A popular Nigerian social media commentator and critic is worried over a statement credited to the Presidency that giving ancestral land for ranching is better than death.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, speaking on an AIT morning programme in response to a question on ancestral attachments to land said: “Ancestral attachment? You can only have ancestral attachment when you are alive. If you are talking about ancestral attachment, if you are dead, how does the attachment matter?
In his Twitter handle, Femi Fani-kayode, who is also former Minister of Aviation, Wednesday, enquired “In other words, you must surrender your ancestral lands to the Fulani or prepare to be slaughtered. You must give them your homes or they will take your lives.”
Similarly, he tweeted “Those that kill to steal the land of others should remember that there is a curse in the Bible reserved for them. It is known as the curse of Ahab. If you want to know what will happen to them to find how Ahab and his wife Jezebel ended after murdering Naboth for his vineyard.””
Recall the Presidency, Tuesday, charged those against the administration’s ranching and colony programmes for herdsmen to rethink, noting that they are better off living with the ranches and colonies than dying through the persisting conflicts.
Asked about the ancestral attachment by the people of those states to their lands, Adesina said, “Ancestral attachment? You can only have ancestral attachment when you are alive. If you are talking about ancestral attachment, if you are dead, how does the attachment matter?
“The National Economic Council that recommended ranching didn’t just legislate it, there were recommendations.
“So, if your state genuinely does not have land for ranching, it is understandable; not every state will have land for ranches. But where you have land and you can do something, please do for peace. What will the land be used for if those who own it are dead at the end of the day?”
Adesina further said the administration is doing its best to ensure peace throughout the country.
“There are different theatres of crises in the country and you may look at each theatre with its peculiarities. In the Middle Belt, it has its own peculiarities and what is the peculiarity of that, farmers-herders conflict. What has the government done?
“It has sent in security agencies starting with the police, later troops, later different operations by the military,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of the House of Representatives, said that history will be harsh on the present administration if it failed to stop the mass killing of innocent Nigerians.
Dogara, who stated this while welcoming members back from the Eid- El- Fitr holiday, said the killing of innocent Nigerians should be stopped immediately.
He said, “History will have a harsh verdict for us as a government if we fail to live up to this responsibility and it will not matter if we succeed in other areas.
“Unfortunately, the stark reality now is that our citizens are fast losing confidence in our security system.
“This must not be the case. Before we ebb to the realm of anarchy, we must rise as true representatives of the Nigerian people to salvage the situation and defend our hard won democracy.”
Dogara said the unresolved issue of rampant killings of defenseless people, including innocent and vulnerable children and women, in various parts of the country, called for sober reflection.
He added that there must be more concerted efforts by the National Assembly to exploit all its constitutional powers and privileges to ensure the protection of lives and property in the country by security agencies.