President Muhammadu Buhari says he does not have the constitutional power to create cattle colonies across the
According to the president, the Land Use Act of 1978 empowers only state governors and local government chairmen to control land in their domains.
He said this on Saturday at the south-south zonal meeting of the National Committee of the Buhari Support Groups (NCBSG) in Port Harcourt, Rivers state.
The president was represented by Ita Enang, a senator and his special adviser on national assembly matters.
“When Nigeria became four regions, we had cattle routes in each of the regions,” 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.”
The federal government had proposed the establishment of cattle colonies to curb the increasing cases of clashes between farmers and herdsmen.
Audu Ogbeh, minister of agriculture and rural development, had said “sixteen states have given us land
to work on”.
While Katsina, President Buhari’s state, has allocated 5,300 hectares of land for cattle colony, Rivers and Benue states said they have no land for the initiative.
Samuel Ortom, Benue state governor, had said: “Other states have the land but we in Benue state, we don’t have and that was what led to us enacting the anti-grazing law.”
Much recently, South West Progressive Youth and People Movement (SWPYPM), a civil society group, asked the federal government to convert Sambisa forest into a mega cattle colony.