- The Coalition of Civil Society Organisation for Peace and Good Governance stormed the National Assembly on Tuesday, July 24
- The group protested an alleged misappropriation of funds previously approved for the establishment of cattle ranch across Nigeria
- They also called for the arrest of former president Goodluck Jonathan over the misappropriation of the said fund
A group on Tuesday, July 24, stormed the National Assembly in protest of an alleged misappropriation of funds previously approved for the establishment of cattle ranch across Nigeria.
Members of the Coalition of Civil Society Organisation for Peace and Good Governance besieged the National Assembly complex in their numbers.
The group said the death toll that has arisen as a result of the herdsmen and farmers conflict in Nigeria has reached an alarming stage.
They also said that without urgent and proactive measures were not taken, it has a potential to threaten the very foundation of the country our forefathers laboured to put in place.
The protesters, who were seen displaying placard, bearing various inscription alleged that some individuals who do not have the interest of Nigeria at heart have continued to engage in acts inimical to our progress as a nation.
Speaking during the protest the national president of the coalition Jonathan Ogwuche alleged that the embezzlement of the N100 billion cattle ranch fund released by the past administration in 2014 for the establishment of mini ranches across Nigeria.
The group also called for the immediate arrest and prosecution of former President Goodluck Jonathan over the alleged misappropriation.
Ogwuche said, “Even as we are aware that the money was released without the approval of the National Assembly, there was no evidence of how it was utilized; there has not been any ranch constructed anywhere in the country to account for the expenditure of the money."
“It is also expedient to mention that this act of national sabotage has left the country with human and material casualties from herdsmen and farmers conflict.
We are appalled by this act of rascality aimed at national disintegration by elements and principal political actors of the previous Peoples Democratic Party-led government in Nigeria.
With blood flowing freely in Nigeria as a result of this crime against humanity, these political actors are still roaming the streets freely and flaunting their ill-gotten wealth.
It is a clear four years after the release of the funds, yet nothing has been done or heard on the case, yet innocent Nigerians are dying on almost a daily basis," Ogwuche said.
“At this point, we are constrained to believe that monies must have exchanged hands in a bid to kill the matter completely despite the innocent lives that are lost on a daily basis in Nigeria.
“It also appears that some elements within the National Assembly might have conspired with those behind the dastardly act of embezzling the 100 billion naira to kill the probe.
“We are therefore urging the National Assembly not only to investigate the matter but to also live up to the expectations of the people they are representing in their various constituencies to ensure that all of those that were part of the embezzlement of the funds are brought to book.
“We also call for the immediate arrest and prosecution of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for under whose watch this heist was perpetrated, to establishing whether or not he was a part of the fraud," Ogwuche added.
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Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that the presidency had urged all those against ranching and colony programmes for herdsmen across Nigeria to have a rethink.
The special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, said Nigerians are better off living with the ranches and colonies than the consistent conflicts among herdsmen and farmers.
Adesina also decried connotations in many quarters that the ongoing crisis between farmers and herders is religious.
Nigerian herdsmen vs Nigerian farmers - on NAIJ.com TV