Nigerian lawmakers urge Jonathan to intervene in clashes between herdsmen, farmers

Cows used to illustrate the story.
Cows used to illustrate the story.

The lawmakers said the clashes and resultant deaths were avoidable.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday urged President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene in the incessant clashes between herdsmen and farmers. Several people have been killed across the country because of such clashes.

The House also urged the President to convene a stakeholders’ meeting of leaders of ethnic groups to put an end to the incessant clashes.

The resolution followed a motion moved by Sunday Karimi (APC-Kogi), which was unanimously adopted.

According to Mr. Karimi, the continued attacks on communities across the country by herdsmen and the counter-attacks have become a daily occurrence.

“Within the last 30 days over 100 innocent lives have been lost on account of these needless attacks and counter attacks,” he said.

The lawmaker noted that the duty of any government, as enshrined in section 14(2) b of the1999 Constitution, is to guarantee the welfare of the people.

He stressed that as representatives of the Nigerian people they owed them the duty to protect them.

“In our role as representatives of the people we must demonstrate courage in addressing this ugly trend and not fold our arms and watch our people being killed or maimed endlessly,” he said.

Mr. Karimi explained that the Senate and the House, in carrying out their mandates, initiated the National Grazing Routes and Reserve Bill, which he said, had passed the second reading.

He said that the bill was aimed at checking the conflicts between herdsmen and local farmers, with its attendant consequences.

Abubakar Momoh (APC-Edo) agreed that the convening of stakeholders meeting would go a long way to addressing the problem between herdsmen and farmers.

Forte Dike, (APGA-Anambra), said that with the continuous clashes between these groups, there was a need to pass into law the bill on gazing routes and reserves.

Other members who supported the motion included Toby Okechukwu (PDP-Enugu), Betty Apiafi (PDP-Rivers) and Christie Alaaga (PDP-Benue).


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