Fulani herdsmen: Bayelsa warns against politicisation of grazing area

Posted by News Express | 10 February 2017 | 2,796 times

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Fulani herdsmen and their cattle.

The Bayelsa State Government has warned against the politicisation of its decision to designate the Bayelsa palm as a grazing site for Fulani herdsmen and their cattle.

Reacting to reports in the media, the Special Adviser to the Bayelsa State Governor on Security Matters, Chief (Dr.) Boma Spero-Jack, noted that the security implications of the decision, by far outweigh the political consideration and should be treated as such.

According to him, the Government had deliberately set up the Committee on the Management and Control of Ranches, which included representatives of the various arms of the security agencies, youths, the traditional rulers and other relevant groups, because of the need to properly monitor the activities of the herdsmen, with a view to ensuring that, they do not breach the existing security, law and order in the state, and even if any crises arises could be timely nipped in the bud.

Chief Spero-Jack, therefore, debunked the report, credited to Ijaw human rights activist and front line campaigner for resource control, Annkio Briggs, that Governor Seriake Dickson donated land belonging to the Ijaw Nation to Fulani herdsmen to graze their cattle.

The Security Adviser described the claims purportedly made by Annkio Briggs as spurious, misinformed, an act of mischief and a deliberate attempt to paint the Governor in bad light before the Ijaw Nation.

While condemning the calls for protest against Governor Dickson, he explained that, the Governor did not at any time donate land to Fulani herdsmen, but rather provided a land space at the Bayelsa Palm area to restrict the herdsmen and prevent their cattle from straying about and destroying peoples’ farmlands and crops, stressing that, the Government took the decision to avoid any conflicts that could arise between the herdsmen and Bayelsans, as a result of their grazing activities, while also boosting the State’s IGR, as the herdsmen are made to pay some stipulated amount of money on the regular basis into the Government coffers.

Chief Spero-Jack pointed out that, the waste from the cattle will also serve as manure to make the soil within the Bayelsa palm estate more fertile for future cultivation.

He went on to call on Bayelsans and indeed the peace loving people of the Ijaw Nation to completely disregard the reports, as Governor Dickson means well for the Ijaw people and will not do anything that will place his people in a disadvantageous position politically, economically and otherwise.

“Having served as Legal Adviser to the Ijaw National Congress, INC at some point, Governor Dickson is fully aware of the Ijaw position in the affairs of the country and will continue to introduce and implement policies and programmes that, will project and protect the overall interest of the Ijaws, both at home and in the Diaspora at all times,” Chief Spero-Jack said.

He, however, noted with satisfaction, the fears and feelings being expressed by Annkio Briggs and other patriotic Ijaw sons and daughters, but urged them to always cross check their facts before taking very sensitive issues such as this to the public domain.

Source: News Express

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