Apex Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere has slammed the APC national leader, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, for advising the Federal Government to convert unused land to grazing reserves, stressing that the former Lagos governor can convert his Bourdillon residence in Lagos to colony for cattle herders but mustn’t with people’s lives through outlandish propositions.
Tinubu had while speaking at The Nation/TVC seminar in Abuja on Monday, explained that the desertification in most parts of the North had caused herders to move southward with their cattle in search of greener pastures contrary to insinuations.
The APC leader, who was represented by an Executive Commissioner of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Sunday Dare, said, “An acutely thirsty man remembers neither Bible nor Quran very well until his thirst is quenched. Dire need often pushes a man to behave as if bereft of compassion for a person in equally dire circumstance.
“No doubt the problem has exacerbated during the past decade. We must assume climate change plays a role.”
Speaking on solutions to curb the herdsmen crisis, Tinubu called on the federal government to immediately convert unused land to grazing routes as this will curb incessant clashes between farmers and herdsmen.
“The government must help herders gradually shift from their traditional nomadic existence to a more static lifestyle. We have to face the reality that modernity is making the nomadic way counterproductive and inefficient.
“Unoccupied, isolated land can quickly be turned into grazing areas in the affected states. In the long run, this will enable herders to better maintain their livestock and thus their own livelihood,” he added.
Reacting in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin, on Tuesday, Afenifere stated that the ex-governor was only endorsing the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association’s position to convert the entire country into a cattle colony.
While noting that the APC chieftain was free to play politics the way he liked, Afenifere rejected his advice to the federal government, reiterating its stand on the recommendation of the 2014 National Conference which affirmed ranching as a way out of the killings by herdsmen.
It said, “We totally reject this position as it is very backward in modern times and contrary to the consensus of all peace-loving Nigerians that what we need to solve the herdsmen’s siege on farmers is to have ranches.
“Senator Tinubu has lived in very enlightened societies like the United States and Britain; If he was still living in any of such countries, would he suggest that grazing routes should be established at this age and time.”
“We admonish him that he is free to play his politics the way it suits him but he should tread softly in playing games with the lives of our people by making outlandish propositions on issues which have been settled.
“Tinubu can give his residence in Bourdillon for cattle colony but our people will not accept their land being converted into cattle grazing routes,” Afenifere added.