Osinbajo Asks N’Assembly to Consider Devolution of Power Proposals

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• Restates how to end farmers-herders conflict

• Says nation building is challenging
Deji Elumoye in Abuja

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo yesterday urged the National Assembly to consider some of the proposals before it for the purpose of devolving more powers to sub-national governments to tackle security challenges.

Osinbajo, also, restated that the implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP), which all governors have endorsed under the auspices of the National Economic Council (NEC) would end farmers-herdsmen conflicts.

He made these calls at the opening session of an International Conference on Patriotism, Security, Governance and National Development.
The conference was convened by the Global Patriot Newspaper in collaboration with the Nigerian Consulate in New York and Nigeria in Diaspora Organisation, (NIDO) New Jersey Chapter.

Among others, Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Prof. Tijjani Bande; President of NIDO, Dr Kazeem Bello and Nigeria’s foremost human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) featured at the conference.
The vice president canvassed the decentralisation of the police force while addressing security concerns
He said: “We must accept that there is a need for greater decentralisation of the police force. I have been a frequent advocate of state policing. I believe this certainly must be the way we must go.”
He challenged the National Assembly to consider some of the proposals in its custody to devolve more powers and responsibilities to the sub-national governments.

He said the National Assembly “is in a position to consider some of the proposals that have gone to them for the purposes of devolving more powers to the states for security purposes and for addressing the security challenges.”
Regarding steps taken to address the perennial crisis between farmers and herders, Osinbajo said the federal and state governments are committed to NLTP’s implementation as developed by consensus of governors under the auspices of the National Economic Council (NEC).
He said the NLTP “is a comprehensive strategy for addressing farmer/herder conflict essentially by encouraging interested states to establish cattle ranches.

“The crucial point here is that no community or state is compelled in any shape or form to give land for ranching. Ranching is essentially a business. NLTP is not a land grab in any way. Every state is completely responsible for its land.
“The federal government cannot go to any state and take any land. Already 22 states have indicated interest and pilots, with the support of the Netherlands government, are ongoing in 4 states of Adamawa, Nasarawa, Plateau and Gombe.

“If we are able to execute the NLPT, we will be able to see an end to the farmer-herder conflict because the goal is to make livestock breeders more sedentary and derive more financial benefits,” Osinbajo said.
He said the idea of building a society desired by all Nigerians “is tasking and requires the contribution of all Nigerians.”
The challenge, according to the vice president, is for everyone to build, and not to destroy, to add to what is available and not to take away.

He emphasised the need for citizens “to unite in building a better society. The task of nation building is exerting and may even appear messy as the process continues, especially in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious nation like Nigeria.
“It challenges all values, patience and tolerance of citizens, it may even be costly. It is a challenge thrown to everyone, to build, not to destroy, to add to, not to take away.”

While addressing security concerns, the vice president canvassed the decentralisation of the police.
“We must accept that there is a need for greater decentralisation of the police force. I have been a frequent advocate of state policing. I believe this certainly must be the way we must go.
“The National Assembly is in a position to consider some of the proposals that have gone to them for the purposes of devolving more powers to the states for security purposes and for addressing the security challenges.”

Regarding steps taken to address the perennial crisis between farmers and herders, Osinbajo said the federal and state governments were committed to the implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP), as developed by consensus of governors under the auspices of the National Economic Council (NEC).
He explained that the NLTP “is a comprehensive strategy for addressing farmer/herder conflict essentially by encouraging interested states to establish cattle ranches.

“The crucial point here is that no community or State is compelled in any shape or form to give land for ranching. Ranching is essentially a business.
“NLTP is not a land grab in any way. Every state is completely responsible for its land. The federal government cannot go to any state and take any land.

“Already 22 States have indicated interest and pilots, with the support of the Netherlands Government, are ongoing in Adamawa, Nasarawa, Plateau and Gombe State
“If we are able to execute the NLPT, we will be able to see an end to the farmer-herder conflict because the goal is to make livestock breeders more sedentary and derive more financial benefits,” Osinbajo further said.

Other participants at the meeting were Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Prof. Tijjani Bande; President of NIDO, Dr Kazeem Bello; Femi Falana, SAN, among others.