Grazing reserve not solution to herdsmen’s menace, says Gowon
Former Head of State Gen. Yakubu Gowon GCFR has reiterated that grazing reserve will not solve the constant clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria. He spoke during the synod lecture/award of the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion, Oleh Diocese, held at St. Paul’s Church, Araya, Isoko South local government area of Delta State.
The event was put together by the diocesan Bishop John U. Aruakpor. Gowon, in a lecture delivered by Professor Jerry Gana, a former minister for information and culture, said grazing reserve was not the answer, emphasizing that there is no free land anywhere as it belongs to various communities.
He stressed that taking somebody else land and donating it to another person is inhuman, noting that land matters are very sensitive matters anywhere in the world. ” We must be fair, just and equitable in land administration in the local government and Nation at large” emphasizing that injustice leads to violent and protests. He urged the federal government to ensure fairness, justice and equity, adding that the matter must be resolved now..
Gowon enjoined Christians to unite and be truthful to their neighbors, noting that Christians are members of one body and quoted Ephesians 4: 25. He emphasized that in winning together, we must come together as one family in our church, community, local government, State and the Nation. He said, ” if we must win together, there must be another look at the National conference held in 2014 and find solution to the problem facing our Nation”.
He reiterated that the federal structure must be fair, balanced and equitable, noting that power must be shared between the federating units and the center. Gowon said:” Resolving fiscal federalism must be on revenue mobilization, allocation and control of who gets what, where and how much is fundamental and important for the people to live together in peace”.
He said security and welfare of the people is the primary responsibility of the government, adding that matters of community people must be given urgent attention as life is very important. He condemned the killing of innocent lives in various parts of Nigeria.
Gowon said the implementation of the National Conference six hundred resolutions for accurate structuring and equal distribution of recourses was imperative, noting that the sanctity of human lives is very important and urged all for peaceful co-existence in Nigeria.
Aruakpor, in a welcome address, highlighted the significance of the 2017 year synod to include, a miracle bible found in an Araya farmland, Isoko South local government area in 1914 by Mrs. Ofuonwaikie. He noted that the site where the bible was found till date is a place of miracle and tourism to the South South region and beyond.
Araukpor added that the Bible site in recent times has become not only a tourist attraction but an important prayer home for Christians.He emphasized that the synod lecture was designed to unite traditional rulers as well as religious and political leaders of Isoko, Urhobo Itsekiri, Ijaw and Ukwani ethnic nationalities of the Niger Delta in pursuit of peace, progress and development of the area.
Aruakpor stated that the diocesan prestigious award of honor is in appreciation and celebration of those who have contributed to the development of individuals, the various communities, the church, the Isoko ethnic nationality and Nigeria through good leadership, philanthropy and investments in Isokoland that has provided employment for some of the youths and women.