Buhari has turned Nigeria into Cow Republic, approves takeover of outdated grazing routes - Ortom.

Buhari persistently provoking Nigeria to civil war – HAURIWA.

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, on Friday, warned the President Muhammad Buhari against turning Nigeria into a cow republic.

Governor Ortom, who was reacting to the statement from the Presidency indicating that President Buhari had approved recommendations of a committee to review “with dispatch,” 368 grazing sites across 25 states in the country, “to determine the levels of encroachment,” said that with the latest move, it was crystal clear that the president is planning to plunge the country into crisis.

The governor said that the present regime had placed more priority on the welfare of cattle than the people that voted him into office.

Ortom made this known in the statement issued and signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, titled, ‘Presidency turning Nigeria to a cow republic’.

The statement read, “In a country where insecurity has reached an all-time high with hundreds being killed by armed herdsmen, bandits, and other terrorists, the Presidency is only bordered about animals and their safety and is deploying all machinery and arsenals of government to impose grazing reserves and cattle routes on Nigerians. This is unacceptable!

“The Buhari administration has turned a blind eye to the unimaginable levels of encroachment on lands belonging to Nigerians by cattle. Mr. President has never come out even once to condemn activities of herdsmen and the attacks they visit on innocent people. The only time the President is heard speaking about atrocities of the herders is when he defends them.

“It is now clear that the Presidency wants to plunge the country into avoidable crisis. Otherwise, what is the justification for President Buhari’s insistence that grazing reserves be established across the country when Nigerians have openly kicked against the policy and have embraced ranching in place of open grazing?”

President Buhari had on Friday 20th August approved recommendations of a committee to review “with dispatch,” 368 grazing sites, across 25 states in the country, “to determine the levels of encroachment.”

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a statement titled ‘President Buhari approves review of grazing reserves in 25 states.’

Buhari’s directive comes after approving the recommendations of a committee chaired by his Chief of Staff, Prof Ibrahim Gambari.

Among others, the committee had recommended the collection of field data collection on 368 Grazing Reserves across 25 states to assess encroachment and encroachers, stakeholder engagements and sensitization.

The Committee also recommended the production of maps and geo-mapping/tagging of sites, analysis of findings and report preparations as well as design appropriate communication on Grazing Reserves and operations.

The number of the Grazing Reserves and States were deduced from considerations of existing security concerns and other pre-existing socio-economic conditions.

The President directed that the assignment be undertaken with dispatch to bring more understanding on the Grazing Reserves, and implementation.

Members of the committee include Governor of Kebbi State and Vice Chairman, National Food Security Council, Abubakar Bagudu; Governor of Ebonyi State and Chairman of NEC Sub-Committee for National Livestock Transformation Plan, David Umahi;

Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu; Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono; Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar and Deputy Chief of Staff, Ade Ipaye.

The Technical Sub-Committee consists of representatives from the seven members of the main committee in addition to representatives from the Ministry of Justice; Surveyor-General of the Federation; National Agricultural Land Development Authority and National Space Research Development Agency.

The Committee will also make recommendations for gazetting of ungazetted Grazing Reserves and create a database of National Cattle Herders and ensure that Grazing Reserves are well communicated to all stakeholders. The inaugural meeting of the Committee was held on May 10, 2021.

Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, on Friday warned of an impending civil war in the country over what it described as Muhammadu Buhari’s grazing reserves for his kinsmen.

The group has now demanded that Buhari perish the ‘illegal and toxic’, idea adding that except the President is nursing an agenda to destabilize Nigeria.

The human rights advocacy group said this in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Director Miss Zainab Yusuf.

The group wondered how President Buhari is bent on coercing native peoples to surrender their ancestral lands to his kinsmen- Fulani herdsmen.

The rights group accused the President of having favored his kinsmen since 2015 when he assumed office and failing to arrest and prosecute suspected armed Fulani herdsmen who have allegedly killed over 6,000 Nigerians since 2015.

“This is the first time in over 60 years of Nigeria’s independence that Nigeria 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,” HURIWA noted.

The rights group, therefore, asked Buhari to desist from taking steps and doing things that will plunge Nigeria into a long drawn civil war.

HURIWA further accused Buhari of breaching his Constitutional oath of office which prohibits him from using his office to confer unlawful advantage on his people due to pedestrian reasons.

HURIWA dismissed the directive of President Buhari on the so-called grazing sites as an unmitigated unconstitutional act given that the extant Land Use law governing land administration gives the ownership of landed assets in each state of the Federation to the state government.

HURIWA said: “For the avoidance of doubts and from the abundance of scholarly submissions, Mr. President should note that the Land Use Act, enacted in 1978, was meant to standardize land administration systems across the country.”

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