Farmers/Herdsmen Clashes: Northern Govs Proffer Solutions


.Inaugurate committee on restructuring

.To check cross-border activities

BY AMOS TAUNA, KADUNA – Determined to check the escalating clashes between farmers and herdsmen in northern Nigeria, the Northern Governors’ Forum (NGF) has proposed an urgent review of the current ECOWAS Convention on movements within the West African sub-region. 

For NGF, free movement of persons, goods and services within the sub-region should be subjected to the laws of individual member States to check cross-border crimes and criminality.

Similarly, the Forum has set up a committee to collate and aggregate views from individuals, groups and corporate organisations in the region regarding various agitations for Nigeria’s restructuring.

Rising from at their two-day meeting with traditional rulers in the North, the Forum submitted that creating more grazing reserves and providing adequate infrastructure in such reserves for the animals before enacting the appropriate legislation, would ameliorate the challenges to a greater extent.

According to the communique read by Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari, Katsina State Governor, on behalf of NGF Chairman and Borno State Governor,  Alhaji Kashim Shettima, the Forum said the Committee, constituted to address agitations for restructuring, has Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Waziri Tambuwal as the chairman.

He said the Committee’s mandate, include collating all shades of opinion as they relate to the issue of restructuring, adding; “The committee is to come up with acceptable, tenable and sustainable position for the Northern region in consonance with provisions of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, taking into cognizance the current constitutional amendment process going on in the National Assembly.”

Other members of the committee, as stated in the communiqué are: Governors of Nasarawa, Gombe, Benue, Bauchi and Kaduna States as well as Emirs of Kano and Gummi, Etsu Nupe and Gbong Gwon Jos as members with the Deputy Governor of Plateau state picked as the Committee’s Secretary.

On security,  the NGF urged the Federal Government to strengthen the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies’ capability through adequate funding and logistic requirements to enable them perform their statutory roles in a more effective and efficient manner.

“It is pertinent to also ensure that funds and operational equipment allocated to our security agencies, cascade down to all the various command structures at the state level. This will improve their ability to effectively check security challenges.

In condemning the deadly communal clashes such as the recent Mambila massacre, the Agatu crisis in Benue State and the one of Kajuru, Kaduna State, the Forum proposed that; “All available judicial and administrative processes and procedures should be fully utilized to ensure those responsible for inciting or participating in the violence are made to face the full wrath of the law no matter how highly placed. The rule of law should be fully enforced.”

The Forum noted that armed banditry was on the increase and becoming rampant in the region, especially in Forest Reserves like Kamuku and Falgore that now provide shelter for banditry. It therefore called on the federal government to relinquish forest reserves to their domiciled states for better manning and proper security coverage within the areas.

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