Magnus Eze, Enugu
Ohanaeze Ndigbo has accused the Federal Government of deliberately looking for trouble iover its insistence on pushing some policies allegedly meant to favour Fulani herdsmen.
President General of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Chief Nnia Nwodo, said this, yesterday, in reaction to the proposed Ruga settlement in Benue State.
Chief Nwodo said the move clearly violated the constitution of the country.
Nwodo who had before now stated that no part of Igboland would be ceded to the herdsmen for occupation, by way of cattle colony, also accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration of promoting religious bigotry and nepotism.
“The Federal Government’s violation of provisions of our constitution, on the administrative of land in Nigeria, its total violation of valid laws made by Benue State Government in accordance with her inherent powers under our constitution and its violations of extant court judgment on grazing and ranching is a clear pointer to anarchy.
“When respect for the rule of law is jettisoned and sheer power, religious bigotry and nepotism displayed, an inevitable resort to self-help and anarchy is being courted. Our country is sliding into avoidable anarchy and doom,” the Ohanaeze leader warned.
Earlier in the week, Chairman of South East Governors’ Forum (SEGF) and Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi, had indicated that no portion of land in any South East state would be designated for cattle colony.
Umahi said this in reaction to plans by the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN), to establish Fulani Youth Vigilance Groups in the South East.
Also, Benue had earlier rejected the proposed RUGA settlement for herdsmen and decried the action of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, which it said was attempting to subvert the right of a state to make laws for the governance of their people
In a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Terver Akase, Benue said: “We find the approach of the ministry not only as a gross violation of the Ranching Law, but also as an insult to the sensibilities of the entire people of Benue state.
“The people and government of Benue State rejected cattle colonies and still reject the policy in whichever robes it is disguised.”
“Governor Samuel Ortom made the stand of Benue state known during the unveiling of the Livestock Development Programme in Abuja last year.” He stressed that the state would embrace the policy only if it supports implementation of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of 2017.”