- The federal government has ignored the outcry against its plan to retrace and recover grazing routes across the country
- Already, officials of the federal ministry of agriculture and rural development have commenced the exercise
- Many southern states in the country have since rejected the move, describing it as an attempt to forcefully take their land
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FCT, Abuja - The federal government has declared that there is no going back on its plans to reclaim grazing routes in the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari had given the hint that his government will reclaim the routes during his recent interview with Arise TV.
Reclamation starts across the federation
The Punch newspaper reports that the routes are currently being retraced and recovered by the government agents for herders to graze their cattle.
The acting director, animal husbandry department in the ministry of agriculture. Winnie Lai-Solarin, was quoted as saying:
“There are some stock routes that we have across the country, and in the past, we had monuments along these stock routes, particularly the primary stock routes.”
Grazing an attempt at land grabbing
The Guardian newspaper reports that there is palpable apprehension nationwide over the actions of the government.
The report noted that many states kicked against the initiative, describing it as a ploy to forcefully take their lands for the use of Fulani herdsmen perceived as armed militia whom they feared would later unleash terror on their host communities.
Some Nigerians have been speaking on the government's plan via social media.
Ayo Olanitori wrote on Facebook:
“I can't just imagine in the twenty-first year of the twenty-first century a president is still talking about implementing and enforcing open grazing when other presidents are busy ensuring there's science and technology breakthrough in their countries. This is so sad and shameful.”
Kalvin Moreez wrote:
“I know one day all problematic political figures will exit the stage. Nigeria will be redeemed from retrogressive public policies...Amen!!!”
Wilfred Uhunmwunwa wrote:
“Nigeria is already in anarchy. Things fall apart as the center can no longer hold. The federal authorities have failed the citizens.”
Recall that human rights lawyer, Chief Femi Falana (SAN), recently declared that the Grazing Reserves Act of 1964 was only applicable to northern Nigeria in the 1960s.
Falana made the comment in a statement seen by Legit.ng on Monday, June 14 in response to President Buhari's plan to revive the grazing reserves.
The respected lawyer said the Grazing Reserves Act of 1964 was not a law of general application because the Western Region, Mid-Western Region, and the Eastern Region had ranches for animal husbandry.
Similarly, groups like Afenifere, Ohanaeze, and PAN Niger-Delta Forum have all kicked against the statement by the president.
The sociocultural groups insist that the power to allocate land is vested in governors and not the president.
They also stated that the system of grazing routes is archaic and has no place in modern animal husbandry.