There was unusual apprehension on the part of the people of Imo State nay South East and South South following reported plans by the Federal Government to package a bill for an Act to create grazing reserves in states across the country.
This unusual tension and fear as expressed by the People of the afore mentioned geo-political zones stemmed from what has been described as the increasing spate of a new phenomenon of criminal audacity that has apparently continued to remain the standing ethos of some people from the northern part of Nigeria since President Muhammadu Buhari’s ascendency in 2015.
A hitterto peaceful, stick-wielding Fulani nomadic cattle rearers have, all of a sudden turned merchants of death, invading, raiding and massacring innocent Nigerians, in towns and villages reminiscent of South Sudan’s Janjaweed-styled precision. More astonishing is the fact that these Fulani herders usually get away with their atrocious crime with little or no challenge from authorities and agencies saddled with the responsibility of protecting lives and property of citizens.
The climax was the mindless commando-type invasion of Nimbo, Uzo Uwani community of Enugu where scores of lives of people were abruptly quenched by the marauding cow masters. Houses and churches were razed while farms have been destroyed by voracious-grazing cows.
This unsavoury development which not only hieghtened fears of the people but also reinforced their growing uncertainly over what could be their fate should these armed-to-teeth herdsmen be allowed to co-habit with them by way of the proposed grazing reserves.
Conscious of this growing apprehension and tension among Imolites and the people of South East and South South over the proposed grazing bill and grazing reserves, and the imperative of peace as sine-qua-non for socio-economic development, Imo State House of Assembly under the rulership of Rt. Hon. Acho Ihim scored another first by galvanizing the eleven (11) States Houses of Assembly in organizing the first Inter-Parliamentary Joint Session of South East, South South Assemblies with the theme:
“Alternatives to Militancy and Harmonisation of South East/South South position on Grazing Reserve Proposal.”
Gallery vibes noted the echoes from that stormy session in Owerri where the State Assembly joined the other 10 sister State Assemblies of the South East and South South geo-political zones in unequivocally rejecting the controversial grazing bill and grazing reserve proposal. Gallery Vibes condemns any attempt to take our land and give it out for rearing cows, because the people of Imo State and by extension, the South East and South South are not known for rearing cows. We are basically farmers and traders. The leadership of the Imo House of Assembly deserves kudos for this ingenious and proactive move.
The people have rejected the grazing bill and grazing reserve proposal, pronto! Now those who agree say, ‘AYE’…, the AYES have it!