President Muhammadu Buhari has declared that under the Land Use Act of 1978 he lacks the constitutional power to create proposed cattle colonies to resolve the conflicts between herdsmen and farmers all over the country.
According to a report by Saturday Sun, Buhari spoke yesterday at the South-South Zonal meeting of the National Committee of Buhari Support Groups (NCBSG) in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
President Buhari whose speech was read by his Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, said provisions of the Land Use Act gave powers to state governors and local government chairmen to control lands in their domain.
He said: “When Nigeria was one region or state, before Nigeria was formed as a country, we had cattle routes running from Chad, Niger and others down to the Atlantic. When Nigeria became four regions, we had cattle routes in each of the regions.
“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, March 28, I think I am correct, the Land Use Act was made. Under the Land Use Act, the President of Nigeria has power to control lands in Abuja only.
“Under the Land Use Act, each state governor, under Section 2 of the Land Use Act, land in urban areas of each of the state of the Federation shall be vested on the governor. Now, subsection 1(2b) says land in the rural areas shall be vested on the local government chairman of that area.”
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The President stated that the commitment of his administration to laying the foundations informed its actions in tackling theft, diversion and misappropriation of public funds, but steadily diversifying the economy for sustained growth and tackling the myriads of security challenges bedevilling the land.
He said: “As a government, we are committed to laying the foundations upon which an equitable and progressive society can be built, in which all citizens can look forward to the opportunities for realising their full potentials without let or hindrance.
“This informed our actions in tackling theft, diversion and misappropriation of public funds, gradually but steadily diversifying the economy for sustained growth and tackling the myriads of security challenges bedevilling the land.
“While it is still work in progress, we are confident that the amount of work done in the first 32 months of this administration points to a new solid foundation for building the Nigeria of our dreams.
“Not only did we ease out of an inevitable recession in record time, our revenue profile, our foreign reserves and foreign investments are all on the rise again; and we have paid mobilized contractors back to project sites across the country, including the South-South Zone.”