Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, on Thursday, flayed President Muhammadu Buhari for asking the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, to begin the process of recovering land from persons who have converted cattle grazing routes for their personal use.
National Coordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko, who made this known in a statement, also said that the move will lead to more killings and contention in the country.
It was earlier reported that the President openly backed open grazing in the country during a television interview on Thursday morning.
“I asked for the gazette to make sure that those who encroached on these cattle routes and grazing areas will be dispossessed in law and try to bring some order back into the cattle grazing,” he had said.
Reacting in a statement titled, ‘Buhari’s Endorsement Of Open Grazing Shows Disrespect To Sacredness Of Life:- Says HURIWA’, the civil society organisation criticised Buhari not to reopen old faultlines with his statements.
“The President rather than take steps to order the arrest, swift prosecution and sanction of these armed Fulani herdsmen with blood of innocent citizens on their hands and who have unleashed massive scale of violence, President Buhari has continued to stoke the embers of divisiveness by seeking to railroad the office of the Attorney General of the Federation to take lands from states to be made open grazing routes for private owners of cattle.
“This same President did not for once observed a minute silence to honour the memories of the over ten thousand Nigerians citizens slaughtered by Fulani herdsmen but is more concerned about seizing lands to donate for open grazing.
“The tendency to grab lands across the Country for open grazing even when under the land use Act the governors who have control over lands have rejected open grazing is definitely going to lead to more and more violence and killings even as no effort is made to disarm the armed herders,” the group said in the statement.
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