Senate majority leader wants herder-farmer clashes resolved locally
The Senate declared on Monday that the deteriorating bloody clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers across the country ought to be resolved locally.
Senate Majority Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, in an interview in Abuja, said that the Federal Government should not play any role in resolving such matters.
The Presidency had opposed a recent directive by the Ondo state government that Fulani herdsmen who were not registered with it should quit Ondo forest reserves.
Consequently, President Muhammadu Buhari, through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, expressed concern that the Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, as a legal luminary, could unilaterally issue the quit order without taking cognizance of the constitution that guarantees the rights of citizens to movement and to live in any part of the country.
But the Senate Majority leader, observed that “the Federal Government is too distant to resolve every communal dispute everywhere. Inter communal dispute should be resolved by the people in the area.
He lamented that the country is tending towards governance trajectory where some political actors and ethnic entrepreneurs are coming into the process and spoiling the waters.”
“I think these are issues that should be resolved at the local level either through dialogue or give and take. They are people that lived together, they should come together over dialogue at the local level” he stressed.
To buttress his point, Abdulahi, a former lecturer at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) cited a quotation from another former professor of history and ex-University of Ibadan Vice Chancellor, late Tekena Tamunor, that “distant hosts do not quench local fire”
The Senateleader believes that Governors, local Government chairmen and councillors could sit down with their people “so that a lot of these issues can be articulated and addressed by the local population.”
“This is what the Governors at their levels should do instead of always running to the presidency, to solve one dispute here and there.” He added.
He however confirmed that the Senate would debate the matter on Wednesday after listening to a motion to be sponsored by the deputy Senate leader Ajayi Borroficce, who represents Ondo North Senatorial District in the National Assembly.