…don’t play with people’s lives – Group cautions Asiwaju
The Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, has condemned a former Lagos State Governor and All Progressives Congress leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, for advising the Federal Government to convert unused land to grazing reserves.
The group said the APC chieftain was free to play politics the way he liked but cautioned him against playing with people’s lives by making outlandish propositions.
Reacting to a statement credited to Tinubu in which he attributed the herdsmen attacks in parts of the country to scarcity of water and grazing land, Afenifere’s Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin, in a statement on Tuesday, said the ex-governor was only endorsing the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association’s position to convert the entire country into a cattle colony.
Tinubu, who was speaking at The Nation/TVC seminar in Abuja on Monday, had said, “Unoccupied, isolated land can quickly be turned into grazing areas in the affected states.”
But Afenifere rejected his position, insisting that it stood by the recommendation of the 2014 National Conference, which recommended ranching as a way out of the herdsmen/farmers’ clashes.
It said, “We totally reject this position as it is very backward in modern time and contrary to the consensus of all peace-loving Nigerians that what we need to solve the herdsmen siege on farmers is to have ranches.
“Senator Tinubu has lived in very enlightened societies like the United States and Britain; If he were still living in any of such countries would he suggest that grazing routes should be established at this age and time?
“We admonish him that he is free to play his politics the way it suits him but he should tread softly in playing games with the lives of our people by making outlandish propositions on issues which have been settled.
“Tinubu can give his residence in Bourdillon for cattle colony but our people will not accept their land being converted into cattle grazing routes.”
Meanwhile, stakeholders at a conference on Monday demanded the setting up of a Federal Peace and Conflict Resolution Commission to address the prevalent farmers-herders crisis in the country.
They also urged the government to strengthen security arrangements to make both farmers and herders feel safe.
They, however, said the proposal for grazing reserves should be embraced, beginning with consenting states.
The recommendations of the stakeholders are contained in a communiqué after a two-day conference organized by The Nation Newspapers and TV ContinentalNews in Abuja.
The communiqué was read by Dr Kayode Samuel.