Ekwueme, Clark, Gbonigi reject grazing reserves *It’ll bring permanent conflicts

By Editor on 07/05/2016

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Former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, Ijaw National Leader, Chief Edwin Clark and fiery cleric, Bishop Bolanle Gbonigi, on Friday, advised the Federal Government to avoid creating permanent conflicts between herdsmen and communities by burying the idea of creating grazing reserves across the country.

They also decried President Muhammadu Buhari’s apparent scant regards for the resolutions of the last Constitutional Conference, which made far-reaching decisions on how Nigerians would not only live in peace with one another, but advance all other ingredients that would lead to building a strong and viable country.

Speaking under the umbrella of The Southern Nigeria People’s Assembly (SNPA), the Southern Nigerian leaders in a statement, also described the idea as “not only anachronistic and antiquated, but also an unfortunate elevation of what ought to be private commercial ventures into a national or government business.”

Ekwueme

At the end of a three-day meeting in Asaba, Delta State, where Ekwueme (represented by former Anambra State Governor Chukuwuemeka Ezeife), Clark (represented by Senator Roland Owie) and Gbonigi, they condemned the rampaging attack, raping and killing of innocent Nigerians, by the rampaging and murderous marauders.

Citing especially the more recent killings in Nimbo in Enugu State and Agatu in Benue State and other parts of the country by the notorious Fulani herdsmen, the leaders who represented their individual zones of South East, South South and the South West, argued that grazing reserve portended dangerous trend as it would institute a source of permanent conflict in the land, especially the federal structure of the country and the 1999 Constitution, which vest power to hold land on the 36 states of the country and the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Their argument: “The President should deal decisively with the issue of Fulani herdsmen in the manner government is dealing with the insurgency problem that, if unchecked, has the capacity to snowball to another Boko Haram.

“Consequently, he should set up a Judicial Panel of Inquiry to investigate all Fulani herdsmen attack between May this year, till date and all those found to be directly or remotely involved in those attacks should be arrested and brought to book.”

While decrying as objectionable the inability of the President to begin the implementation of the resolutions of the 2014 National Conference, they argued that the decisions of the confab, if implemented, may help in resolving many political, socio-economic and security challenges of the country.

They also gave their full support and urged other Nigerians to support the President in his anti-corruption drive, war on insurgency and his efforts at reviving ailing industries, but however, urged him to respect the rule of law, the protection of citizens’ fundamental human rights and the pronouncements of the courts.

They also advised Northern Elders Forum (NEF) to desist from infusing in the present administration, the “we and they” mentality, which usually created division and confusion in the polity. “The NEF should realise that Buhari is the President of Nigeria and not the President of Northern Nigeria.

 

Source The Guardian

Posted on May, 7 2016

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