Friday, 4 March 2016

Benue killings: Retrieve arms from herdsmen, Senate tells FG


The Senate on Thursday urged the Federal Government to urgently check the proliferation of arms around the country and retrieve them.



This followed a motion by Senator Chukwuka Utazi, a Peoples Democratic Party member from Enugu-North senatorial district, on the high proliferation of arms in the country and the recurring clashes between herdsmen and farmers in parts of the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the red chamber condemned recent killings of farmers in the Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State.

It called on the government to establish ranches and grazing reserves across the country to enable herdsmen to use modern systems of livestock farming.



In the motion, which was unanimously adopted by the lawmakers, the Senate also urged states and local governments in the country to also establish ranches to rear cattle.

It advised the Federal Government to retrieve all gazetted grazing reserves in the country which had been converted to other uses.

It mandated its Committee on Agriculture and the Committee on National Security to hold public hearings on the issue.

The lawmakers urged cattle owners to ensure that the grazing of their livestock did not infringe on the rights of farming communities and farmers.

Some of the senators, who contributed to the motion, attributed the migration of herdsmen to greener areas to desertification in the North.

The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, said threat to farmers was like a threat to about 80 per cent of Nigerians.

Senator Barnabas Gemade, an All Progressives Congress lawmaker from Benue North-East, said the Police had been paying lips service to the constant killings of farmers in Benue State and other parts of the country.

He stated that the police must rise to its responsibility of protecting lives and property as the Army was already being over-stretched and could not be brought in.

Gemade urged the Senate to adopt and implement the report of the joint committee set up by the 7th Senate to find solution to the problem.

An APC senator from Nasarawa-West senatorial district, Abdullahi Adamu, advocated the retrieval of grazing routes, which had been converted to farmlands, saying the routes, which were in the federal gazettes, should be maintained.

Senate President Bukola Saraki explained that the 7th Senate also deliberated on the clashes but found no solution to them, promising that the 8th Senate would make the difference by finding solution to the problem.


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