The fireworks between National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, and Afenifere on the suggestion that unoccupied land be converted into grazing reserve continued on Thursday, as Afenifere has chided Tinubu’s rebuttal that he did not mention the South West in the suggestion as only playing with the intelligence of Nigerians.
Tinubu, in a statement on Wednesday, had provided clarifications on his suggestions at a two-day Conflict Resolution Summit, stating that he did not mention South West in particular when he stated that unoccupied, isolated land could be turned into grazing areas in the affected states.
However, Afenifere, in Thursday’s statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin, said it was against any suggestion capable of harming any part of the country.
Afenifere described Tinubu’s position that South West was not part of the affected states as a desperate bid to be in the good books of Miyetti Allah.
Furthermore, Afenifere regarded Tinubu’s suggestion that the federal government should take over lands as contradictory to federalism principles which vests in governors the ownership of land, adding that cattle herders should rather apply to governors for land allocation if they want to set up ranches.
Afenifere’s statement read, “I have gone through the hiding-behind-a-finger response by former Lagos State Governor, Senator Bola Tinubu to Afenifere’s disagreement with his suggestion that the Federal Government should take over unoccupied and isolated lands in the country and convert them into grazing reserve, a demand Miyetti Allah has always put on the table.
“But for someone who has lived a life of denials, there is nothing for Tinubu to rebut in the offensive suggestion as all his playing with the intelligence of the public only said he did not mention the South West in the suggestion as if the zone is not part of Nigeria. Assuming this is even true, Afenifere means that the good we want for ourselves is what we want for others.
“We would not support any suggestion that put any section of the country in harm’s way.
“That Tinubu has maintained sinful silence as herdsmen launched vicious attacks on the South West and other sections of the country with thousands of lives lost in the last three years does not remove the fact those who wear the shoe know where it pinches.
“He can play all the ostrich he wants but we know he was mute when herdsmen kidnapped Chief Olu Falae. He could not find his voice when herders killed people in hordes in Yewa, Oke Ogun, Akure, Ekiti and the Middle Belt.
“Neither did I hear a word from Tinubu when herdsmen kidnapped and killed a Permanent Secretary in Osun (where Tinubu and I are from).
“How can he say South West is not part of the affected states in a desperate bid to be in the good book of Miyetti Allah and its patrons?
“It is also a total disintegration for Tinubu who postures as a federalist when it suits him to suggest that the Federal Government should “take over” lands that are vested in the Governors for the use of Cattle herders who are doing private business and who should apply to the State Executives for land allocation if they want to do ranches.”