From George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
The leader of BIM-MASSOB, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, has accused the administration of Muhammadu Buhari of promoting the activities of armed Fulani herdsmen who have been attacking the indigenous people of Nigeria.
This is even as he has said that there will be no peace in Nigeria until the sovereign state of Biafra has been duly recognised by the United Nation.
Uwazuruike stated this at the weekend during a virtual conference organised by the Harvard Law Students under the auspices of unrepresented nations and people’s organisations, UNPO and United Nations, UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which was to determine the land use/border rights and extra-territorial obligations of nations in the quest for self-determination.
In a statement made available to Journalists in Owerri, the Imo State capital by Uwazuruike’s Personal Assistant On Media Matters, Elder Chris Mocha, said the main purpose of the conference was to gather Member experience with challenges to their lands as well as to share general perspectives, recommendations, and/ or good practices regarding land rights.
Uwazuruike who allegedly accused President Muhammadu Buhari of promoting the murderous activities of armed Fulani herdsmen said the President nullified the decision of the 17 southern governors on anti-open grazing by insisting on reclaiming grazing routes across the country.
He further pointed out that the “armed Fulani herdsmen came to our lands to graze their cattle they came with their Ak-47 riffles and killed our people, raped our women and the federal government simply because they are promoting these people or feeling incapable of arresting or stopping the atrocities these people commit against our people.’
According to the BIM MASSOB leader, ‘as usual, I represent the state of Biafra. In Nigeria, right from time immemorial, land belongs to individuals and families.
‘But in 1976, immediately after the Biafra-Nigeria civil war, the military government of Nigeria promulgated the Decree of 1976 which invested all lands in Nigeria to the state governors.
‘There are 36 states in Nigeria and the federal capital territory, Abuja.
‘So all the 36 governors are owners of the lands in Nigeria and the federal government owns the capital territory, Abuja.
‘But the federal government does not respect this Decree of 1976.
‘Just recently, the 17 southern governors came together and banned open grazing in the entire southern region, the president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari nullified the action of the 17 southern governors and said that there was a grazing route that must be established to enable the armed Fulani herdsmen to come to our lands in the south to graze their cattle.
‘This grazing route is against the provisions of the Constitution of Nigeria because it is not contained in the 1999 Constitution as amended.
‘But because of his position as the president of Nigeria and a Hausa/Fulani man he wants to enforce it against our will.
‘In Biafraland which is in southern Nigeria, our lands are blessed with crude oil deposits, and fertile. Because of the fertility of our lands, the Fulani forced themselves into our lands to graze their cattle.
‘As a matter of fact, the atrocities we are having today in Nigeria emanate from the Land Use Act of 1976.
‘Because these people came to our land and commit all these atrocities because they have the protection of the federal government of Nigeria.
”In Nigeria, all the proceeds that came out from mineral resources, take for instance, in Biafraland that is rich in crude oil deposits, all the resources garnered belongs to the federal government of Nigeria.
But in Zamfara State that is in the northern part of Nigeria where Gold Reserves are discovered belonged to the Zamfara State Government.
‘Do you see the rate of injustices in Nigeria?
‘The crude oil in Biafra territory belongs to the federal government of Nigeria but the Gold Reserves in Zamfara State in the north belongs to the Zamfara State Government,’ he stated.
Uwazuruike pointed out that the Nigeria – Biafra war was a result of injustice against the people of Biafra.
‘And the first war we fought against Nigeria emanated from all these injustices. Because of the presence of Oil in Nigeria, the Fulani who migrated into Nigeria came to colonize all of us and use force to dehumanize us, to take our resources and try to Fulanize us, kill us because of land.
‘And that is why it is very essential that Biafra must be given recognition by the United Nations. Because if Biafra is not given recognition as a sovereign state, these atrocities must stop because our land is rich with mineral resources as against the north that is a desert area.’