Stop debate on grazing reserves, Izu Umunna tells NASS


    senate-in-plenaryAn Igbo socio-cultur­al group, Izu Umun­na Cultural Association said it is dismayed by the level of “brigandage and carnage” be­ing unleashed on the people of South-Eastern Nigeria by Fula­ni herdsmen.

    The group in a press state­ment signed by its President, Dr Ugo Ihekuna and Secretary Gen­eral, Chief Elvis Chukwu, made available to journalists in Jos yes­terday, stated that the association is particularly worried by the ap­parent poor response of securi­ty agencies to the atrocities by the herdsmen and silence by the Federal Government.

    It said the action of the herds­men was coming at a time the National Assembly has begun deliberations on the National Grazing Reserves Commission, saying it is one of the grand de­signs to alienate and appropriate lands in the Southeast for north­erners.

    “The strategy is to use Fulani herdsmen to coerce local farm­ers by ferocious force of arms to relinquish part of their farmland for grazing of their livestock as panacea for peace”, the group al­leged.

    Izu Umunna said it is con­cerned that the scenario as be­ing played out in the legislature is to use the instrument of consti­tutional amendment to carve out large parts of land in the Middle Belt and Southern Nigeria and hand over to Fulani herdsmen.

    “With time, the Fulani will demand for the establishment of their chiefdom as they are doing in Kachia in Kaduna State where grazing reserve was carved out for them by the government of Northern Nigeria in the early 1960s”, the statement warned.

    “This must send a strong sig­nal to the government and peo­ple of the South East that having devastated their lands through the activities of the Boko Har­am, which had created deserts in almost the entire length and breadth of North-East, the next alternative is to turn to the South East where there is lush green vegetation for grazing,” the group stated.

    To curb the menace of Fulani herdsmen, Izu Umunna are ask­ing the people of the Southeast to stop the use of “Hausa/Fula­ni” as guards in their homes as it has been established that the guards are often guides to the mercenaries if and when they want to strike.

    The group therefore warned the Federal Government to as much as possible prevent a sit­uation where Ndigbo would re­sort to self-help in order to pro­tect themselves. (The Authority)

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