The Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore has said herders will not support any southern candidate who is against open grazing during the 2023 presidential elections.

The group’s spokesperson, Saleh Alhassan, stated this on Tuesday while featuring on PUNCH Online interview programme.

The 17 Southern Governors had kicked against open grazing and signed laws banning such to effect, citing the security challenges allegedly posed by the activities of herders in their states.

Governors of Lagos, Ondo, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Abia, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Enugu, and just recently, Delta and Ogun states, have all signed the anti-open grazing bill into law.

The Miyetti Allah group, while reacting to the passage of the law in the southern states, described it as ‘satanic’ and ‘politically motivated,’ adding that it would sue the governors over the law.

Alhassan also alleged that the move by the southern governors was to negotiate the 2023 Presidency with their 19 northern colleagues who have kicked against power shift to the South.

Asked whether his group would back a northern candidate after the expiration of the eight-year regime of President Muhammadu Buhari, Alhassan said, “Our concern is not where the President comes from but certainly we know those that we cannot support; those that want to destroy our means of livelihood, we would campaign against them.

“We are not worried where the President comes from but we need a competent nationalistic person to take over from Buhari. We don’t need people with sectional sentiments; people that think they can make exclusive economic policies, people that think their zones should have more preference, they want to control the VAT, destroy our traditional livelihood.

“The governors can say anything but ultimately, the votes determine who becomes the President.

“If you say you are producing (Ondo State Governor and Chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum, Rotimi) Akeredolu as a southern candidate, we would never support him because he is championing the destruction of our rural economy. People like that, we would never support them. We won’t support someone hobnobbing with Biafrans.”