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Onitiri tackles National Assembly over Ganduje’s suggestion on herdsmen

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Lagos-based renowned socio-political activist and critic, Chief Adesunbo Onitiri has expressed disappointment  over the National Assembly’s rejection of Governor Abdullahi Ganduje’s suggestion that cattle movement from the  North to the southern part of the country be banned forthwith.

 

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Ganduje has, while on a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at Aso Rock,Abuja, explained that if the ban was supported by a federal law, this would put a final stop to incessant herders/farmers clashes .

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The governor had revealed that they were already building Ruga  settlement in Samsosua Forest, a border area with Katsina state. He had also explained that they were building many houses, constructing dam, cattle artificial insemination centers and veterinary  clinics et cetera for the herders. But replying Governor Ganduje, the National Assembly said banning the herders’ movements was unconstutional. In a Press  statement  in Lagos yesterday, Chief Onitiri tackled the law makers for that statement that could give support to the herdsmen to continue to violate farmers and others’ fundamental human rights by entering and destroying their farmlands and crops because the National Assembly said they could not be restricted by law.

 

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According  to Onitiri, it appears  that the law makers were not aware of all the atrocities such as killing, maiming, robbing, raping and destruction of farmers crops being committed by the armed herdsmen.

 

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“The insurgency, kidnapping, banditry and maiming of innocent Nigerians by the armed herders are becoming unacceptable, unbearable and criminal”, he said.

 

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“These fulani-turned terrorists commit crimes on our highways and forests with total impunity, as if they are above the laws, while our security agencies look the other way,” he alleged.

 

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Chief Onitiri said if Ganduje’s suggestion was accepted, there would be genuine peace, tranquility and progress in the country. The farmers would be free on their farmlands to produce food crops to feed the teaming population and earn better money from their labour and no fear of killer herdsmen attacking them on their farms.

 

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He said this is why the government has to take a decisive and ruthless action against any Nigerian masquerading as bandits either as cultists, herdsmen, robbers et cetera, without fear or favour.

 

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Chief Onitiri re-emphasised the need for the National Assembly to enact a law to check-mate all criminal elements bearing sophisticated weapons in our forests and on the highways. It is illegal and criminal.

 

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Besides, the National Assembly should ban open grazing in the country. In the advanced nations, cows were not seen on the streets anymore. They should adopt modern farming traditions.

 

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The social critic pointed out that with the security situation in the country, it is evidently clear that Nigeria is under the siege of kidnappers, robbers, cultists, ritualistic, and killer herdsmen and nobody is safe anymore.

 

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He emphasised the need for the government should live to expectation, to ensure that every Nigerian is safe wherever he or she lives.

 

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The paramount responsibility of any government is to secure lives and property of its citizens, he stressed.

 

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Chief Onitiri said the southerners were not against Fulanis, but those using their cows deliberately to destroy farmers crops, as well as engaging  in all forms of criminality such as banditry, kidnapping,  raping, killing and maiming of innocent people.

He explained that the objective of some killer herdsmen engaging in banditry and other criminality was to destroy our education, cause famine and another civil war amongst the ethnic groups in the country. The government should preempt this disaster by banning movement of herdsmen from the north to the southern  part of the country as suggested by the Kano state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje. Also Nigerians need to embrace urgently, modern farming traditions, Chief Onitiri added.

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