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Thursday, July 18, 2024

The National Grazing Reserve Bill: The Greatest Evil Of All, By Femi Fani-Kayode

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[dropcap]O[/dropcap]n April 18, 2016 Mr. Okonkwo Afamefuna wrote the following on his Facebook wall:

“I decided to read a copy of the National Grazing Reserve Bill and I was surprised at what I saw. The Bill creates 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 your land for grazing purposes. They shall bring cows to the land and you shall lose the land permanently to those Fulani cattlemen”. This is the Sudan downloading right here in Nigeria.

On April 18th Mr. Gabriel Ogbonnaya wrote the following on his Facebook wall:

“I decided to read a copy of the National Grazing Reserve Bill and I was surprised at what I saw. The Bill creates a commission to be chaired by a Chairman to be appointed by the president, to be confirmed by the senate. The commission 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 your land for grazing purposes. They shall bring cows to the land and you shall lose the land permanently to those cattlemen.

If you feel that the commission 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 commission. 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 your land in the village or anywhere is not safe.

The National Grazing Reserve Commission 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). So I think that we all in the South West, South South and South East must rise up and reject this Bill.

We must do all things to force our national Assembly members 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 Fulanis that rear cattle in Nigeria. That law, when passed, shall fulfill the directive of Uthman Dan Fodio and other northern leaders to take over other parts of Nigeria. I implore you to use all available means to implore your senator and Rep not to pass that law. That law will destroy Nigeria. All over the world, ranches are established and used to rear cattle. The farmers buy land and put there cattle there. There is no country where the land of the citizens are compulsorily acquired and given to others.

This is evil, and designed to favor the Fulanis where the President comes from. We must resist the passage of that bill into law to save Nigeria, and to protect our future generations”. This is Yugoslavia and Rwanda unfolding right here in Nigeria.

On April 18th 2016 Mr. Duru Collins wrote the following on his Facebook wall:

“This National Grazing Reserve Bill if passed into law will just mark the beginning of apartheid in our country. When the government of Zimbabwe collected land from the white people who naturalised there the whole world worked against President Robert Mugabe. Sanctions were stiffened against his regime even though the whites in Zimbabwe were not African by origin. In our country today there are people that are not Nigerians by origin and these people are making laws to take over our inheritance. This nation will burn once this law is passed”. This is Lebanon and Zimbabwe downloading right here in Nigeria.

On 19th April 2016 Mr. Oyinemi Nicholas Endeley wrote the following on Facebook:

“The National Grazing Reserve Bill is the ticket to kill us ALL down south. This is not the time to sit and watch evil triumph over good. I have called the Senator representing me and I have spoken common sense to his senses! He KNOWS what this is all about NOW. Listen people of God, it’s time to get angry!

You will come to understand how devilish Buhari’s APC government is the moment you realise they are talking about a Bill that will protect the Fulani militants who, according to the Global Terror Index, are ”the 4th deadliest terrorist group” in the world, and neglect tens of thousands of victims that have suffered gory attacks by these daredevils.

This government is gradually telling us their priorities and it’s clear the lives of the southerners are not their priority. THIS GOVERNMENT IS EVIL. The ploy is on. They want to send the Trojan horses to our walls. They want to start the war from our lands. They will fail. They can’t send their militants here in the guise of herdsmen. Those herdsmen don’t own those cows, the rich Fulanis do. And I know their plans.

Subsequently I will tell you guys more, you will be shocked. But for now, please get on your phones and call those representing you. Tell them not to accept this Trojan horse. It will burn our region, it will kill our children’s future. Let idiots that are southerners keep supporting APC. They don’t care about you, they don’t. You will BURN if their plans work!” This is colonial India (before she won her independence from the British and broke three ways into Pakistan, Bangladesh and India) downloading right here in Nigeria.

Finally in an article titled ”The Outlaws Of Islam” (Premium Times, April 15th 2016), I wrote the following,

“And if they are still in any doubt about where all this is heading in the Nigerian context they should consider the following. On December 30th 1964, Mallam Bala Garba told the West African Pilot newspaper that:

”the conquest to the sea is now in sight. When our god-sent Ahmadu Bello said some years ago that our conquest will reach the sea shores of Nigeria, some idiots in the South were doubting its possibilities. Today have we not reached the sea? Lagos is reached. It remains Port-Harcourt. It must be conquered and taken”.

