Worried by the rate of clashes between herders and farmers in the South East geopolitical zone, a Chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo State, Senator Samuel Nnaemeka Anyanwu has condemned the idea of open gracing across the nation.
Senator Anyanwu therefore gave the nod for the establishment of ranches in various states, maintaining that the policy, when adopted would not only checkmate the movement of mercenaries and infiltrators, but capable of fostering peace across the country.
According to him, “open gracing remains the cause of incessant communal crises in Nigeria leading to wanton killings and destruction of properties”, pointing out that until the policy was played down, the country would continue to battle with insecurity.
Anyanwu, popularly known as SamDaddy further expressed worry over worsening Fulani herders and farmers’ crisis across the country with much emphasis to the South East, appealing to the Federal Government to assist the states to establish cattle ranches.
“Open gracing is illegal and unconstitutional. If the 1969 statutory laws of the federation banned it, who else has the right to reintroduce it.”
“Through Open gracing, the South East geopolitical zone in particular has lost their innocent citizens to herdsmen who roam about their farm lands, and destroy cash crops with impunity. I totally stand against it.”
“The only way to monitor these killer herdsmen and infiltrators in and around communities is to encourage the establishment of ranches. By so doing, the identities of every cattle rustlers will be documented and checkmated for security reasons. On the other way round, ownership of ranch, be it public or private, no one, even government has the right to grab people’s lands without proper compensation in the name of building ranch(s).”
The Ikeduru LGA born Lawmaker also expressed regret the manner in which top security chiefs of Igbo extraction were been retired whenever they were due to climb the highest security ladder, describing it as an orchestrated plot by enemies of the country to silence the Igbos from the security architecture of Nigeria.
Senator Anyanwu, a onetime Chairman of Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions further stressed that ownership of ranch by private individuals or state governments would address the recurring clashes between farmers and herders, wondering how the lapses could be curbed in the South East when her top security chiefs were booted out unceremoniously.
While calling on South East Governors to immediately summon a security meeting involving stakeholders and community leaders in the zone, added that such meeting would address the issue of open gracing, which is targeted at grabbing people’s lands in negation to the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria.