Grazing Routes : Buhari Only Interested In Getting Lands For Fulanis , Courting Civil War..Groups

 The Middlebelt Patriotic Front (MPF) has said that it was unfortunate that President Muhamadu Buhari was wasting his time in “approving new grazing routes for his Fulani tribe instead of focusing on securing the lives of innocent citizens being killed daily by the same Fulani herdsmen.” 

Speaking along the same line, the Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA) on Friday called out President Buhari over his approval that 368 grazing sites in 25 states across the country be reviewed; saying his favoritism for his kinsmen was stoking civil war. 

In the same vein, the pan Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere described the approval of Buhari for the review as a waste of tax payers’ money. The Ohanaeze Ndigbo said in their reaction that the South- East should be counted out of the programme and that there is no free land in the South East. 

Also commenting, the Arewa Consultative Forum, (ACF) yesterday disclosed that the popular opinion among Nigerians is that open grazing is outdated and that ranching is the best way to follow in the present dispensation. 

MPF, speaking to one of our correspondents in Jos through their Convener, Comrade Ibrahim Bunu, said President Buhari’s action is totally biased and that he has not taken any drastic action towards addressing the insecurity in the country, but keeps looking for avenues for land grabbing by his fellow Fulanis 

“President Buhari is working hard round the clock to give Fulanis land in Nigeria against the wishes of the true owners. 

“The killings and kidnappings are a means to an end; fear and destruction is the tool they are using as a modern jihad to create space for foreigners to occupy lands for the Fulani and throw away the natives, especially what is happening in the Middlebelt states such as Benue, Plateau, Kaduna, Taraba and others.”

Buhari’s grazing reserve review, stoking civil war- HURIWA

Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA) said in a terse statement signed by the National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Director, Zainab Yusuf, that Buhari’s insistence that local natives surrender their land for the use of Fulani herdsmen was a violation of the constitution he swore to uphold. 

While they urged him to drop the illegal and toxic idea, they also called on the state governors to resist the move and ensure the enforcement of their constitutionally guaranteed rights over land within their various domains. The Rights group said “it is unthinkable why President Buhari is bent on coercing native peoples to surrender their ancestral lands for the purposes of donating such by his administration to Buhari’s kinsmen- Fulani herdsmen. 

“The discriminatory treatment by the President in favour of his kinsmen since coming to office including his failure to arrest and prosecute suspected armed Fulani herdsmen, is responsible for some 6,000 deaths since 2015; his decision to give them a lot of concessions in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Water Resources in the execution of projects, are all unconstitutional acts. 

“This is the first time in over 60 years of Nigeria’s independence that the nation is foisted with a fatalistic administration whose head of executive arm is doing everything outside of the law to arm twist other ethnicities just so the president’s kinsmen are awarded the ancestral lands for their private commercial business of grazing cattle whereas all over the world those who deal with cows do so using their own landed assets to set up ranches to undertake their business,” HURIWA added.

It’s waste of tax payers’ money, pipedream – Afenifere

According to Afenifere, every herder has a state of origin, hence, governments of their respective states should make arrangements for them to settle in the territory where their culture will be fully appreciated. 

Afenifere in a statement by its General Secretary, Sola Ebiseni, said: “for the umpteenth time, let the President be told that the constitution which he reveres relentlessly and the Land Use Act which derives equal force therefrom, extol the majesty of the people over their land. 

“Even the Governor who holds the land in his state in trust for the people cannot dispossess any citizen thereof, except for proven overriding public interest through the due process of law. The current exercise is not only a waste of tax payers’ money; it is a sweet pipedream in a fool’s paradise. 

“It does not also matter that having felt the pulse of the nation in his interview with the Arise Television in June, the President is still wasting tax payers scare resources on a programme whose conception lacks all conceivable growth capacity. 

“The concept of Grazing Reserves, otherwise known as Hurumi, which was introduced during the colonial and immediately after Independence failed in the North particularly in the Middlebelt provinces, notwithstanding a monolithic one North government and permissive land use regime. 

“It is instructive that the recommending and implementation committee is headed by Professor Ibrahim Gambari, the Chief of Staff to the President who, in conjunction with Professor Attahiru Jega, during the first term of Buhari, presented a “Memorandum On Pastoralist- Farmers’ Conflicts And the Search for Peaceful Resolution” published in January 2018, which contained the same recommendations now being foisted on the nation.”

There is no free land in the South East, Ohanaeze

Speaking to one of our correspondents in Enugu, the National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr. Alex Ogbonnia, said there is no free land in the South East as every available land has been put to use and tied to persons, communities, businesses, industrial development and even shrines and deities. 

He said: “We do not have any free land in the whole of the South East as it is right now. Every land is already tied to human persons and more. If you look at the geography of Nigeria, you will know that in the South East we do not have land. The land is not even enough for human occupation, talk of leaving land for cattle. 

“Secondly, we are running a federal system of government, by principle of federalism, every state has a right to pass a bill and sign it into law with respect to open grazing. And by right and by law, can enforce and that is federalism. “Where the President insists on imposing his will on a state, constitutionalism takes over and by that I mean, the state will go to court and the courts will look into it and in the process, we will know whether the President is right or wrong. As far as I know, some states have already passed the anti-open grazing bill into law and there is little else anybody can do about that. That is federalism.

It’s strange Buhari is swimming against popular opinion – ACF

ACF National PublicitSecretary, Emmanuel Yawe, told one of our correspondents in Kaduna on Friday that it was only the Federal Government that can tell Nigerians why it was insisting on open grazing. Yawe also said many states have now opted for ranching as a panacea in resolving the perennial issue of herders, farmers’ clashes, but quickly added that only the states could say what they actually feel about the new development. 

ACF also said that even the Katsina Emirate Council where President Muhammadu Buhari hails from, recently voted for ranching as the way out, adding that President Buhari himself maintains a private ranch in Daura, and wonders why his administration was still open to the idea of open grazing. 

Yawe said: “The current popular opinion is that ranching is the best way to resolve the problem. Most states in both the North and South have voted for ranching. “The Katsina Emirate Council, where Presiden Buhari comes from, recently voted for ranching. The President himself maintains a private ranch in Daura. “We find it strange that he is swimming against the current of public opinion.”


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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