This is an eloquent expression of radical Islam, with its pervasive use of violence as a tool of conquest and subjugation, in its purest and most obvious form.

Inspired and equipped with this Janjaweed philosophy and ethos, the whole of core northern Nigeria was conquered by Sheik Usman Dan Fodio through the use of terror and by the power of the sword in the name of jihad. Millions of innocent non-Muslims were cut to pieces in the process.

Given the activities of Boko Haram and the Fulani herdsmen in our country today it appears that some in our shores are still interested in implementing that satanic agenda.

They wish to continue where Usman Dan Fodio stopped and they wish to ”dip the Koran in the Atlantic ocean”.

Their latest attempt is the introduction and proposal of what is known as the National Grazing Reserve Bill which will give the Fulani herdsmen the right to claim other peoples land all over the country and which will empower them by law to create their own settlements and communities in the territory of others.

Worse still under that law the government will be compelled to fund those settlements and put all that they need in terms of infrastructure in place for them. That is why our Minister of Agriculture is now talking about importing Brazilian grass for the Fulani herdsmen and their cattle.

This subtle and exceptionally brilliant attempt to infiltrate and conquer by guile and assimilation reminds me of the frightful laws that were put in place in the old wild western prairies of 19th century America.

Those laws gave the white settlers rights over the lands of the indigenous Red Indians and saw the Indians themselves subjected to genocide and ethnic cleansing and herded into barren reservations that were not fit for human habitation.

It was in this way that the “wild west” was conquered and the once proud and noble war-like Indian tribes of the western prairies were subjugated and subdued.

Sadly our legislators in the National Assembly from the south and the Middle simply do not appreciate and cannot comprehend the serious implications of what they are doing by supporting this evil legislation and neither will the consequences of their naivety and folly be suffered by their constituents until it is far too late.

If that law is ever passed and implemented, two years from that time we will regret it deeply as a nation because it will result in nothing but conflict, chaos and strife between the Fulani herdsmen and settlers on the one hand and the local indigenous population on the other.

The tragedy that unfolded in Jos, Plateau state between the indigenous Christian Beroms and the settler Muslim Fulani for many years is a graphic example of what will be replicated all over the south and the Middle Belt between the Fulani and the various local indigenous populations if that law is ever passed and implemented.

As a matter of fact it will be far worse than anything that Jos ever saw. The National Grazing Reserve Bill will not result in enhancing unity and peace but instead it will result in division, bloodshed, carnage and chaos”. My conclusion? This is Iraq, Syria and Libya unfolding right here in Nigeria.

When you create a conflict which has its roots in religion, ethnicity, land rights, the attempt to marginalize, dominate, subjugate and conquer others and the quest for liberation and freedom from slavery and bondage all mixed into one you are toying with a conflagration that will not only be simply horrendous and that will not only affect the whole of Africa but will also last for the next fifty years.

Let me be clear: the greatest evil that we are confronted with in Nigeria today is the National Grazing Reserve Bill. It is more evil than anything that we have ever seen before. It is more insidious and dangerous than anything that we can possibly imagine.

It will do more harm to us than Boko Haram and the Nigerian civil war put together and it will result in open war and the total disintegration of Nigeria. I am speaking prophetically and I am saying this under the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit. We must stop this cantankerous and divisive Bill from seeing the light of the day and being made into law. There are some things that are bigger, greater and more important than partisan politics and this is one of them.

We must all stand together regardless of our political affiliation and stop this evil Trojan horse from being smuggled into our ranks by those that seek to subjugate and conquer us. We must resist those that seek to strip us of our self-respect, self-worth, liberty and dignity.

We must stand up against those that seek to destroy us and rob us of our faith and our ancestral lands. We must say ‘’never’’ to those that seek to belittle and enslave us and that are hell bent on reducing us to nothing even within our own shores.

May God help our people and our country and may He deliver us from evil.

Femi-Fani Kayode is a lawyer, a Nigerian politician, an evangelical christian, an essayist, a poet and he was the Special Assistant (Public Affairs) to President Olusegun Obasanjo from July 2003 until June 2006. He was the minister of culture and tourism of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from June 22nd to Nov 7th 2006 and as the minister of Aviation from Nov 7th 2006 to May 29th 2007. He tweets from @realFFK.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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