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Seriake Dickson Ijaw women, activists to protest govt’s allocation of land to herdsmen

Some of the civil society leaders alleged that security agencies were sent to arrest them.

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Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson

(Punch)
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The allocation of 1,200 hectares of land to Fulani herdsmen by the Bayelsa government is causing a stir in the state.

A group of Ijaw women and civil society groups have announced that they will protest the government’s allocation to the cattle rearers on February 14, 2017.

According to Vanguard, some of the civil society leaders alleged that security agencies were sent to arrest them, so the protest will not hold.

Ann-Kio Briggs, a leading rights activist in the Niger Delta also told Governor Seriake Dickson that no form of intimidation will stop the protest.

Briggs also called the bluff of an ex-militant leader who allegedly threatened protesters saying “Let me assure you, neither you nor your lies can stop Ijaw sons and daughters from Western and Eastern zones from joining their central zone brothers and sisters to say to Governor Dickson that he erred by giving Ijaw land to murderous Fulani herdsmen from Mali, Senegal or wherever.”

Some of the civil society groups reportedly involved in the Valentine’s Day protest are: The Niger Delta Security Watch Organisation of Nigeria (NDSWON), Ijaw People Development Initiative (IPDI), and Foundation for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade (FHRACC).

Speaking on the planned protest, the groups issued a joint statement saying “The governor should not, by his anti-people policies, endanger the future of Bayelsans, particularly the host communities at Bayelsa Palm Plantation. It is either Governor Dickson rescinds his bobby trap of donating lands to the Fulanis or we will join our foremost activist, Ms Briggs and other well meaning Niger Deltans to peacefully protest against the governor’s decision.

 “We have been inundated with the news currently going viral that the Bayelsa State Government has donated a whopping 1,200 hectares of land at Bayelsa Palm Plantation to the Fulani herdsmen for grazing purposes.

“We may not necessarily have problem with the governor giving out lands to people in the exercise of his statutory duties. Our concern is that it should not be Fulani herdsmen, known for terrorizing their host communities across the country that the few lands in the state should be allocated to, if he chooses to give out any portion to any Nigerian. History is replete with antecedents of these murderous Fulani invaders, who come to any community as friends, but later turn out to be thorns in the flesh of their hosts.

“The biggest threats to human survival in Nigeria are Fulani herdsmen. They are everywhere massacring other Nigerians in their thousands, particularly those communities who gave lands to them. Allocating lands to the Fulani people for whatsoever purposes is like inviting the proverbial ant-ridden fagot to Bayelsa State, which will inevitably bring lizards to the land.

ALSO READ: Delta youths engage Fulani herdsmen in gun battle

“This is a kiss of death and we reject the governor’s initiative in its entirety. There cannot be any gain commensurate to the dangers ahead. Governor Dickson and the retinue of his self-serving political buccaneers may not be alive to experience the macabre dance.”

There have been reports of several killings allegedly masterminded by suspected Fulani herdsmen across Nigeria.

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