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CAN to FG: Why do you give preferential treatment to cattle rearers?

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By Dennis Agbo

ENUGU- THE Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, in Southern part of Nigeria, has challenged the federal government to explain reason why it gives preferential treatment to cattle rearers and turns back against other forms of farming.

Herdsmen with their cows
CAN issued the query in a statement, weekend, against the background of concerns raised by the suspended RUGA settlement project.
It however cautioned the people of Southern Nigeria to remain cautious even with the suspension of the controversial RUGA settlement for Fulani herdsmen.

In a press statement issued by Secretary of CAN in the 17 Southern States, Dr. Joseph Ajujungwa, the body of clergy said the suspension of the programme by President Muhammadu Buhari may not be the end of the matter.

It suspected that there was every indication that underground work was still going on over the RUGA Project.

He called on every Southerner to be watchful, stressing that even as the churches pray, they don’t need to keep quiet on such matters.

Ajujungwa said “We do not have land to give to anybody as a grazing field or colony and we call on the South East Governors to maintain their stand that they do not have such a place. Do you know what it means to give 10 hectares of land to herdsmen? We say no to that.

“As CAN, we will preach it from our pulpit, every Imam should peach from the mosque and the traditionalists should stand against it; nobody should relent; no land should be given; any traditional ruler that does that should be dethroned.

“In the North, we have largest hectares of land, very vast that nobody is occupying. Why are they not building the ranches, RUGA or whatever there? They can come here, take grass and go, and we buy cows in exchange, just like the governors said. We do not have such mass land required.

“We are also calling on the Federal Government to be mindful of what they are doing because cattle rearing is a private farming business. Why should the government support individual cattle farmers against other farmers?”

On the threat and ultimatum issued by a coalition of Northern Youths, Ajujungwa said “they should understand that nobody has the monopoly of violence. As they are planning to attack, others are planning to defend themselves and we cannot run away for them.

“CAN is calling on all Christians, all law abiding citizens of the Southern Nigeria to please watch and pray. Watch means that you must open your eyes to see what is going on and therefore pray; do not relent.

“Anybody that is coming to buy land now in the name of business, factory, and what have you, let us be cautious in dealing with the person, because their plot is to turn such into colony.”

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