- The people of Ebonyi have no land for ranching, the state governor, Dave Umahi has revealed on national television
- Umahi made this disclosure following President Muhammadu Buhari’s plan to make sure that states key into his plan on cattle rearing
- According to the governor, the issue of land is a very tricky thing that gets people angry all the time
In what will come as a big blow to the All Progressives Congress (APC) led federal government, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi state has revealed the position of his people on the issue of cattle rearing.
According to the governor, his people have no land to give out for cattle ranching.
Governor Umahi stated this while appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ on Monday, June 14.
PM news added that Umahi said each state in the southeast already has laws banning open grazing and as such, it is way off as he is a servant to his people.
“This is not about the governors, it is about the people, so, whatever position the people take in this regard, that is what will happen. There is no land in this regard that is not owned by individuals, corporate bodies.
“So, this is beyond governors and that is the truth. People calling governors are making a very grievous mistake. Even if I say as a governor in southeast, I want people from this village, I want you to donate this land, the question is: will they allow it?”
Old grazing reserves law applied only to northern states
Meanwhile, a human rights lawyer, Chief Femi Falana (SAN), says the Grazing Reserves Act of 1964 was only applicable to northern Nigeria in the 1960s.
The respected lawyer said the Grazing Reserves Act of 1964 was not a law of general application because
Douye Diri rejects Buhari’s directive
In a related development, the governor of Bayelsa state, Douye Diri has rejected Buhari’s directive for states to reactivate cattle grazing routes across the country.
Diri stated that restoring grazing routes would not apply to Bayelsa state as the government’s ban on open grazing is backed by law.
The governor insisted that Bayelsa state has no grazing routes because the people are predominantly fishermen.
Afenifere, Ohanaeze, others kick
Similarly, groups like Afenifere, Ohanaeze, and PAN Niger-Delta Forum have all kicked against the statement by the president.
The sociocultural groups insist that the power to allocate land is vested in governors and not the president.
They also stated that the system of grazing routes is archaic and has no place in modern animal husbandry.