Afenifere, Ohanaeze Knock Buhari Over Grazing Routes Comment

The Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, and its counterpart in the South East, Ohanaeze Ndihbo have slammed President Muhammadu Buhari for planning to recover designated grazing routes in the country.

In an interview on Arise News on Thursday, Buhari had directed the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, to begin the process of recovering land from persons who have converted cattle grazing routes for their personal use.

Buhari said the grazing routes were designated in the 1st Republic when “Nigerians use to obey laws” but those routes had been converted.

Reacting to the directive, Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Jare Ajayi, described the president’s statement on plans to revive cattle routes and grazing areas as unpresidential and a big disappointment.

Ajayi stated that Buhari has violated the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which he swore to uphold by the statement as the constitution vests the authority over land in a state on the governor.

“Who designated specific routes as exclusively belonging to those who would be grazing cows? If you are doing this kind of thing in their own areas, it is understandable, that is their own area.

“I have not read anywhere that our forefathers sat down and agreed that these particular routes, maybe from Ogbomosho, to Saki or Badagry, for grazing.

“For us in Afenifere, the statement is unacceptable. We are solidly behind the governors from the South who banned open grazing,” he said.

Also reacting, Vice President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide, Chief Damian Ogene Okeke stated that there was no grazing route in the South East.

He regretted that instead of President Buhari concentrating on restoring the glory of the country, he wanted to revive grazing routes.

“I was expecting the president to call for a meeting of elders of various nationalities to discuss and proffer solutions to the nation’s insecurity. We need to meet ourselves and discuss the way forward for the country. It does not necessarily mean a national conference but we can have an elder meeting,” he said.