By Idris Khalid
Bauchi State Governor, Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed has sounded strong warning on traditional rulers, state and local government officials charged with the responsibility of land administration to desist from land use abuse and allocation.
Senator Bala Mohammed explained that those mentioned officials must observe the provisions of the Land Use Act, as the state government would not spare anyone breaching the law.
He was speaking Thursday while inaugurating a 45-member to implement Government White Paper on the report of the Administrative Committee of Inquiry into Land Disputes between Herders and Farmers caused by land use abuse and illegal allocation.
The Governor said that those officials are also illegally turning cattle routes into farms which blocks the passage of herders and their animals, describing the actions as a recipe for herders-farmer clashes with attendant loss of lives and property.
He said it has been established that clashes between herders and farmers result from the activities of some traditional rulers, state and LG officers who illegally de-reserve grazing and forest reserves and allocate the same for agricultural purposes, thereby depriving herders of where to graze their animals.
Bala warned, “I will therefore be abdicating my responsibility if some unscrupulous people are left to abuse the land use and allocation of land for their selfish ends. Let me make it known to all and sundry that anyone found to be involved in any illegal land deal would incur the full wrath of law no matter how highly placed”.
According to him, the appointment of the implementation committee is a testimony of the sincerity and commitment of the state government to sanitize land use and allocation in the state, stressing that the Land Use Act vested allocation and use of land on the state governor.
Governor Bala gave terms of reference of the implementation committee as to identify those responsible for the abuse/allocation at both state and local government levels and recommended appropriate penalties.
It is also to implement Government positions contained in the white paper on the report of the Administrative Committee of Inquiry into Land disputes between herders and farmers caused by land use abuse and illegal allocation in Local Government Areas across the state.
The committee is also to report any matter incidental to its assignment, and to submit a report within three weeks from the date of its inauguration.
The chairman of the committee, DIG Mohammed Sani Usman (rtd) has in response said that theirs is to serve and assured of doing their best to achieve the purpose for which the committee was set –up.