AFRICA/NIGERIA - The Bishops of Kaduna - "No to the creation of grazing reserves for herdsmen"

Friday, 9 September 2016 armed groups   bishops  

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - No to the creation of grazing reserves for herdsmen moving in northern Nigeria. This is what the Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of Kaduna in a pastoral letter sent to Agenzia Fides say. "We must abandon the old practice of herdsmen moving in droves across the country especially given the violence this has unleashed on the people", the Bishops said. The last attack took place yesterday, September 8, in Golkofa area, in the State of Kaduna, with the death of two people.
The Federal Parliament is approving the creation of grazing reserves in favor of the Fulani herdsmen in all states of Nigeria. The Nigerian Bishops' Conference has criticized this proposal (see Fides 09/06/2016), proposing instead the creation of suitable grazing areas. A proposal that was relaunched by the Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of Kaduna.
"Entire communities have been destroyed and the anger in the land is palpable" they say in their letter. "We are convinced that the only way forward is for the government to arrest this drift of herdsmen and their animals by exploring the option of creating ranches instead of grazing reserves".
The Bishops finally launch an appeal for the Protection of Creation, the victim in Nigeria, as in the rest of the world, of neglect and degradation by men.
"We need to extend the values of the gospel of mercy to the earth itself. Here, it is necessary that we look back, reflect on the mistakes we have made and how inadvertently cruel we have been to the environment". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 09/09/2016)