, the Ondo State capital, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu was alleged to have given his support for Yoruba nation – a claim the governor has since refuted.
Rather, he declared his commitment to a virile, united, and indivisible Nigeria, stressing that separatist agitators were on their own.
The Leaders commiserated with President Muhammadu Buhari, the military authorities, families of the Chief of Army Staff and other officers who died, and indeed the entire nation over last Friday’s tragic plane crash in Kaduna.
They expressed their strong opposition to separatist agitations and hate speeches, urging those indulging in such to desist forthwith, renewing their belief in the unity, stability and sustainability of the country.