Senate to Debate Herders, Farmers’ Clash this Week

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* Wants issues resolved locally through dialogue

By Deji Elumoye

The recurring incidents of herders, farmers’ clashes in some parts of the country will receive the attention of the Senate as it reconvenes from its Christmas break this week.

The Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, who disclosed this to newsmen on Monday, also submitted that the issues should be resolved through dialogue locally without the involvement of the federal government.

The Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Ajayi Borrofice, disclosed that a motion to discuss the herders, farmers’ clashes would be moved at Senate plenary either on Tuesday or Wednesday.

He said: “There would be hopefully tomorrow or Wednesday, a general motion I think it will be sponsored by the Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Ajayi Borroficce, who will come with a motion on the issue on the floor of the Senate tomorrow.

“Of course, in the course of the discussion, we are dealing with the old generic thing about this particular issue that you are raising on the conflagration all over the country and then on the basis of that, some prayers are coming on, some explanations are there and some senators will resolve and discuss all these issues.

“When senators discuss, it is going to be very rich because we come from the variety of areas all over the country, who will share their own experiences and then on the basis of that we come up with resolutions that will address some of these issues and make some recommendations that various authorities at whatever level will see what is to be done to find solutions.”

Abdullahi stressed the need for the clashes to be resolved through dialogue at the level of the local government, state and the herders rather than involving the federal government which is far from the centre of the crisis.

He said: “This is a kind of crisis and my own personal observation is that the country is tending towards governance trajectory where some political actors and ethnic entrepreneurs are coming into the process and spoiling the waters. These are existential issues that have set communities that have hitherto been living 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 or give and take. They are people that lived together, they should come together over dialogue at the local level. Former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan and late renowned professor of History, Prof. Tekena Tamuno, once said distant hosts do not quench local fire, the federal government is too distant to resolve every communal dispute everywhere.

“Inter communal dispute should be resolved by the people in the area. They should be resolved by political leaders at whatever levels, at the level of the National Assembly, at the level of the governors, local government councillors to sit down with their people so that a lot of these issues can be articulated and addressed by the local population.

“This is what the governors at their levels should do not to always run to the Presidency, to solve one dispute here and there. How many arms does the federal government have? This is a federation and we are all politically responsible leaders. At the various levels where they are, they should sit down and talk to one another on this disputes. I can assure you that in no distant time these intercommunal conflagrations would be resolved. I think the way it may be resolved is in the interest of this country’s unity and integrity.”