Grazing reserves’ll lead to another civil war -Anglican Church

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Grazing reserves’ll lead to another civil war -Anglican Church

Friday Olokor, Abuja

The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), on Friday in Abuja, asked the Federal Government to jettison the proposed controversial grazing reserves for Fulani herdsmen across the country, warning that apart from giving them “unwarranted special preference”, it would lead to another civil war.

The Primate of Anglican Church, Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, who gave the advice during his presidential address delivered to the third session of the 9th synod with the theme: “The poverty of riches”, argued that the notorious activities of Fulani herdsmen would make them automatic indigenes of all regions of the country.

He said, “The synod hereby states unequivocally that the move to create grazing reserves for Fulani herdsmen around the country does not have our support. This is because the move treats a set of people with unwarranted special preference, making them indigenes of all regions of the country.

“There have been countless isolated cases of herdsmen brutality to their host communities. These notorious activities of herdsmen are capable of dragging the country into another civil war. The Fulani herdsmen are private businessmen who take away all proceeds of the business, not sharing with either their host communities or the government.

“We wish to re-echo to the Federal Government, states and individuals involved, the recommendation already made earlier, that ranches should be built in their own localities for modern animal husbandry. In some parts of Nigeria, people are already grappling with high population growth and land does not expand. Nobody’s land should therefore be given forcefully to anybody in any guise.

“The synod calls on the National Assembly to drop the bill on grazing reserves as it is only heating up the polity and will do no good to the herdsmen, their host communities or the government.”

While commending the government for its efforts at driving the economy, particularly to attract foreign investors, Okoh said creating an investment-friendly environment would more practically give the country what it needed.

“Factors that investors will need to thrive, especially security, power and other amenities should be made available and investors will naturally be attracted,” he added.

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