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Berom youths: We’ll reject grazing reserve on our land

The Berom people of Plateau State have said that they will resist any attempt to appropriate any part of their land for the proposed grazing reserve.

President of the Berom Youth Movement, Mr. Choji Chuwang, said in Jos on Friday that the people were not aware of any arrangement where they had asked or appropriated any part of their land to be used as grazing reserve.

Chuwang, who was reacting to reports credited to the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, that identified Plateau as one of the 11 states with a total of 55, 000 hectares of land for the proposed grazing reserve, said that it was “totally unacceptable to the Berom people.”

He said, “We read in the papers that Plateau has given land for grazing reserve. Well, we are not part of that decision and we will do everything to resist the imposition of such idea on us. We don’t know where it is coming from and I can tell you that we, as the Berom people, have maintained our stance on the issue.”

However, the Director of Press Affairs to Governor Simon Lalong, Mr. Emmanuel Nanle, said that the issue of grazing reserve is not an official policy of the government, but is entirely an affair of the local governments under the native land system.

He said that the governor had made it clear that he would go according to the wishes of the people, adding that it was in this line that Mikang and Langtang south local government areas had indicated interest in the project.

Nanle said, “There is an existing grazing reserve in Wase established in 1952 under the native authority and under the land system in the local government, each of them is at liberty to make a choice. This government has no general policy on grazing reserve, but definitely supports the idea of ranching. The belief is that the present arrangement can promote ranches which can trigger economic development along with farming, which is the traditional practice of the people and so enhance economic development.”

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