“It was tears yesterday at Agadama-Uwheru community in Ughelli-North Council of Delta State, as one of the 31 persons killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen, Stephen Omamuge Ajaita, was buried… The victim, a father of three, was one of the 31 persons killed between 2012 and 2015 by suspected Fulani herdsmen in Uwheru kingdom… He was said to have been shot severally in the head with an AK-47 rifle, as he and other persons tried to ward off the herdsmen from their farms.” – The Guardian.
In a bid to end the incessant murders and “clashes” between herdsmen and farmers, the Federal Government of Nigeria nay the National Assembly is proposing to pass “THE BILL FOR AN ACT TO ESTABLISH THE NATIONAL GRAZING ROUTE AND RESERVES COMMISSION” – to create and control grazing routes and reserves in all parts of Nigeria into law.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of Joseph Amasike and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.
The Bill, if passed into Law, shall empower the Grazing Commission to TAKE any land in any part of #Nigeria it deems fit for purpose; “purpose” being the provision of expropriated land for the well-being of these precious cattle, owned by unknown private businessmen – a business allegedly dominated by our beloved President’s kinsmen, i.e. the Fulani ethnic group. Businessmen whose only qualification for this largesse seems to be the ethnic group they hail from.
However, it must be noted that under this proposed law, those whose lands are “taken” shall be given compensation on terms to be “independently-determined” by the “Grazing Commission”.
Furthermore any person or group of persons aggrieved by the expropriation (FORCEFUL ACQUISITION) of their land, shall allegedly be required to seek the Permission of the Attorney-General of the Federation (an appointee of the president) BEFORE seeking legal recourse. How splendid and democratic.
In the event such a warrant is miraculously secured, the judgment of any Court of competent jurisdiction (to which redress is sought), SHALL be made subject to the ratification, nay approval, of the Attorney-General of the Federation BEFORE it can be executed, effectively curbing the powers of the judiciary as provided for under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
Thus, without the permission of the Attorney-General of the Federation, no Nigerian, individual(s) or body corporate shall or can challenge the expropriation of their land by the Commission for the benefit of these PRIVATE businessmen and their precious cattle, if this “Nationalistic” Bill becomes law.
The “noble efforts” of the current administration to address this long-lingering problem is most commendable and the “nationalistic” intent of this Bill is not in doubt. This bill also effectively demonstrates the current administration’s resolve to further diversify the Nigerian economy and government revenue streams via the provision of infrastructure and “expropriated land” for private business.
This Bill also underscores the current administration’s efforts to promote peace and “unity” in Nigeria, by “forcefully acquiring” the communal and ancestral lands of Nigerians in ALL parts of Nigeria for the exclusive use of herdsmen and their highly esteemed cattle. This Bill if passed into law will definitely foster inter-ethnic harmony and unity, as it has done in the Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State and Agatu, Benue State.
May WISDOM continue to be granted our elected and appointed officials in the discharge of their constitutional duties, they need it; as of course we all do.
Joseph Amasike, a lawyer, writes from Abuja, Nigeria.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.