The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has rejected the proposal by the National Economic Council, NEC, to establish grazing reserves across the country as a panacea to the frequent clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in various parts of the country, which has resulted in thousands of deaths and destruction of farmlands and their produce.
Reacting to a news report that the Federal Government had approved the constitution of a committee headed by the Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako, to work out the modalities for establishing grazing reserves across the country, CAN National President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor said such proposal was absolutely unacceptable to the Christian community which has been at the receiving end of what he termed a grand plan to “Islamise” Nigeria.
Information Nigeria reports that the proposal to establish grazing reserves across the federation was part of decisions taken at the end of the NEC meeting presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo yesterday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to the CAN helmsman, the activities of Fulani herdsmen is another dimension of the terrorist group, Boko Haram, warning that if President Goodluck Jonathan accepts the proposal, he should be prepared to face the repercussions.
Oritsejafor warned that Christians in the country will not fold their arms while the Federal Government unilaterally hand over their farmlands to Fulani herdsmen for grazing reserves, which will in a few years will be converted to Hausa-Fulani emirates with emirs across the nation.
He said: “Is there any other tribe in this country that can do these things for three years running now and get away with it? This culture of impunity must stop. The best way to tackle clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers head on is for the Federal Government to first and foremost investigate the source of arms supply to the herdsmen before the clashes grow out of control.
“Two, we must establish grazing reserves for them in their own locale where the government can establish modern facilities, including schools, hospitals and such facilities that will make life conducive for them and their families bearing in mind that in other nations of the world, cows are not on parade on highways as we have here”, he lamented.
The head of Christians in Nigeria expressed regrets that certain leaders of the same tribe could hold a press conference where they accused the government of Benue State of masterminding the mayhem that has left hundreds of people dead in that state, noting “and Police did not arrest them. They were actually admitting that they sent these people and yet Police let them go.
“Except somebody is being economical with the truth, there is nowhere in the civilized world where cattle rearers walk long distances with cows on the streets. All across Europe and America, cow owners have permanent settlements, where they graze and slaughter their cows while refrigerated vehicles take the meat to different parts of the country for distribution”, he stated.
The no-nonsense preacher implored President Jonathan to find out why nobody had been prosecuted despite the huge number of casualties recorded in clashes in Benue, Plateau, Nasarawa, Delta, Edo, Ondo and several parts of the country, insisting that you don’t solve a hydra-headed monster like Fulani herdsmen by ordering the takeover of people’s land across the country where they perpetrate more havoc in the hinterlands.