Northern CAN demands ranches, restructuring of Nigeria

Posted by News Express | 29 June 2017 | 1,259 times

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The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the 19 northern states and Federal Capital Territory have called on the states that have suffered the ravages of herdsmen attacks to legalise ranching and establish enforcement mechanisms to deal with defaulters.

This is part of resolutions reached at an emergency meeting of the group held in Kaduna State to review the state of the nation.

CAN Chairman in the 19 Northern states , Reverend Yakubu Pam, who read out the communique to reporters at the end of the meeting, says enacting laws to curtail the activities of herdsmen in the states across the country will reduce the incessant clashes between farmers and herdsmen which often led to loss of lives and property.

While frowning at the incessant attacks of innocent people by suspected herdsmen across the country, the Christian body appealed to both Federal and state governments to enact grazing laws to checkmate the menace, as well as encouraging herdsmen to purchase land and set up ranches in any part of the country for their business.

The group, while condemning the agitation for separation from Nigeria by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the quit notice ultimatum issued to Igbo by the Arewa Youth Organisations, also called for the restructuring of Nigeria’s current political arrangement, which it says will make governance more efficient and productive as well as addressing the various socioeconomic and security challenges including the herdsmen/farmers clashes.

The group said: “We recognise the right of groups and individuals to agitate for whatever rights for the growth and progress of their people but also wish to say that any agitation that goes to the extreme with the use of words and violent conduct is wrong and not good for our collective unity and progress as a nation.

“We, therefore, call on the agitators in every part of this country to consider our togetherness more expedient and productive than any sectional interests.

“We also wish to make it clear that we are stakeholders in the region called ‘North’ or ‘Arewa.’ “We, therefore, condemn the hasty and ill-informed display of lack of thoughtfulness by a group by the name ‘Arewa Youths’ and their sponsors asking Igbo to leave the north of Nigeria with a timeline.

“Let the world know that we disassociate ourselves from this call, and after consultation with Christian youths across the region of northern Nigerian (Arewa), they too have condemned the pronouncement in the strongest term and disassociated themselves from the so-called group. We support Government and all groups that have publicly condemned this act and any other divisive call by any group in this country.

“We are appealing to all the Igbo living and undertaking businesses in the North to keep calm and not be daunted. But instead, they should strategise how to expand their businesses and services in the region. They are fellow Nigerian citizens whom we love so dearly and appeal to them to consider the utterances and actions of the so-called ‘Arewa Youths’ as an aberration, and not a Northern collective standpoint in any way.

“The government must also ensure the protection of all Nigerians wherever they choose to live in this great country. In addition, we call on all Nigerians to desist from threatening one another as we should be our brothers’ keepers. Without a doubt, nations are built and sustained by unity, not division.

“The government should as a matter of urgency start considering the best ways that will address issues that have led to agitations by revisiting the last National Conference’s Report and get the National Assemblies to begin legislative processes of contentious matters.

“We, CAN in 19 Northern States, caution all those who are beating the drums of war to recognise that they are doing so for themselves because the equation of this country today has changed from that of 1967, and no one is ready and willing to sacrifice his/her life for an agenda that is not worth the expense such as that the agitators have contrived.

“Over the years, conflicts between farmers and herdsmen across the country had led to loss of thousands of lives and property. The bone of contention has always been land for grazing with farmers accusing herdsmen of destroying their farm lands. (Channels TV)

Source: News Express

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