Senate to Debate Herdsmen Crisis This Week

By Deji Elumoye

The incidence of killings of farmers and others by suspected herdsmen in some parts of the country will receive the attention of the Senate, as it reconvenes after its Christmas break this week.

The Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, who disclosed this yesterday to journalists, also submitted that the issues should have been resolved through dialogue locally before long without the involvement of the federal government.

He revealed that the Deputy Senate Leader, Ajayi Borrofice, will come with a motion to discuss the issue at the Senate plenary today or Wednesday.

According to Abudullahi, “There would be hopefully tomorrow (today) or Wednesday a general motion I think would sponsored by the Deputy Senate Leader, Borroficce, who will come with a motion on the issue on the floor of the Senate tomorrow (today). In the course of the discussion, we are going to deal with the old generic thing about this particular issue that you are raising on the crises all over the country, and then on the bases of that, some prayers are coming in, some explanations are there and some senators will resolve and discuss all of them.

“When senators discuss it, it’s 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 bases of that, we will come up with resolutions that will address some of these issues and make some recommendations that various authorities at all level will find solutions with.”

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

The senator said “In this is the kind of crises, in my own personal observation, 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 situation. They are people that had 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 in the country.

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

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