By Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja
Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, has disagreed with former Lagos State governor and national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, over his call for the conversion of unused land to grazing reserves as a way of resolving herdsmen violence.
Addressing a National Summit jointly promoted by The Nation Newspapers and Television Continental (TVC), where experts proffered solutions to the incessant herders/farmers clashes across the country Tuesday, Tinubu had suggested that “Unoccupied, isolated land can quickly be turned into grazing areas in the affected states.”
But Afenifere, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin, said the APC chieftain’s proposal was unacceptable.
According to him, “The attention of Afenifere has been drawn to the statement credited to former Lagos Governor, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, that the herdsmen terror being witnessed across the country is a fallout of water scarcity and that the country should “convert unused land to grazing reserves.
“Since most of the states in the country are being affected, it is sad that Tinubu is adumbrating the Miyetti Allah position to convert the entire country into one huge cattle colony. We totally reject this position as it is very backward in modern time and contrary to the consensus of all peace-loving Nigerians that what we need to solve the herdsmen siege on farmers is to have ranches.”
The group, which comprise notable Yoruba leaders said: “We admonish him that he is free to play his politics the way it suits him but he should thread softly in playing games with the lives of our people by making outlandish propositions on issues on which positions have been settled. We stand on the position of the 2014 National Conference that the country should embrace ranching as a way out of the herdsmen crisis.
“Let those who are in position to take decision know this clearly: Tinubu can give his residence in Bourdillon for cattle colony but our people will not accept their land being converted into cattle grazing routes.”