Grazing Bill– The people of Ijaw tribe have given Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson an ultimatum to revoke the land allocation given to Fulani Herdsmen.
According to the group, the allocation does not represent the people and has no potency of being in their interest.
The grazing bill has been a sensitive topic in Nigeria since last year. The truth of the extent of the bill in the house has never been concrete. While some claim that it is likely to be made a law, some lawmakers have denied the existence of the bill.
Whatever be the case, many non-northern political leaders have condemned the grazing bill saying it is one-sided to bend the law to suit a certain ethnic tribe.
It was advised that the owners of these cows in the custody of the Fulani herdsmen should acquire ranches for the grazing of their cows. That way it will be fair on everyone.
Contrary to the suggestion, the group have severally intruded into people’s farms, wreaking havoc and claiming innocent lives.
To further complicate the issue the Federal government proposed that states should make land allocations to Fulani herdsmen across the nation for the grazing of their cows.
Many Nigerians have condemned the proposition, citing that other businesses do not get this consideration.
On the occasion where Bayelsa State government has just allocated about 1,200 hectares of land to Fulani for cattle grazing the Ijaw group have risen in opposition to the “genocidal” move.
The group backed by a good number of Ijaw organizations have accused the governor of trading the lives and security of the people of Ijaw for political ambition.
They made it categorically clear that the idea was not welcome in Ijaw land. Thus they gave Gov. Dickson a 7-days ultimatum to revoke the land allocation or face a total shutdown of all government facilities.
In support of the ultimatum, mothers of Ijaw nation, led by Niger Delta activist, Ms AnnKio Briggs, have scheduled a mass protest on February 14, in the state capital, Yenagoa.
The women and prominent Ijaw personalities held a meeting a came up with an official statement as presented by their spokesperson, Mayor Ogobiri.
Excerpts of the statement reads thus:
“We are giving Governor Dickson seven days ultimatum to revoke Bayelsa land allocated to herdsmen or face mass shut down of all government facilities across the state because we do not want a repeat of the massacre that happened recently at Southern Kaduna in our state.”
“We are warning Governor Dickson that the blood of any Bayelsan is worth much more than thousands of cows. He should fight for human rights and not animal rights.”
“The act of the Bayelsa State Government is treacherous and a clear betrayal of Bayelsans who voted him to power. This is a critical period in our nation. We do not want our women raped and killed, we do not want our children defiled, we do not want our kings to be kidnapped and killed,and we do not want AK-47 wielding herdsmen within Bayelsa State.”
The statement blatantly accused the government of blindly playing into the hands of terrorist who have killed over 800 in Southern Kaduna and more than 1000 in several other states since last year.
Rhetorically they asked the government if other ethnic groups have ever been considered business wise in the north.
“If we may ask, how many free fishing rivers and farmlands have Northern governors allocated to southerners to carry out fishing and farming businesses in the North?”