BY SAM EYOBOKA
UMBRELLA body of Christians in the country, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has rejected the proposal to establish grazing reserves across the country as a means of resolving the protracted fracas between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in various parts of the country which has resulted in thousands of deaths and destruction of farmlands.
Reacting to a news report that the Federal Government had approved the constitution of a committee to work out the modalities for establishing grazing reserves across the country, the National President of CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor said such proposal was absolutely unacceptable to the Christian community which has been at the receiving end of a grand plan to Islamise the nation.
The CAN president said the proposal, which emerged at the end of National Economic Council meeting presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo is another grand design to Islamise the nation.
He said Fulani herdsmen is another chapter of Boko Haram, warning that if President Goodluck Jonathan accepts the proposal he should be ready for the consequences.
According to Pastor Oritsejafor, Christians in the country will not fold their arms while the Federal Government unilaterally hand over their farmlands to Fulani herdsmen for grazing reserves, which will in a few years be converted to Hausa-Fulani emirates with emirs across the nation.
“Is there any other tribe in this country that can do these things for three years running now and get away with it? This culture of impunity must stop. The best way to tackle clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers head on is for the Federal Government to first and foremost investigate the source of arms supply to the herdsmen before the clashes grow out of control.
“Two, we must establish grazing reserves for them in their own locale where the government can establish modern facilities, including schools, hospitals and such facilities that will make life conducive for them and their families bearing in mind that in other nations of the world, cows are not on parade on highways as we have here,” he lamented.
According to the CAN president, it is regrettable that certain leaders of the same tribe could hold a press conference where they accused the government of Benue State of masterminding the mayhem that has left hundreds of people dead in that state, noting “and Police did not arrest them. They were actually admitting that they sent these people and yet Police let them go.
“Except somebody is being economical with the truth, there is no where in the civilized world where cattle rearers walk long distances with cows on the streets. All across Europe and America, cow owners have permanent settlements, where they graze and slaughter their cows while refrigerated vehicles take the meat to different parts of the country for distribution,” he stated.
The fiery cleric urged President Jonathan to find out why nobody had been prosecuted despite the huge number of casualties recorded in clashes in Benue, Plateau, Nasarawa, Delta, Edo, Ondo and several parts of the country, insisting that you don’t solve a hydra-headed monster like Fulani herdsmen by ordering the takeover of people land across the country where they perpetrate more havoc in the hinterlands.