Nigerian Senate on Wednesday warned the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to stop herdsmen attacks across the country, describing the phenomenon as another form of Boko Haram.
￼Senate observed that the modus operandi of the herdsmen was not different from that of Boko Haram and that security agencies must apprehend the culprits to ensure that justice was done.
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The upper legislative chamber, observed a minute silence for those who were recently killed by herdsmen in Edo Central senatorial district and other previous attacks in the country and asked the Federal Government to take up immediately the health needs of victims.
The Senate equally urged the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to urgently visit Ewu communities to ascertain the extent of damage done by the herdsmen, with a view to providing relief materials to families of the bereaved and other persons currently displaced and denied access to their farmlands.
The resolutions of the Senate were sequel to a motion by Senator Clifford Ordia, PDP, Edo Central, entitled, “the need to curtail the activities of herdsmen.”
Ordia said: “The Senate notes with serious concern the heinous and criminal activities being perpetrated by herdsmen who, in the violent act of ravaging communities, deprived persons of right to life and prosperity, defiling women and destroying farm crops amongst other criminal activities across the country.
“The Senate is sad that on May 22, 2017, these ravaging herdsmen entered into farmland located in Ewu community, Esan Central Local Government of Edo State, raping two women, Mrs. Martina Emoyon and Mrs. Ariu and strangled them to death, destroyed crops and sacked a lot of persons from their farmlands.
“It observes that consequent upon these criminal activities of the herdsmen, the youths of Ewu engaged in a peaceful protest to draw the attention of the Federal Government to the problem.
“Sadly, one Ehimen Donald Abuya was shot and the victim is lying critically ill at Irrua Specialist Hospital. Since this destructive attack, it has been observed that no farmer in the communities has engaged in farming activities for fear of being killed.
“The Senate is saddened that despite the public outcry and previous resolutions of the National Assembly as regards the criminal activities of herdsmen, there seems to be no visible action on the part of government to curtail, abate or totally stop the criminal activities of these criminal elements.
“Section 33(1) of chapter (iv) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) provides that every person has a right to life and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life, save in the execution of a court sentence in respect of criminal offence of which he has been found guilty in Nigeria.
‘’The Africa Chapter on Human and Peoples Right of which Nigeria is a signatory, also provides for Right to Life and Respect for Integrity of Persons, Freedom from Slavery, Torture, Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading treatment.
‘’Section 43 of the constitution provides that every citizen shall have a right to acquire and own immovable property anywhere in Nigeria.
‘’The Senate is aware further that the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) in section 14(b) clearly provides that the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.”
Deputy Senate Whip, Senator Francis Alimikhena, APC, Edo North, who described the herdsmen as another Boko Haram, however, called on the executive to urgently curb the menace, adding that security agencies must apprehend and bring to justice those involved in the menace at Ewu, Edo State.
Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who presided over plenary, however, stopped other contributions and asked that the Senate should wait for the report of the Senator Kabir Gaya-led Senate Ad- hoc Committee on farmers and herders clashes in Southern Kaduna and other parts of the country.