By Peter Okutu
ABAKALIKI— THE Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, led by Uchenna Madu, weekend, urged South-South and South- East lawmakers to jointly oppose the passage of the controversial grazing bill before the National Assembly, claiming it could lead to the outbreak of crisis in the country.
In a statement issued in Abakaliki, the Deputy Leader of MASSOB, Chief Okechuku Ekwe who alleged that the grazing bill if passed into law would pave way for herdsmen to takeover peoples’ land at will for grazing purposes, called on the people of Biafra and Oduduwa to rise up and reject the bill as it was a subtle design to mortgage the future and survival of the owners of the land.
The statement read in part:”MASSOB advises and warns the Southeast and South south members of National Assembly over the subtle dangers of grazing bill. We wish to open the eyes of the people of Biafra on the dangers of the Hausa Fulani sponsored grazing bill. According to information on the proposed grazing bill currently on the floor of House of Representatives for passage, the Bill will create a Council to be chaired by a Chairman to be appointed by the President. The Council shall have the power to take your land anywhere the land is located in the country and then pay you compensation.
“Your land, when taken shall be assigned to herdsmen who shall use it for grazing purposes. They shall bring cows to the land and you shall lose the land permanently to those herdsmen. If you feel that the council was not right to take your land, you can go to court but before you go to court, you must first of all notify the Federal Attorney General of your intention to sue the Council.
“Apart from notifying, you must get the consent and authority of the Federal Attorney General before you can sue. So that means that if the Attorney General refuses to give his consent to the suit, you have lost your land forever to the herdsmen. And this law, when passed, shall apply to the whole country so it means that even your land in the village or anywhere is not safe. The National Grazing Reserve Council would have the power to take away your land from you anytime they want and pay you whatever they want as compensation (even when you don’t want to sell, and remember that for you to get compensation, you must have documents showing or proving ownership).
“MASSOB implores the people of Biafra and Oduduwa to rise up and reject this Bill. It is a subtle design to mortgage the future and survival of our people. The people of Biafra and Oduduwa must do everything possible to force our National Assembly members to desist from passing that bill into law. That bill is a deliberate attempt to take our lands and hand the land over to the Fulani cattlemen since it is only the Fulani’s that rear cattle in Nigeria.