National Grazing Reserve Bill is Draconic – Prof Anya

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Anya O. Anya

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Professor Anya O. Anya, president general of the Ndigbo Lagos, says that the activities of herdsmen in the country is a threat to the unity of the nation while describing the proposed national grazing bill as draconic and discriminatory

NDIGBO Lagos, the umbrella body of all Igbo organizations in Lagos is drawing the attention of the federal government, the National Assembly and indeed all Nigerians to the threat posed to Nigeria by the combination of the activities of the Fulani herdsmen and the National Grazing Reserve Bill allegedly being considered by the National Assembly at the moment.

A statement signed by its Professor Anya O. Anya, president general of Ndigbo Lagos, vehemently condemn these developments and elaborate that Nigerian nationalities have co-existed with cattle Fulani herdsmen whom we have always known as business men trading in Cattle for over a century. Similarly business men of other Nationalities known for their specialties in different categories of goods and services have traversed Nigeria since our existence as one Country without any rancour or bloodletting.

The activities of the sophisticated weapons bearing Fulani herds men are known to include unbridled killings which may suggest ethnic cleansing, as in Agatu, Benue State, rape, pillage and plunder. These behaviours are unprecedented, it said.

According to the statement, the modus operandi of these Fulani herdsmen are indicative of quasi military training. The apparently inexplicable detached disposition with which the federal government seem to have over time addressed these dangerous trend have not helped the situation.

It is for these reasons that the group urgently call on the federal government to use the military decisively to deal with this strange orgy of premeditated sustained bloodletting. In Plateau State, Taraba State, Nassarawa State, Delta State, Enugu State, Abia State, River State, Edo State, Ekiti State, Oyo State, and Ondo State these grotesque tales of bloodletting, wanton destruction, anguish and woes have remained the same.

Consequently, the idea of introducing the Bill on grazing reserve as a solution is discriminatory, extremely provocative, combustible and draconian with a potential to foist demographic distortion on the Nation.

“Fulani herdsmen are private business persons. It is unfair and unjust for the Federal Government to acquire land for them and their cattle. Like every other business venture, Fulani herdsmen sell their cattle for profit and therefore should be responsible for their own investment cost. Private ranching arrangements for cattle rearing are the known best practice in modern agriculture all over the world as Argentina, Australia and South Africa to mention but a few. Nigerian business men irrespective of who they are, should be encouraged to invest in ranching as a business,” it said.

“The latest incident of senseless bloodletting in Ukpabi Nimbo in Uzo-uwani LGA of Enugu State on the 26, April 2016 by the same Fulani herdsmen demands urgent investigation and apprehension of the perpetrators of the dastardly act.

“Going forward Ndigbo Lagos proposes that the Legislature in the vulnerable States urgently enact a law insisting that all movements of Cattle across communities to their market destinations in the South must be vehicular.  In reality the cattle trails from the North to the South-East and South-South are merely Route-to-Market for matured Cattle,” it said.

—  May 3, 2016 @ 18:15 GMT

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