The Nigerian House of Representatives is to investigate cases of illegal land grabbing by Chinese Firm, Northern Agri-Business Ltd, in Jigawa, Kano, Bauchi and Niger States.
The House also called for immediate withdrawal of anti-riot police from villages and farmlands to protect innocent Nigerians.
These were contained in a motion unanimously adopted under matters of urgent public importance, calling for lifting of siege on Gagarawa Farmlands and Villages in Jigawa State.
Sponsor of the motion, Muhammad Sani Zorro, told the House that the massive land grabbing has displaced many Nigerians contravening the UN Principles against displacement as well as Kampala Convention of African Union.
Sani added that “The massive land grabbing under the guise of developmental projects has been a principal source of internal displacement everywhere and prohibited by both the United Nations Guiding Principles Against Displacement and the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (Kampala Convention) both of which Nigeria is signatory to.”
Mr. Zorro explained that independent investigation revealed that Northern Agri-Business Ltd may have disposed Nigerians of an estimated 500,000 hectares of farmlands in those States without regard to the country’s ever growing population and increasing pressure on its land resources.
Zorro then wondered if with all the Chinese company’s disdain to the their host communities, any Nigerian or foreigner for that matter, could go to China and take over an inch of their soil.
In his contribution, a lawmaker from Bauchi State Rep Sani Abdu said the Chinese company was not to be blamed, but the conniving state and council officials who collude with the foreigners to cede local farmlands to them.
He added that “Since it is a known fact that the general Chinese policy is expansionist in nature, the onus lies with Nigerians and her government to put in place effective checks against any imported policy that might harm her people.”
Other lawmakers call for caution in the matter, considering the diplomatic and economic ties between the two countries, taking into account China’s increasing role in Nigeria’s infrastructural financing and loan facilities.