Consequences of the proposed Bill on Grazing Reserve
A proposed Bill for an act to establish the Nigerian Grazing Reserve Authority, according to the proposer, one Hon. Bassey Eko Ewang, is aimed at providing grazing reserve and stock routes in Nigeria.
We in the Conscience Triumph want to tell Eko Ewa that the Bill will not work within the Middle-Belt zone for the following reasons:
The population of farmers in the zone is rapidly on the increase. There is, therefore, no scarcity of farmlands or lands in the zone to accommodate the proposal.
Farming within the Middle-Belt zone is the mainstay of the people’s economy. The large percentage of the teaming youth within the zone is a strong workforce.
The Middle-Belt youth have long been denied Federal Government jobs, and this has created a state of instability in the zone. They have been grossly marginalized by the successive Federal Governments of Nigeria.
The youth in the zone, therefore, have the right to farms by using their God-given land. They have to return to the land to farm to provide for the growth of the economy.
The proposed scheme is to promote Islamic ideology, and also aimed at depriving Nigerians their legitimate farm lands.
The people of the Middle-Belt zone have been complaining about the fear of their domination by the three major ethnic groups, especially the Hausa/Fulani. Already, a place called Nigeria is a nation of many man-made catastrophes, in the words of Ojeifo, a Catholic Priest. The grazing proposal will further worsen the already strained relationship between the various ethnic nationalities.
The scheme is also a master-plan to continue to use the Fulani herdsmen to carry out uncontrolled killings that we have been experiencing. It is in order to subdue and control other communities’ farmlands in the country to enable the herdsmen take peoples’ farmlands.
The president has not up till now thought it fit to condemn the killings of Nigerians by his tribesmen. He is aware that there is a widespread of tribal clashes between the Fulani herdsmen and several farming communities in the country, in spite of the public outcry.
The Middle-Belt and other ethnic groups in the country see the plan as a game-plan to allow Fulani herdsmen activities to take root and to continue to invade various communities, in order to give room for total Islimasation of the country by force. The system of moving cattle about in the country, trespassing upon people’s farmlands is no longer fashionable. It is a primitive method that has long been outdated. The solution to the problem is for all the state governments to create Cattle Ranges in their respective areas, and to provide the necessary facilities for the Ranges as it is the practice in civilized world.