Yendel O’Tarok Movement, a Socio-Cultural cum Economic Development group of the Tarok nation in Plateau State is in the strongest term, debunking, refuting and putting a big lie to the news item carried by PRTVC and NTA reports that the Tarok stakeholders rejected the grazing reserve policy but supports ranching policy. It was a no to grazing reserve and no to ranching.
Stakeholders therefore asked that the ranch issue must stop until a resolution is reached. Nomadic education rather than ranching was strongly advocated to curtail conflicts between herdsmen and farmers.
It is pertinent to note that the Tarok stakeholders did not come to a conclusion on the issue of ranching policy but the state and federal government electronic media houses, on self censorship, put words in the mouths of Tarok stakeholders that they have accepted the rejected ranching policy of the State and Federal Government.
For the purpose of clarity, the Tarok stakeholders meeting of Friday, 24th June, 2016 at the Langtang North LGC secretariat started at 1:00pm and lasted four hours. Convened by Langtang North and Langtang South LGAs in conjunction with Sen. J T Useni, Hon. Beni Lar, Hon. Amos Kumtul and Hon. Godffrey Lamdip, the meeting vehemently rejected grazing reserve but questioned the benefits of the grazing ranches.
80 percent of those who spoke were against even the grazing ranch on the premise that the Federal Government should rather encourage agricultural production of rice, wheat, millet, groundnut, cotton, etc and not cattle as the Taroks own an insignificant portion of the 92 million cattle in Nigeria.
Attendees feared that for social and security reasons, the issue of grazing ranch be put on hold until proper investigation are carried out and documents relating to the policy are well understood, saying no matter the powers granted to State Governors in the Land Act, the Plateau State Governor, Rt. Hon. Barr. Simon Bako Lalong and the Commissioner for Water Resources, Engr. Ja’afaru Wuyep shouldn’t have mentioned Langtang without due consultation in the first place. In a democratic Government, the people should come first and so, matters of security consequences must be addressed at the grassroots with a people before implementation.
We commend the following groups and individuals for standing against the obnoxious and segregative ranching policy of the Lalong and Buhari administrations: the G17 Youths for Peace; the Berom Educational and Cultural Organization (BECO); the Berom Youth Moulders (BYM) and Bokkos Youth Progressive Association (BPYA). Others are Sen. J T Useni, Sen. J D Jang, Prof. Mary Lar, Hon. Beni Lar, Bar. Danjuma Rimdan, Gen. John Temlong, Mr. Nanven Nimfel, Dr. Chalya Lar, Miss Tabitha Goselle, Chief Amb. Nanyah A. Daman, Hon. Ezekiel B. Afon, Hon. Amos Kumtul, Hon. Geoffrey Lamdip, Bishop Benjamin Kwashi, Rev. Dr. Alexander Lar, Rev. Dr. Dachollom Datiri, Hon. Nyam Dareng, Hon. Peter Gyendeng, Hon. Daniel Dem, Hon. Na’anlong Daniel, Hon. Joseph Kassam, Hon. Simon Kudu and so many more which space may not allow to mention.
Worthy of commendation also are members of Plateau South Senatorial District for vehemently rejecting and distancing the zone from Grazing Reserve and ranching calling on government to rather encourage crop production that the zone has comparative advantage in and nomadic education to educate nomads for rapid socio-economic development.
We are strengthened by the word of God in the Bible in Judges 6:14
And the Lord looked upon him and said; Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hands of the midianites; have not I sent thee?
We shall therefore, not relent until our inheritance are not threatened by the powers that be in any guise, be it grazing reserve or ranching. If the father of a serving Commissioner could stab the former Ponzhi Bwarat over land issue, why is he bent on supporting disinheritance?
Why has government not rehabilitated Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Plateau State but is in a hurry to donate our land to our killers? Why is government rebuilding the North-East at the detriment of the North-Central Nigeria where have we have been under attack since 1967 to date?
Why has government only appointed more persons from the North-East, North West at the expense of the South-East, South-West, South-South and the North-Central? Is there an agenda as being speculated? Why have the Fulani herdsmen resumed killing of farmers in Riyom and Barkin Ladi of late? Are we trading our land for a nonexistent and temporary peace?
Other pertinent questions begging for answers include: why did Lalong and his apologist unilaterally changed the nomenclature of grazing reserve to ranching? Is there such bill before the State or National Assemblies? Is N5billion worth sacrificing Plateau inheritance? What guarantee do we have that the N5billion for the purported ranching will not disappear into private pockets like the bailout given so far? Who are the beneficiaries of the ranching policy? is it the locals or Fulani herdsmen? What guarantee do the locals have that the ranching policy is not another subtle way of indigenizing the Fulanis? What are the merits and demerits of the grazing policy? Government is known for non-implementation of policies, what’s the guarantee that this is not another sinister and ulterior motive by government to allow the Fulanis and other tribes? What a number of commentators are accusing the National Assembly of approving in the 2016 budget isn’t for ranching but for general agricultural practices. Why is Plateau State Government desperate to impose an unpopular poliicy on its populace?
Chief Amb. Nanyah A.Daman,
Ms Tabitha Goselle