The Southern Nigeria Frontier, 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 Garba Sheu as another in the series of desperate attempt by the regime, to impose the infamous Ruga settlements system for Fulani herdsmen across the country.
SNF In a statement by its Spokesman, Olufemi Lawson said while we have an unshaken believe, 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 within their territories are concerned.
The statement reads;
“Beyond a terse presidential statement, it is imperative that for a decision, such as the implementation of Grazing Reserves in about two-third of the country is concerned, President Buhari and the operatives of the government, should avail the Nigerian public, the gazette number and its content. We are constrained to ask, in what capacity and with which authority did the Prof Gambari panel and federal government determined the so called gazetted lands in those 25 states of Nigeria?
“This latest Freudian slip from the Presidency and the desperation to hijack lands belonging to States, for grazing reserves, signposts a dangerous attempt to deploy federal might to harass the federating units in a desperate bid to promote the interest of one ethnic group over those of over 350 other ethnic nationalities across Nigeria.
“We wish to advise 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.
“We urge Nigerians, to resist this attempt, by the federal government to force violent herders on harmless communities in the name of grazing reserves.
“Rather than this desperate land grabbing strategy, we urge the Federal government, to 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 the Southern Nigeria, will not accept their land being converted into cattle grazing routes, at whatever cost.
“The nation is confronted with more serious issue of national urgency, than this desperate search for RUGA, by the federal government.
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.” The statement said