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Published On: Fri, May 23rd, 2014

…resolves contending issues, adopts Citizenship, Immigration Committee report

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The National Conference in Abuja yesterday resolved contending issues and adopted the amended report of the conference committee on Citizenship, Immigration and Related Matters.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the report was on Wednesday suspended over contentious issues which centred on the provision and funding of grazing reserves and new technologies for herdsmen.

The committee had recommended that grazing reserves and new technologies such as hydroponic fodder solution for feeding cattle be promoted by government.

It also recommended that dedicated funds for the acculturation and acclimatisation of herdsmen should be provided for herdsmen for them to settle at designated grazing reserves.

While some of the delegates believed states where herdsmen came from should be responsible for providing and funding grazing, others said that it should be the responsibility of the host government.

The adoption of the committee report was preceded by a motion sponsored by 14 delegates and read by Mr Festus Okoye representing Civil Society Organisations, which resolved the contending issues.

The motion, which contained three prayers sought that an integrated development and livelihood modernisation programme be implemented.

Okoye said the motion addressed settling of nomadic herdsmen into communities based on establishment of cattle ranches with fodder development technologies; including abattoirs, processors and other businesses along livestock value chain.

“That the programme should be funded by both Federal and State Governments where such settlement are allowed and established.

“That the integrated programme should be undertaken and wrapped up within five to 10 years after which such settlement should have become self-sustaining.

“It added that this must be with the full integration of the nomadic community into modern Nigeria political economy,’’ he said.

Okoye said that the prayer became necessary to build on the innovative and transformative recommendations, citizenship and residency rights adopted by the conference.

He added that the motion was to create the environment that would reduce and prevent conflict arising from the encroachment by herdsmen into farmlands and competitions over land use between herdsmen and farming communities.

Dan Nwanyanwu, of Labour Party, seconded the motion which was unanimously accepted by the conference.

Chief Mike Ozekhome, a Federal Government delegate, however, moved a motion that the amended report of the committee be adopted.

Ozekhome’s motion was seconded by Justice Balkisu Aliyu, a delegate representing Zamfara, which was unanimously accepted by the conference as well.

The Deputy Chairman of the conference, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, ruling on the committee’s report said that “the majority has it more than consensus’’.

NAN reports that the committee report was the first to be adopted by the conference while deliberation also commenced on the Land Tenure Matters and National Boundaries Committee. (NAN)


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