Lawmaker rejects grazing policy in Plateau
A Member of the House of Representatives in Plateau State, Istifanus Gyang, has rejected the plan to create grazing reserves in Plateau State.
The lawmaker representing Barkin Ladi/Riyom Federal Constituency at the National Assembly, in a statement signed by his media aide, Mr. Chuwang Dungs, cautioned the Plateau State government against taking actions capable of plunging the state into crisis.
He said no portion of lands within his constituency should be gazetted for such grazing plans, adding that his people are opposed to such move.
“The fact that several individuals and families have been ravaged by previous attacks and that the victims are yet to be rehabilitated, I wonder why these helpless victims will further be agonised with a policy that could put further suffering on them,” he said, adding that the primary concern of the government now “should be provision of justice for victims of the attacks, finding ways of rehabilitating them and exploring ways of fostering peace and harmony in the communities, instead of using political tools and instruments to further divide the people.”
Continuing, he said, “One issue that recently generated concern and heated debate in Nigeria is the decision by the Federal Government to create Grazing Reserves. This policy decision may have been taken out of the desire to seek a solution to the increasing spate of herdsmen insurgency that has devastated many farming communities across the nation,” the statement added.
He said the Federal Government is aware that it has no constitutional powers to administer land matters; hence it resorted to the governors for their consent and approval for allocation of land for the implementation of the Grazing Reserves Policy.
“My take on this matter as it relates to Plateau State, especially the Barkin Ladi/Riyom Federal Constituency, which I represent –a constituency that is fast recovering from over a decade of violent attacks and a people whose lands are still under forceful occupation by herdsmen, is that the constituency or any part thereof, should not, ought not and cannot be within the contemplation of housing a Grazing Reserve,” he insisted.