Ijaw Group Warns against Proposed Grazing Bill, Condemns Bombing of Oil Facilities

By Emmanuel Addeh
The Ijaw Peoples Development Initiative, IPDI, on Sunday condemned the proposed grazing bill for herdsmen and warned the nomads to stay away from Ijaw lands wherever they exist in the country.
 The group stated that they would not condone any attacks against the Ijaw people and communities, stressing that the proposed grazing bill was meant to serve only a certain part of the country.
National President of the group, Mr. Austin Ozobo, said that it was surprising that the herdsmen would be allowed to go around with dangerous weapons, including AK47s, adding that the people of the region would  defend themselves if provoked.
He argued that it was unthinkable that the federal government would want to spend public money on what is strictly private business, thereby depriving the rest of the country of funds for developmental projects.
‘’ Grazing in Nigeria is a private business and these Fulani nomads do not pay tax to the government, therefore no such bill should be debated by the National Assembly.
“There is no free land for grazing in Ijaw domains, except government reserved lands, otherwise lands are owned by individuals and their permission have to be sought to engage in any activity on such lands or it will amount to trespass”, the IPDI affirmed.
The group described the grazing bill as barbaric, stressing that it would only promote unlawful killings against law abiding communities in other parts of Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the group has condemned the attack on a Chevron oil platform by suspected oil thieves and pipeline vandals claiming to be militants in the Niger Delta region.
A group, the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, had last week claimed responsibility for the attacks on a Chevron oil field in Abiteye, Warri South West Local Government Area , Delta State.