By; Bayo Akamo, Ibadan.
The Yoruba Unity Forum tuesday asked the Federal Government to ban nomadic grazing in Nigeria with immediate effect.
Addressing a press conference in Ibadan on the state of the nation at the Premier Hotel, through its Chairman and leader, Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Bolanle Gbonigi, the forum frowned at the destruction of lives and property by herdsmen in some parts of the country, declaring that the herdsmen and their activities are presently constituting serious threat to national security.
The Yoruba Unity Forum kicked against the proposal by the Federal government to establish grazing reserves for herdsmen, saying “such a policy was clearly designed to favour a particular ethnic group”.
Also, the Forum urged all governors of the South west states to, as a matter of urgency, “send bills to their various Houses of assembly to pass legislations banning nomadic grazing in their various states” stressing that those engaged in cattle breeding should establish ranches henceforth.
The Forum maintained that the armed herdsmen have continued to abuse the hospitality of their host communities by attacking and killing innocent people, raping girls and women, burning houses, and destroying crops and farmland.
Lamenting “the lackadaisical attitude of government and security agencies in confronting these criminals who roam the streets of Nigeria with automatic weapons in broad daylight send mixed feelings signals and may compel citizens to take all necessary measures to defend themselves,” the forum asked traditional rulers, community leaders, youth organizations and hunters in the Southwest to put in place local vigilantes to protect and defend their people.
“We therefore call on the traditional rulers, community leaders, youth organizations and hunters in the Southwest to put in place local vigilantes to protect and defend their people as the government and security agents have demonstrated their unwillingness to defend them from aggression,”.
Speaking further, the Forum Chairman said Nigeria now needs a restructuring that would reflect true federalism where every region will develop according to their resources.
He also stressed that President Muhammadu Buhari should change his mind and implement the recommendations of the 2014 National conference “part of which is the restructuring of the country to allow each region to develop at their own pace”.
The Forum however lauded President Buhari for making “significant progress towards routing out the Boko Haram insurgents and restoring peace in the North East.”