In Jos, the duo of former governor and Senator representing Plateau North in the National Assembly, Jonah David Jang and Istifanus Gyang who’s a member representing Barkin Ladi/Riyom Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, have in separate statements rejected grazing reserve policy, describing it as anti-people.
In the statement signed by Mr. Clinton Garuba, an aide to Mr. Jang, the senator said:
“For the Federal Government, which owns NO CATTLE to connive with willing state governors to impose a grazing reserve policy on helpless citizens who have suffered the brunt of rampaging herdsmen in recent past, is not only an abuse of their rights, but an assault on their already battered psyche; and this must be vehemently resisted.”
Senator Jang said his position on grazing reserve policy remains the same both on the floor of the Senate and at any other forum that Plateau people have no land to cede the Federal Government or any group for grazing.
“As a people, who have experienced the atrocities of those who seek to take over their land by whatever means, Plateau people must be resilient in rejecting any law or request that seeks to tamper with their heritage, not even the involvement of the government of the day should deter them.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Gyang, in a statement signed by his media aide, Mr. Chuwang Dungs, cautioned Lalong against taking actions that would be regretted in the long-run, noting that it could plunge the state into crisis in the aftermath.
He warned that no portion of lands within his constituency should be gazette for such grazing plan because his people vehemently disagree with it.
“The Federal Government being aware that it has no constitutional powers to administer land matters, has resorted to the powers vested on governors under Section 2 of the Land Use Act embedded in Section 315 (5d) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) by seeking the consent and approval of willing governors to allocate land within their states for the implementation of the grazing reserve policy.
“My take on this matter as it relates to Plateau State, especially the Barkin Ladi/Riyom Federal Constituency which I represent, is this: my constituency is just recovering from over a decade of violent attacks, and our lands are still under forceful occupation by herdsmen. The constituency or any part thereof cannot be within the contemplation of housing a grazing reserve.”
Lately, there has been objections to the creation of grazing reserves for cattle from other state governors who claimed it would not be in the best interest of the people to harbour herdsmen and their cattle in their region.
Earlier, the Sokoto state Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwla voted to rear cattle only in the northern region of Nigeria for logical reasons which he believe will benefit both herdsmen and the people.