…Mourns killing of 4,000 kinsmen by herdsmen
Nobody owns the land –Govt
From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
THE Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) yesterday rose from a meeting to kick against the state government’s plan to turn 5,000 hectares of land in the area into grazing reserve for Fulani herdsmen.
This was even as they mourned the killing of over 4,000 of their kinsmen as well as rendering thousands homeless allegedly by herdsmen between 2011 and 2015.
This was contained in a statement issued shortly after their meeting which was signed by the National President of SOKAPU, Mr. Solomon Musa, a legal practitioner.
However, the State Commissioner for Agriculture and Forestry, Daniel Manzo Maigari said about 17 grazing reserves had been earmarked for revival in Southern Kaduna. He said that they were
established in 1944, but abandoned over the years.
The SOKAPU communiqué read in part: “On behalf of all the 65 ethnic groups of Southern Kaduna, both at home and in Diaspora we wish to state our opposition to the location of grazing reserves within the Southern Kaduna geographical area for several disturbing reasons.
“We are also alarmed by the hasty manner the Kaduna State Government donated 5000 hectares of land to the proposed federal government grazing reserves initiative. This is in addition to the suspicious reactivation of about 17 grazing reserves, including moribund ones in the state.
“Since the Kaduna State government has been harping on peace, unity and development of Southern Kaduna, which we really appreciate, it should be sensitive and sympathetic with the humongous disasters that herdsmen have wrought on our communities since 2011. Between 2011 and 2015, over a period of just 4 years, 54 documented attacks have been launched with over 4,000 people killed.
“Since the government of Kaduna State truly wants to increase food production, we suggest that it brings in modern farming equipment, increase subsidy on fertilisers and help the agrarian people of Southern Kaduna with more modern methods of farming, while it takes the grazing reserves to the vast lands in the
north, where the herds, the herders and the culture of the people are tightly in tune with one another.
“But if the government insists on having its way, then we can confidently tell the state government that this approach will not only radicalize discontent within our zone but create more suspicion on the
real move behind the grazing reserves and the killings that have been visited upon our people.
“Any attempt to unfairly wrest them out of our hands shall be resisted by our generation and generations to come SOKAPU said.