JUST IN: Middle Belt Group Flays FG’s Request For Grazing Lands

Middle Belt Group Flays FG’s Request For Grazing Lands

A group, the Middle Belt Patriots, has urged state governors not to succumb to pressure from the federal to cede lands to herders for grazing purpose.
According to the group, yielding to such demand would worsen the security situation in the Middle Belt region and other parts of the country.
President had while speaking at the flag-off of the agricultural mechanisation revolution for security in Minna, Niger State urged governors to give parts of their lands to Fulani herders for RUGA or ranching purposes.

In a statement issued yesterday by its director of media and strategic communications, Steven Kefas, the Middle Belt Patriots wondered how the constantly panders to the interests of pastoralists to the detriment and displacement of indigenous populations whose lands and lives are being overrun by the armed ethnic militias affiliated to the herders.
Insisting that the people of the Middle Belt would resist any unconscionable measures aimed at dispossessing their God-given heritage, the group which further described the stance of the federal government on grazing as provocative said; “We of the Middle Belt Patriots vehemently condemn and reject the recent directive from the federal government asking state governors to make land available for grazing by Fulani herdsmen.

“This provocative and ill-advised order shows a shocking disregard for the already tenuous security situation in the Middle Belt region that has been under sustained violent attack by armed Fulani ethnic militias.

“We sternly warn political leaders, monarchs and youth/community leaders of the Middle Belt region – Benue, Plateau, Nasarawa, Niger, Kwara, and sections of Taraba, Adamawa, Bauchi, Southern and Gombe, to outrightly disregard and defy this reckless federal directive.

Capitulating to these demands and ceding more land for grazers will only the flames of the ethnic clashes, further the genocidal massacres, escalate the violent displacement of indigenes from their ancestral lands, and jeopardize the fragile peace in a region that has already suffered immensely.

“Grazing of cattle is a private enterprise; it leaves more questions than answers as to why the federal government is deliberate on arrogating farmlands to themselves to be handed over to private herders? We forcefully remind the authorities in that pig farmers in the core northern Sharia states like Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Kebbi, Jigawa and Sokoto have to struggle, invest and acquire lands for their vocations without any such unconstitutional government directives.

“The same should apply to the cattle herders – if they need land for their trade, they should approach willing farmers and residents to lease or purchase lands for grazing through legitimate means. No farmer or landowner should be forcibly dispossessed of their property.”

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