Farmers-Herders Clashes: Senate Calls On States, Local Govt Councils To End Crises

The Senate on Monday called on state governors and local government councils to end the perennial farmers-herders clashes happening in their states.

The Upper Chamber of the National Assembly also said that it would conduct a thorough debate on the issue when it resumes plenary on Tuesday, February 9.

Answering questions from journalists, the Leader of the Senate, Yahaya Abdullahi ( APC Kebbi North), also disclosed that confirmation or rejection of ex-Service Chiefs as Ambassadorial designate as submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari, would be spearheaded by its Committee on Foreign Affairs.

According to him, a motion for the debate on Farmers/ Herders clashes, particularly the recent ones that happened in Ondo and Oyo States, has already been prepared by the Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Robert Ajayi Boroffice  ( APC Ondo North ).

Senator Abdullahi said that the perennial conflicts between farmers-herders is largely local and demands local solutions which can be given by respective state government and Local Government Councils.

“The Senate is disturbed that such crises in addition to armed banditry and Boko Haram insurgency , remain unabated and there  can’t be development where there is no peace , the very reason , state actors at the grassroots need to be more involved in stopping them, ” he said .

He added that there was need for interventions from all fronts, as he added that ethnic entrepreneurs were trying to take advantage of the ugly situation.

He further added that, “with some kind of ethnic colouration of the Herders / Farmers clashes , urgent attentions are required at various levels  of government to prevent them from further escalation .

“These are the kind of crises that must be addressed promptly and squarely in preventing  ethnic entrepreneurs from hijacking the whole situation and putting the country in danger”

This was as he noted that “there are existential issues that have set communities that have hitherto lived together peacefully, against each other either for political advantage or political matters.

“I think these are issues that should be resolved at the local level either through dialogue anchored on the spirit of   give and take.

While calling on political leaders to wade into the situation, the Leader of the Senate insisted that “whatever crises that are involved  should be resolved by political leaders at appropriate levels be it, at  the National Assembly, at the level of the Governors, local Government and even  councillorship level where state actors are expected  to sit down with their people so that a lot of these issues can be articulated and addressed by the local population.

“In fact, this is what the Governors at their levels should do and not always running to the presidency, to solve one dispute here and there.”

He highlighted the place of responsible political leadership to end intercommunal crises in the country, noting that “this is a federation and we are all politically responsible leaders. I can assure you that in no distant time, these intercommunal conflagrations would be resolved.

“So, hopefully Tuesday or Wednesday this week, a general motion that will be sponsored by the deputy Senate leader, Ajayi Borroficce, will be debated on the floor of the Senate “.

On the fate of the former Service Chiefs , scaling the hurdle of Senate Confirmation as Ambassadorial nominees , the leader said : “Communications for the confirmation would be read hopefully by the Senate president tomorrow and whatever happen we will pass it on to the committee on foreign affairs and then the committee on foreign affairs will now do its deliberation.

“I am not one under this situation to preempt whatever the committee is going to decide because the committee is made up of several responsible and experienced senators who have also been ambassadors themselves so they will know exactly what are required for people to be appointed as ambassadors to represent the country in whatever country,” he further pressed.

He emphasized that the Senate was bent on addressing the security challenge upon resumption as,  “this will be brought to the floor of the Senate. The committee will do its work and after that they will bring the report to the Senate. I am sure all the questions will not escape the committee.

“I don’t want to pre -empt them. Let them do what is just and right and let them apply all the criteria for appointment of ambassadors for the country which will be the basis of determining the fate of the nominees “.