Cattle colonies: Buhari backs down

Merchant

President Muhammadu Buhari has backed down on his controversial plan to create cattle colonies across Nigeria.

Various states and groups had openly rejected Buhari’s plan to seize land in every state to create cattle colonies.

He, however, said on Saturday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State that he lacks such powers.

He noted that only governors and local government chairmen have powers under the Land Use Act of 1978 to acquire lands in urban and rural areas respectively.

He made the declaration at the South-South meeting of the National Committee of Buhari Support Groups where he was represented by his Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters, Ita Enang.

He explained that the Land Use Act gave powers to only state governors and local government chairmen to control land within the states.

He said Nigeria had cattle routes from Chad to Niger down to the Atlantic in the past, adding that the land in the rural area were in the hands of local governments.

He said, “When Nigeria created states, each of the states made laws to regulate rearing of animals. In 1978, under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as Head of State, the Land Use Act was made. Under the Land Use Act, the President of Nigeria has power to control lands in Abuja only.

“Under the Act, under Section 2 of the Land Use Act, land in urban areas of each of the state of the Federation shall be vested on the governor. Now, subsection 1(2b) says land in the rural areas shall be vested on the local government chairman of that area.”

Earlier, an ex-House of Representatives member, Mr. Ogbonna Nwuke, described Buhari as a brand for Niger Delta for the 2019 presidential election.

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