Abuja – The House of Representatives, on Thursday, called on the acting Inspector General of Police (I-G), Mohammed Adamu, to withdraw the contingent of anti-riot policemen from Gagarawa farmlands and some villages in Jigawa.
This followed a motion under matters of urgent public importance by Rep Muhammed Zoro at plenary presided over by Speaker Yakubu Dogara in Abuja.
Zoro, who represents Gumei/Gagarawa/Mai Gatari/Sule/Tankarkar Federal Constituency, said the call became necessary in order to forestall unnecessary killings or maiming of innocent lives and destruction of property.
According to him, this will also put a stop to the harassment and intimidation of my constituents.
“The house is concerned by the renewed harassment, intimidation and detention of helpless peasant farmers by a contingent of gun-wielding, anti-riot (mobile) policemen deployed to Gayawar Malam, Garin Chiroma, Kore Sabuwa, Dan Nani and other villages and farmlands at the behest of a Chinese company- Northern Agri-Business ltd.
“The house is aware that the act of massive land-grabbing under the guise of developmental projects has been a principal source of internal displacement everywhere.
“This is prohibited by both the United Nations Guiding Principles Against Displacement and the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (Kampala Convention) both of which Nigeria is signatory to.
“The house is conscious of the fact that no Nigerian will be allowed to dispossess Chinese of their own land in China.
“Therefore, as a patriotic Nigerian citizen and a legislator, it is part of my constitutional responsibilities to defend the interest of my country and its people even at the expense of threats to my life,” he said.
According to him, the Lee Group of Companies of which Northern Agri-Business Ltd., is a member has so far grabbed no less than 100, 000 hectares of farmlands in its predatory activities in Jigawa alone and most of which has only been fenced in the last 8 years without utilisation by Nigerians or the Chinese invaders.
Zoro alleged that the Chinese company might have disposed Nigerians of an estimated 500, 000 hectares worth of farmlands according to private investigations into its unacceptable activities in Jigawa, Kano, Bauchi and Niger states.
“The house is aggrieved that the affected peasant farmers have not been given suitable and alternative farmlands, or were forced to receive paltry compensation as low as N3, 000, or swindled by local collaborators and state authorities,” he said.
When the Speaker, put the motion on voice vote, the members unanimously supported it.
The house, therefore, urged the I-G to render the police report which investigated complaints of bribery and corruption associated with the compensation exercise earlier conducted by state and local authorities.
It also invited the Board and Management of Lee Group to appear before the ad hoc committee of the house in order to unravel the truth about the matter.
The house called on the ICPC and the EFCC to investigate the allegations of massive bribery, corruption and money laundering leveled against local, state and federal collaborators in the case.(NAN)