‘If you truly want peace, ban open grazing,’ senator tells Buhari

A presidential executive order prohibiting open grazing could go a long way to address the activities of killer herdsmen, a federal lawmaker says.

Tolulope Odebiyi, who represents Ogun West Senatorial District, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to take that action.

Odebiyi made this known during plenary on Wednesday while lamenting the influx of criminal herdsmen into Nigeria from neighbouring countries.

“It is an indictment on our leadership that people are coming into Nigeria to rape, maim and kill our people,” Odebiyi said.

“It is upsetting and we must rise up to this occasion. I rise that the President need to speak and calm the nation.

“The president can sign an executive order banning open grazing. There are actions that he can take immediately but nothing is being done.”

The South-West region has been in the eye of the storm of late over the activities of killer herdsmen who rape, kidnap and destroy farmlands with their cattle.

Many Nigerians including Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, had urged the President to address Nigerians and make it known publicly that he does not support the criminal activities of some herdsmen in parts of the country.

When the Senate passed its resolution for the day, if failed to include Odebiyi’s motion. The Senate, however, observed a minute silence in honour of all victims of insurgency, banditry, herdsmen-farmers clashes, and other security challenges.

The Senate resolved to “urge the State Governors to re-invigorate rural governance and convene state-wide inter-communal conclaves and dialogues to promote local conflict resolution and inter-ethnic harmony.”

It also “urge the Federal Government to immediately embark on an operation to checkmate proliferation of firearms and enforce the laws against illegal possession of firearms by arresting, disarming and punishing anyone in illegal possession of arms.”

The Senate further “urge the State Governors to implement the National Livestock Transformation Plan which is a modern scheme designed to eliminate transhumance in order to prevent farmer-herder conflicts and activate highly productive livestock sector in Nigeria.”


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