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The Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has issued a warning to the Federal Government and groups such as the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, against conduct and utterances capable of setting the already tense polity on avoidable fire.
Elder statesman and leader of the forum, Chief Edwin Clark, gave the warning on behalf of the group at a media briefing in Abuja, yesterday.
According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari lacks the power to impose open grazing on state governments as being imagined by the presidency.
He said the people of the Niger Delta have watched with restrained patience the reckless and irresponsible utterances of a group of jihadists who have over the years threatened other Nigerians over grazing routes and rights and can no longer continue to condone it.
Clark pointed out that the latest being the threat issued by a group of faceless anarchists who in s statement, issued a warning to the Delta State Government and Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, to withdraw, within 72 hours, the decision against open grazing which was taken by the 17 governors of the south.
The elder statesman said, ‘The decision on open grazing and other decisions taken on national interest by the 17 Southern Governors received the full support of the people of Southern Nigeria, particularly the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo of the South-East, PANDEF of the South-South and the Afenifere of the South-West.
‘The President has no power or authority to impose open grazing on state governments. Such illegal action which is a breach of the 1999 Constitution, will not be accepted and will be legally resisted at all costs.
‘Therefore, any law banning open grazing by state governments is not only legal and binding but is unchallengeable and binding on any person or group of persons, including the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
‘We will no longer tolerate hate and divisive statements targeted at deriding and insulting others, from these Fulani’s who believe Nigeria is exclusively theirs and other Nigerians are their subjects, and not their fellow citizens.’ he concluded.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK