Ruga: SMBLF Dares FG, Cautions Southern Lawmakers To Be Vigilant

The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) has claimed that the Federal Government has a hidden plan to cancel the Land Use Act.

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SMBLF called on the Southern lawmakers in the National Assembly to be watchful to guard against the introduction of any bill intended to abolish or amend the Land Use Act.

This was contained in a statement issued by the forum’s co-spokespersons: Yinka Odumakin (South West), Prof. Chigozie Ogbu (South East), Senator Bassey Henshaw (South South), Dr. Isuwa Dogo (Middle Belt).

The statement read: “It is being alleged that there will be moves to repeal the Land Use Act in the (Ruga) suspension period so the Federal Government can have authority over land which is currently under the states.

“We, therefore, call on all our members in the National Assembly to be vigilant about any surreptitious bill that may be introduced to tamper with control of land and thwart such without any waste of time.

“The 2014 National Conference debated this issue at length and resolved to retain the Land Use Act in the Constitution.”

The forum further warned the lawmakers against passing the ‘Bill to establish a Regulatory Framework for the Water Resources Sector in Nigeria,’ sponsored by the executive, noting that it was meant to give the FG sole authority and control over the nation’s rivers and underground water.

The group added: “When this obnoxious Water Bill is taken alongside the Ruga programme and the speculated assault on the Land Use Act, the internal colonialism agenda is complete and we would have no one but ourselves to blame if we don’t effect our no-pasaran (They shall not pass — a slogan used to express determination to defend a position against an enemy).

“It is pertinent to ask why the FG is not going ahead with Ruga in some northern states that have accepted the policy if the whole idea was not about land-grabbing in the South and Middle Belt states.”