A group, Southern Nigeria Frontier (SNF), has expressed worries over the decision by the Federal Government to retrieve 368 grazing reserves, spread across 25 states of the federation, describing the move as another in the series of desperate attempts by the regime to impose the infamous Ruga settlements system for Fulani herdsmen across the country.
President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity (SSA), Mallam Garba Shehu, had in a statement conveyed the decision of the Federal Government to retrieve 368 Grazing Reserves, spread across 25 states of the Federation.
SNF gave this position in a statement issued by its spokesperson, Comrade Olufemi Lawson, wondering how and when the Federal Government gazetted the lands in the said 25 states as the group was very sure of the powers, given by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, to the governors of the various states, as far as the administration of lands in within their territories were concerned.
“Southern Nigeria Frontier (SNF) is disturbed by a statement by the Presidency through the usual Mallam Garuba Shehu on the decision of the federal government, to retrieve 368 Grazing Reserves, spread across 25 states of the Federation.
“We consider this statement, coming from President Muhammadu Buhari, through Mr Sheu as another in the series of desperate attempts by the regime, to impose the infamous Ruga settlements system for Fulani herdsmen across the country.
“While we have an unshaken belief in the non-existent of any grazing reserve in the seventeen Southern States of Nigeria, under the control of the Federal government, it is imperative to ask the Federal Government once again, how and when it gazetted the lands in the said 25 states because we are very sure of the powers, given by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, to the governors of the various states, as far as the administration of lands in within their territories is concerned,” SNF said.
The group, while knocking the decision, argued that beyond a terse presidential statement, it was imperative that for a decision, such as the implementation of Grazing Reserves in about two-third of the country to be taken, President Muhammadu Buhari and the operatives of the government, should avail the Nigerian public, the gazette number and its content.
SNF said it was constrained to query in what capacity and with which authority did the Prof Ibrahim Agboola Gambari panel and Federal Government determined the so-called gazetted lands in those 25 states of Nigeria
According to the group, the latest move by the presidency to hijack lands belonging to states, for grazing reserves, signposts a dangerous attempt to deploy Federal might to harass the federating units is a desperate bid to promote the interest of one ethnic group over those of over 350 other ethnic nationalities across Nigeria, urging President Buhari to tread carefully on this very sensitive issue of Grazing Routes and grazing reserves and desist from playing games with the lives of Nigerians by taking such a decision.
“The president must once and for all, stopped being seen as adumbrating the herdsmen position to convert the entire country into one huge cattle colony.
“We also urge the governors of the Southern Nigeria, to in categorical term, tell Nigerians which parts of their states, fall within this Professor Gambari gazetted grazing reserves, as this latest move by the Federal Government, shows that we are dealing with an unfolding tragedy,” SNF said.
It also charged Nigerians, to resist this attempt, by the Federal Government to force violent herders on harmless communities in the name of grazing reserves, even as the group also called on Federal Government to instead take a look into the position of the 2014 National Conference which recommended that Nigeria should embrace ranching as a way out of the herdsmen crisis.
“Let it be known clearly to President Buhari that our people of Southern Nigeria, will not accept their land being converted into cattle grazing routes, at whatever cost.
“The nation is confronted with the more serious issue of national urgency, than this desperate search for RUGA, by the Federal Government,” the group declared.
SNF, therefore, urged states of Southern Nigeria that were yet to legislate on the ban on open grazing in their states, as agreed by the Southern Governors Forum (SGF) to do so without further delay.
“Finally, we urge the states of the Southern Nigeria that are yet to legislate on the ban on open grazing in their states, as agreed by the Southern Governors Forum to do so without further delay.
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CLAIM: A viral Whatsapp message claims that mobile telecommunications company, MTN, is giving out N20,000 cash, 5GB worth of data, and cars to celebrate its 20th anniversary in Nigeria.Grazing reserves: Desperate attempts to force Ruga settlements on Nigerians ― SNF.Grazing reserves: Desperate attempts to force Ruga settlements on Nigerians ― SNF
Grazing reserves: Desperate attempts to force Ruga settlements on Nigerians ― SNF